El malcasado / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Unhappily Married Man

     I was the seneschal for the queen of the banquet. We had constituted a jocund society of brief existence, recalling the statutes of the jovial republic established at the beginning of the Decameron. The fervent cicadas disturbed, at times, from the olive trees.

     Pages or, that is, vain attendants were training the women’s favorite dogs for dancing. We were crying from the laughter as we contemplated the gesture of a crane with imitative instincts. We were reproducing a few moments from the extravagant genius of Aristophanes.

     When I returned from the countryside to the city, redeemed from the faun-like petulance, the magnates of my relation and company came to my encounter, merchants habituated to hereditary wealth. For a moment they abandoned their distinguished behavior and the dais from where they would proclaim their dignity and they enunciated a single measured phrase, as a sign of condolence. My noble lady had left this century.

     An unknown hand had deposited, before my desertion, a crown of livid flowers on the table of her chapel. That crown, adhered to the dead woman’s forehead, also descended to the kingdom of shades. It enhanced the languid face and made it seem like that of a saint in the routine art of a monk.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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