Chinches en el Espejo

enero 13, 2009

The Truth of the World

Filed under: Fragmentos — chinchesenelespejo @ 5:47 pm

“(…) Harry was crying by then, Tom said, and for the rest of the dinner he talked about Flora, remembering the last tormented day he’d spent with her before going off to prison. She was in the middle of another crack-up, spinning into the mania that would eventually land her in the hospital for the third time, but she was still lucid enough to recognize Harry as her father and talk to him in cogent sentences. Somewhere or other, she had come across a set of statistics that calculated how many people in the world were born and died each second on a given day. The numbers were stupendous, but Flora had always been good at math, and she quickly extrapolated the totals into groups of ten: ten births every forty-one seconds, ten deaths every fifty-eight seconds (or whatever the figures happened to be). This was the truth of the world, she told her father at breakfast that morning, and in order to get a grip on that truth, she had decided to spend the day sitting in the rocking chair in her room, shouting out the word rejoice every forty-one seconds and the word grieve every fifty-eight seconds to mark the passing of the ten departed souls and celebrate the arrival of the ten newly born.

Harry’s heart had been broken many times, but now it was no more than a pile of ashes clogging up a hole in his chest. On the final day of his freedom, he spent twelve hours sitting on his daughter’s bed watching her rock back and forth in the chair and alternately shout the words rejoice and grieve as she followed the arc of the second hand that moved steadily around the dial of the alarm clock on her bedside table (…)”.

 

From The Brooklyn Follies, by Paul Auster

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