Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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CXXXII - The Beginning and the Details

Not only the eyes, but the other features, the face, the body, the whole person, were clearing with time. They were like a primitive devil that the artist is filling and coloring gradually, and the figure enters to see, to smile, to palpitate, to speak almost, until the family hangs the picture on the wall, in memory of what was and can not be. Here it could be and it was. The custom was worth much against the effect of the change: but the change was made, not in the manner of theatro, it was made like the morning that points slowly, first that one can read a letter, then read the letter in the street, at home, in the study, without opening the windows; the light from the blinds is enough to distinguish the letters. I read the letter, badly at first and not at all, and then I read better. He would flee, indeed, he would put the paper in his pocket, run the house, shut me, open the windows, close his eyes. When she opened her eyes and the letter again, the letter was clear and the news was very clear.

Escobar was thus coming from the grave, the seminary, and the Flemish, to sit with me at the table, to receive me on the steps, to kiss me in the study in the morning, or to ask me for the blessing of custom at night. All these actions were repulsive; I tolerated them and practiced them, so that I could not discover myself and the world. But what could conceal the world, could not do it to me, who lived closer to me than anyone. When neither mother nor son were with me, my despair was great, and I swore to kill them both, now suddenly, now slowly, to divide by the time of death all the minutes of the life that is blurred and agonized. But when I returned to the house and saw at the top of the stairs the little creature that wanted and hoped for me, it would have been unarmed and would have differed from day to day.

What happened between me and Capitú in those dark days, will not be noticed here, for being so small and repeated, and already so late that it can not be said without failure or canceled. But the main will. And the main thing is that our times were now continuous and terrible. Before that evil land of truth was discovered, we had others of little hard; it was not long before the sky turned blue, the sun clear, and the sea on the ground, where again we opened the sails that carried us to the islands and the most beautiful coasts of the universe, until another foot of wind ruined everything, and we, , we waited for another bonanza, which was neither late nor dubia, but total, close and firm.

Remind me of these metaphors; they smell of the sea and the tide that killed my friend and I burn Escobar. They also smell like Capitú's hangover. So, since I was always a man of the land, I count that part of my life, as a sailor would tell of his shipwreck.

We had only to say the last word among ourselves; but we read it in the eyes of each other, vibrant and decisive, and whenever Ezekiel came to us he would only separate us. Capitú propoz met him in a collegio, whence he would only come on Saturdays; it cost a lot the boy to accept this situation.

-I want to go with papae! Papae has to go with me! he cried.

It was I who took him one morning, a Monday. It was in the old part of Lapa, near our house. I carried him by the hand, as he had taken the coffin of the other. The little boy was crying and asking questions at every step, if he would go home, and when, and if I would go and watch him ...

-I will.

-Papae does not go!

-Yes I will.

-Jura, papae!

-Yes, yes.

"Daddy does not say he swears."

"I swear."

And there I took it and left it. The temporary absence did not stop the evil, and all the fine art of Capitú to make him attenuate, at least, it was as if it were not; I felt worse and worse. The same new situation has aggravated my passion. Ezekiel was now living in my sight; but his return, at the end of the weeks, or because of the sloppiness in which I stayed, or because the time was going and completing the resemblance, was the return of Escobar more alive and noisy. Even the voice; before long, it seemed to me the same. On Saturdays he tried not to dine at home and only enter when he was sleeping; but I did not escape Sunday in the study when I found myself between newspapers and cars. Ezekiel came in turbulent, expansive, full of laughter and love, because the demo of the little one every time more died for me. I, to tell you the truth, now felt an aversion that could barely disguise her and others. Not being able to completely cover up this moral disposition, he took care not to make contact with him, or as little as he could; now I had work that forced me to close the office, or else I would go out on Sunday to go for a walk around the city, to get my secret.


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