Observe how it all ends: you trip over love and you don’t get it. You go through the town bookstore looking for a book and you cannot find it. You try to catch the bus where it does not exist. The perfume goes by you but you still feel the smell, you still know the bottle, the flavour, the colour, the moves, the bones. Nothing comes your way. You’re searching, but you don’t really know what for, but you do want, you do desire, paper, plastic, glue, heart. Glue, heart, paper? Presents, gift wraps, boxes. You’re looking for the drum, the feeling, and you ignore them, as for individuals such as yourself, the fog is already a way of searching. Take off your glasses, take them off. You don’t have them, you never needed them, sure, I see, message received, silence. Take off your glasses, take them off. Right, you don’t need them. Question: why is your sight so awful? To memorise the memorisable, act of memorisation, to take a step back. If possible, ask the elderly who are always wise. Look, I’m sorry old man, due to my ability for picture tasting being slightly shaken, would you mind where she’s at? Do not fear with your mind what should be reason for embarrassment for your sight.

You feel the drum. Do you? Not a word, not a move, no thing, which is less than nothing, which is already something, as saying the word is to give it life. No nothing as something that exists, knowing that the simple nothing would be more comforting than the lonely composition. Where can you be? Where? Yes, where, in what time, in what place, nothing but words, she, the idea. Where? Here. You lie on the stone floor, you drop your body to the left, you let your head fall into infinity, by making a movement that not even the best anatomy manuals could explain. Know yourself, said the ancient philosopher. Do you know a better anatomy than this one? The old man didn’t answer, the stones did not speak, the floor did move, the cars fell silent, the city went to sleep. Dark night. Any one of them, every night, no night, tonight. Today. Count the minutes that go by. The glasses? In the window.

She. In the street, in the still civilization. One can hear the tap-tap-tap of her shoes ringing in your brain. The skirt, wouldn’t you rip it? Have some shame, my friend. You lie down again. What a cold floor. Ouch, ouch. No, wait. A memory: go back in time. Go back. Move your legs as to walk backwards, as do the insane and the fools. Do that dance. Dance, take the step. Notice the smell, the flavour. What does the wine taste like? Answer, answer, block, think, but move. Don’t make yourself get hit by the exclamation mark.

The pain, that’s it, it hurts to know that nothing in this life is so easy as to allow you to give up some sacrifices. Knife in hand. What? Why you have cut yourself in the wrists. You’d rather the nothingness. No more talking. A bandage for your wrists, do you want it? Yes, yes, say that do you and I’ll tell you the ending, take it, yes, don’t die, don’t stop singing that moving non-talking. Listen to the wind. Outside. Tap-tap-tap- tap. Shoes. Toc-toc-toc-toc. The door. You don’t open it, there’s blood on the floor. You should open it. Wait. A key on the other side. There’s no toc nor tap. Heavy breathing. Who is it? Someone takes her shoes off and undresses herself by the door. A woman. From the street. Your street. And you left dead for life.

Paulo Ferreira was born in 1984. He has a degree in History from the University of Lisbon and a Masters in Contemporary History. In 2009, he published a book called  A Prisão do Ético (Short Story). He took part in the anthologies Contos de Algibeira (2007) and Primeira Antologia de Microficção Portuguesa (2008). He has just released Dicionário das Distâncias (Short Story) and received a doctoral grant. 


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