I Think, Therefore I am

It’s not like dreaming.

I don’t see images or hear voices—I feel. I feel sharply. At this moment I cannot hear myself speak, but I feel all the eloquence of the words. The Space is not black; when I am not remembering, it seems white. When I think of the “white,” it becomes translucent. When I say this, I feel rosy bubbles floating in the air like soap suds. And so it continues, like a jumble of wonders, until another memory appears. But it’s definitely not like dreaming.

Also, there aren't any other people here. I’m not here either. I mean, my body. I don’t feel my arms or legs or eyes. I don’t breathe. Sometimes I think I don’t live; if I have died, is this the Hereafter? A delirious emptiness of confusion and uncertainties? What is the purpose? These questions float around like the bubbles, in the Space of my consciousness. 

I know it doesn't make sense, but I've exhausted the possibilities. I don’t know what’s happening or for how long. My memories are traces of an existence, yet it seems that all that is left now is the utopic world of ideas. 

Very rarely do I smell things, and it is much more moving than any visual memory. The smells penetrate my insides and impregnate my soul with the warmest and most comforting feelings. They do not describe a past situation; they bring us back to the same state of spirit we were in when we first lived it. Ah! The smells are indeed precious.

***

The conversation took place with our eyes and gazes, smiles and laughs. It was about what we had in common. About wants.

I proposed, once again, that we go to her house. She accepted. This time she accepted. For a long time the answer to such requests had been automatic. But not that day.

On our way there, the conversations were still the same, nearly unpretentious. We were both thinking of the touch. Of skin, of something. Of the heat from the body, the soul, the understanding.

The road, heavy with fog, now smelled sweet. A shared desire in the delirious sensibility of an inhale. No fear or pressure. Relaxed. No heavy thoughts, no weight at all. 

Again, light laughter and like-minded thoughts, mouths shut. Mouths kissed. 

The house was a dark room. Somber. Melted candle wax on the furniture. Dust and leftover incense filled the air. I didn't notice how tidy—or not—it was. But the masks on the wall reminded me of Michael Myers.

Filled with perversion, her eyes stared at me, overflowing with lust. A malicious half-smile filled with numerous and unpronounceable acts of mischief. What were we talking about? About the things of ideas, minds trying to communicate without any guilt…they were just thoughts. Almost innocent.

In the rush of irrepressible cravings, kisses became bites and gazes crossed, stoking desires. Nails and skin. Tremors. Fears?

The room, more than ever, smelled like incense; resin-stained fingers. My mouth dry from a stolen kiss. We could sway, delirious on the pulsing of each other’s blood.

I was feeling good. I had always liked her. Her memory comforts me now as her lap once did.

The only sadness that sidelines me now is the fruit of so much wanting. And I feel everything is getting colder and colder.

***


“But did you hear about the guy, that girl’s boyfriend?” asked the old woman with eyes of a gossip and hands of a knitter. “He was leaving the building, you know, he crossed without looking and the truck hit him! He’s there, just hooked up to machines. This friend of mine, she works at the hospital, she said the girl goes every day, she cries and talks to him, even with the coma. But she says there’s no way he’ll make it.”

***

I also feel those days of normal things. College, work—sometimes I even remember the bus. Some are like disconnected flashbacks, simple fragments of what used to be my life. But when I feel her, I know it’s something more. It’s as real and exciting as a gust of wind on rainy days; a shiver.

It starts with the smell, always any incense for “cleaning the soul and the house.” And then hair in the wind or her slanted smile. Finally, the whole scene comes to life. I think a lot about that first day I went to her house and took shelter in her soul. The days at the park. Evenings and chimarrão and smoke. And a whole life to be.

***

“Look! When you see the first star of the night, you should make a wish,” my girl instructed.

“I wish that your half-smile will hold and cradle me every time I feel alone,” I confessed.

“You can’t say it, you have to feel it—that makes it stronger than any want. But yes, I intend to be with you, mister, whenever you need it,” she teased.


***

I am no longer sure it happened this way, or at all. It’s as if every time I feel these memories, a piece is forgotten in time. And this uncertainty is felt as if they had yanked it out with forceps. At any moment I will stop being. Any moment, and I think I won’t feel this—who would?

I must be dying, for I feel myself fading slowly and I know that Space is the final frontier. One of the few things that still comforts me is thinking about Descartes, and if I think…


***

On the outside, brain dead.


PÉTRYA BISCHOFF was born in 1994 in Rio Grande do Sul and is currently studying for her teaching degree at Universidade da Região da Campanha (URCAMP).

She acts as a mediator for culture and patrimonial education and wishes to continue her studies in history, cultural patrimony, and philosophy.

Pétrya fell in love with books at the age of five, when she read The Little Prince. Since then she's been reading Agatha Christie, Anne Rice, Victor Hugo, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Orwell, Edgar Alan Poe, and Stephen King―her favorite. Among Brazilian authors, she enjoys Álvares de Azevedo, Gregório de Matos, and Augusto dos Anjos.

Her writing contemplates drama, as well as horror and mysticism, keeping an intimate and reflective atmosphere.


Translated by
ELENA LANGDON


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