3 de outubro de 2009

Wouldn't we all, someday?

“I used to be a mailboy in the Justice Department in Washington”, he said. “I felt I was becoming transparent. I had the feeling that after I ate dinner, people could see the food in my stomach. That’s just one of the things that was happening to me. I began to fear that chunks of government buildings would dislodge and fall on the top of me. But I think the worst thing of all was when I was walking on a crowded street. You know how people jockey back and forth, the fast walkers trying to overtake the slow walkers. There’s always a lot of shoving and the fast walkers are always stepping on the slow ones and knocking their shoes off. I was a fast walker. I was always hurrying even when I was just going for an aimless stroll, and I used to get annoyed when slow walkers got in my way. One day I was trying to get around an old man who kept drifting toward the curb and blocking my path and suddenly I found myself shouting at him in my own head, shouting inwardly and silently: LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT! I never actually spoke the words. I just shouted them mentally. I began to do that all the time. LOOK OUT, I would say to people. MOVE! MOVE! And I could see the words in my head in big block letters like a cartoon. Then one day a woman slowed down suddenly and I almost crashed into her. I found myself shouting a new word in my head: DIE! If I had said it aloud she probably would have died. It was really a hideous inner scream and I could see the word in my head in red letters with a big exclamation point. I began to realize I was abnormal. I was a person who walked along the street mentally shouting DIE at innocent people. After several months of this I tried to make a conscious effort to stop shouting the word. But it was too late. It just popped into my head automatically. DIE! DIE! I’ll tell you the kind of person I was. I was the kind of person who’s always falling in love with the wives of his best friends.”
“Have you stopped shouting DIE?” Sullivan said.
“I stopped shouting it the day I quit my job and I haven’t shouted it since. I haven’t shouted anything since[…]”.

Don DeLillo, Americana

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