Dom Casmurro

by Machado de Assis

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XXXIII - The Hairstyle

Captain turned his back to me, turning to the mirror. I took it from my hair, I gathered it all and I put it in with the comb, from the forehead to the tips that came down to the waist. Standing there was no place: you did not forget that she was a little taller than me, but even if she was of the same height. I asked him to sit down.

Sit here, it's better.

Sat down. "Let's see the big hairdresser," he said, laughing. I continued to smooth my hair very carefully, and divided them into two equal parts, to make up the two locks. I did not do it at once, not so quickly, as the hairdressers of the officio can suppose, but slowly, slowly, savoring by touch those thick threads, which were part of it. The work was caught, sometimes by chance, sometimes by purpose, to undo the feat and redo it. Her fingers brushed the back of her neck or cheetah-clad sparrows, and the sensation was a delight. But, finally, the hair was coming to an end, no matter how much I wanted it to be interminable. I did not ask the sky that they should be as long as those of the Aurora, because I did not yet know this divinity which the old poets presented to me later; but I wished to comb them all the centuries of the ages, to weave two braids that could encircle the infinite for an unnumbered number of times. If this seems emphatic to you, you unfortunate reader, you have never combed a small one, you have never stood before the teenage hands in the young head of a nympha ... A nympha! I'm all mythological. There is little left, speaking of his hangover eyes, I have written Thetis; I scolded Thetis, let's show nympha; let's just say a beloved creature, a word that involves all Christian and pagan powers. Anyway, I finished the two braids. Where was the ribbon to tie the ends? On the table, a sad piece of broken tape. I gathered up the ends of the braids, joined them by a bow, I touched the work, stretching it here, flattening it there, until I exclaimed:


"Will it be all right?"

-See in the mirror.

Instead of going to the mirror, what do you think Capitú did? Do not forget that she was sitting with her back to me. Capitú melted his head to such an extent that I had to go with my hands and amparaly; the back of the chair was low. I leaned over her, face to face, but changed, the eyes of one in the line of the mouth of the other. I asked her to raise her head, she could get dizzy, her neck hurt. I even told her I was ugly; but even this reason did not.

"Get up, Capitú!"

He did not want to, he did not raise his head, and we looked at each other until she bent her lips, I lowered mine, and ...

Great was the feeling of the kiss; Capitú got up, quickly, I backed up to the wall with a sort of vertigo, speechless, dark eyes. When they cleared me, I saw that Capitú had his on the floor. I did not dare say anything; even if I wanted to, I lacked a language. Stunned and stunned, I could not find a gesture or an impulse to take myself off the wall and throw myself at her with a thousand words, silent and mimetic ... Not mocking my fifteen years, an early reader. At seventeen, Des Grieux (and still more was Des Grieux) had not yet thought of the difference of the sexes.


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