A N A C R I S T I N A C E S A R
Translated from the Portuguese by Mónica de la Torre
I find a quote that worries me: “Generating contradictions
isn't enough; one must explain them.”
Bit by bit I say the poem out loud until I know it by heart. Célia
appears and confronts me, her expression
makes no sense.
I've turned one more year. I read excerpts
of an old diary to my guests. They exchange glances. Such
lovely adolescent cheerfulness, says the
diplomat. I lay on the floor without my pants on. I heard
the word debauchery come out of Célia's fat teeth.
Célia dreamt that I beat her until I smashed
her teeth. I spent all afternoon out of it.
I typed until my fingers cramped. Must have been
minor remorses. Binder says that a diary is an artifice,
that I'm insincere because secretly I want it
to be read. I moonbathe.
Our first sexual encounter. We were
sober. The clouding followed me
again. I was unable to make the proper complaints.
In Marienbad I sit next to him. I lost
my comb. I deliberately recited capillary fantasies,
gibberish, hair rising up my neck. When
Binder, from the bathroom, asked what I was saying, I
replied “Nothing,” funereally.
Célia also took to criticizing my style at
gatherings. Ambiguous and overstated. The excesses
must have been gratuitous. Binder prefers the hypothesis
about seduction. They both act like cats while
I'm shook up by rumbas.
When I was done reading “The Garden of Forking
Paths” my body was overcome by a rash.
We eat duck for lunch. Binder always touches me
on the wrong spot.
Only typing made my itch go away. I copied
thirty pages of Escola de Mulheres in the original
without making mistakes. Célia barged into the living room
thumping her tongue against her teeth. Célia is an obsessive.
I sang and danced in the rain. We had a fight.
Binder refused to feed the crows. He gossiped
about my diary again. He wrote some words.
A spiteful and rotten resort! He calls me a bum,
and worse. I pick myself up with dignity, get up
on the sink, make a fuss, and clog up the grater with pieces
Célia descended the staircase on all fours. I insisted on the
ludicrousness of the act. We eat that
fowl again for lunch. I whine and sigh before going to bed.
I returned to the
n e x t
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