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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Goya, Capricho_43
El sueño de la razón produce monstruos
etching and aquatint, 1797-1799
Museo Nacional de Prado
no copyright infringement intended

(click here for the Romanian version)

I was pretty far from home and wanted to go back. I started trying different shortcuts to shorten my way, but I was getting lost each time, ending up in unexpected places, further away. Suddenly I found myself in front of a building that at first glance seemed to be a monumental palace that I knew well, but it turned out to be something else, somewhere else. I took a shortcut from there, too, and that again put me further away. I was now in front of a hotel, not far from home, but again I could not recognize the place. A famous concert hall near the hotel emerged in front of me to immediately vanish. Something was strange.  I entered a house that I knew and that, as odd as it seems, I used to cross room after room to get on the street where I lived. Here I noticed the presence of an old friend. We hadn't met for many years. We went into a room where we saw another old acquaintance. They started talking together about a third one, who was now under criminal investigation for some unclear stuff. They intended to testify in his favor and asked me to join. I considered a little what to do, then I followed them. The two friends had meanwhile merged in a unique person. I followed him into a room, then in another room, then he vanished. I passed from room to room and got outside, to find myself in a completely unknown place. I realized it was very far from home, in the opposite side of the town. I considered taking a cab, but when I looked into my wallet, I found only a photo and a small excerpt from a newspaper. I decided to give a call, as I had my cell phone with me, but the screen was oddly white and remained stubbornly white any key I was pressing. I suddenly realized that in fact I had forgotten all that happened since I had left my home, where I had gone, on what purpose, anything. I had lost my memory for a duration of time  that I could not specify. I realized that such things would happen again and again from now on and that it would be useless to try hiding them. I wondered if I was not dreaming, so I pinched myself. This way I could see whether I was dreaming or not, so I repeated pinching, without getting a definite answer. I woke up next to my wife, you fell asleep with the head on your laptop, she said. But now I was in bed! No, I was back in that distant place. So  the discussion with  my wife had been nothing more than a short dream: I had been asleep for a few moments while standing in the street. I examined myself for a second to see if I was properly dressed, No, I wasn't, at all. I pinched myself once more, again without success. It was a hopeless situation, and I was horrified. Something was telling me that the only chance was to keep on pinching. But I could not do it anymore, my fingers were refusing to obey. I tried to scream for help, I had no voice. Was I slowly vanishing?


(A Life in Books)



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