Time is the Best Answer

Is it the best solution? I don’t know for sure, but I have a specific purpose, a specific logic, a motive and a reason: not to talk to you ever again. Why? Because you’re no longer part of my life. On the day when you said in the clearest words possible, “I don’t ever want to talk to you again,” I didn’t know where to fit them in my heart. Those were not words; they were sharp steel, cutting and ripping. And so, day after night, moon after sun, after such a long time of bottled sorrow, you were gone. I thought I couldn’t live without you, but I could, and each day I did, I realized I was alive. I was alive, yes. How would it be to live without you? I just found that out and I also found out that nothing had changed. I said goodbye and I lived. Living, dying, being born, having sex, shouting, closing my fists. I’m just a man after all, just like those who pass through bus turnstiles, who dream and skip over holes. I don’t know about obvious things in life, but I know I can live without you (and what a joy to know!), and knowing that this is now obvious would make me get up, fill a cup with water and drink it.
Or eat, or sleep, or work. A cure, yes, I can think of a cure. I am cured. Healthy. But you’re not a disease, an illness, a plague. Oh, no, you’re definitely not an illness. But who said we don’t get sick from good things? I wish I knew about other people, but all I know is that you made me sick and it took me a long time to recover. Wait a moment. My heart didn’t stop beating, I didn’t stop loving or suffering again. Why do I say in every direction that you’ve hurt me so much? Because this way I make the last remaining memories of you fade away. I’ve kept your tender look, your smile, your words saying my name, there was something honest about the days we shared. I looked back at the years that followed after you. They were good. As good as the years that came before you. I’m happy for them, for all those years. Even your years were good. Surprise.
You were just like the others, neither better nor worse, just one of. One of.
One of them. Those very selected people who made me love as much as made me sad. Those people called past, who don’t come back. Why didn’t you leave, why did you insist so much on not leaving? It was I who didn’t untie the boat from the dock. So I released what was keeping you and I didn’t want to see you leave, I closed my eyes to avoid seeing the direction you chose and saying goodbye. This was how I decided it should be. No farewells. Only here, on paper. Saying goodbye is something to be spelled out and painted on the blank page.
If you went north, south, east or west, my goodbye goes out in all these directions. I just want to say farewell to all directions.
Waving like a lunatic to every side without even seeing where you went. My goodbye goes out in all directions. Yes, I must be just that, a lunatic who doesn’t know where to wave and who waves with his eyes shut.
Without eyes I can’t see where you went, and without eyes I can’t cry, and without crying I can’t suffer. I know now how everything is so obvious and I’ll stop fighting against it. The obvious. The logic. The continuity. Hurray to the clock hands that stop only due to lack of winding or worn out batteries. I’ll see that the ninety-degree angle indicates nine o’clock, twenty-one o’clock, three o’clock, fifteen o’clock. Every day, every night, every night, every day. There isn’t any food in the house, I must buy some and cook it. I need newspapers to read, clothes to wear. Or at least I need to shower. I know that in the shower my memories of you won’t be washed away, because they don’t exist anymore. Hurray to the skepticism of things. Hurray to those who believe in time as a solution. I believe in time as a solution, hurray to me. Hurray to what? I came out injured from all of this. Time is the best answer, my Time and the Wind. Everything went by, went by with closed eyes. When I opened them, I saw the sea, the sky, fast clouds. Before me, in front of me and after me.

RAFAEL CARVALHO was born in São Paulo in 1978 and graduated in Languages and Literature at the São Paulo University (USP).

He works at Editora Patuá and has published two books: A estante deslocada [The Displaced Bookshelf] and A cor do sal [The Color of Salt].

Translated by