La vida mortecina / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Moribund Life

An involuntary glance had awakened passion. Affect returned from its lethargy in the manner of a fantastic being, of everlasting life and subject to a rhythm of activity and inertia.
     My house stood on the extreme end of a despoiled road. I lived far from diversions, engulfed in laborious thoughts. I was especially tending to the health of the soul and studying a lugubrious print, in which the angel of a prophetic threat dominates the solitude of abolished worlds.
     A memory was interrupting and wasting the unpleasant meditation. We had boldly saved ourselves from the calamity that took place in a carnival party. I took the extraordinary woman in my arms and pulled her to the shore of the old river, full of mud, where the ship of clamor burned.
     She was warning me now, by means of a confidante, of her project to visit me. I was preparing myself to receive her, in the secret of night, dressing according to the pageantry of the century. I had retired from the wardrobe the sword, the blue doublet and the mortarboard incarnate with a black feather.
     I awaited her sitting on the balcony and in the open air, until the moment the day broke. The humid air and the darkness increased my unease. I distinguished the woman’s profile, faint amid the sendals of dawn, on the line of the horizon.
     The confidante came soon afterward to ask me about the course and fate of her mistress. I could not find the means to answer and calm her impatience.
     The fruitless vigil had disheartened me and brought me back to remorse and tyrannical devotion. I discarded the gallant clothes and chose the mourning suit and the rosary to expiate the velleity of the interview.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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