David Arioch – Jornalismo Cultural

Jornalismo Cultural

The tassels and the beanstalk

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Gave me the impression that they wanted to break through the roof and hit the skies


I stopped bothering them until the evening I met the tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”, by the english writer Benjamin Tabart (Art: Lindsey Bell)

One day, when I was six years old, me and my brother Douglas were at home, in the living room, flanked by colossal ornamental tassels of my mother. They were stained and so beautiful that we were around them, watching and touching: “It looks like hair corn, but much more colorful!”, I said.

The way they struggled to touch the ceiling, when the breeze invaded the living room, gave me the impression that they wanted to break through the roof and hit the skies. Their slender profiled shapes invited our tiny hands to tickle each other with their fringes. In a short time, and redder than one of the tassels, we rolled on the floor laughing, scratching our heads, faces and arms. The nudges on my ears intensified the guffaws.

The Shambles were so big that the parquet floor, freshly polished by my mother, vibrated and earned fingerprints and marks of elbows and foot soles. The truth is that the tassels served us up to play hide and seek. They suffered in our presence, and sometimes I suspected that they fluttered more by fear than by fortuitous incidence of light air.

“Here come these crazy little boys,” perhaps they thought, twitching timidly. It looked like they cowered with our arrival, as a girl committed to not be noticed. Often, when I came home from school, I threw my backpack on the bed and went to the living room. I ran around the tassels, imitating an indian warrior apprentice. Occasionally, I stuck my head between them, observing the absence of lamp’s light. I closed my eyes and I felt a chimeric and auspicious perfume.

I imagined a raging river, where I could flow like its waters, if I threw myself without fear. With the coloring pens, I made some scratches on my face. I howled with a fake voice and continued to bother the tassels until it was time to go to school. One day, I dragged the tassel to change its position and I felt a force pushing me almost to exhaustion. While people say that the tassels had no life, I was surprised to see a little water on the parquet floor, around and below the tassels.

I thought the tassels had been crying for me and I stopped bothering them until the evening I met the tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”, by the english writer Benjamin Tabart. In the evening, at home, I lay down on the bunk with swollen eyes. I digressed by the story told by teacher Agnes, and considered: “If they have no life, why do they look bigger? Strange… very strange… ”

The next day, my doubts increased exponentially when I saw that they were bigger than ever. I told my brother Douglas what happened and he also came to confirm my suspicion. The tassels were pretending they were a beanstalk.

A few minutes before lunch, came the certainty that something needed to be done. There were beans around the tassels. We smiled, we scratch our hands and looked at each other, mechanically moving the head up and down in agreement. “You mean, you can not pretend anymore? Uh-huh …”, I concluded.

The next day, while my mother and my uncle talked on the porch, my brother and I went to the living room. Before that we looked at the surroundings to make sure we would not be surprised by anyone. Douglas took out a lighter and I took another. Face to face, we nodded our heads, and lit the two – touching the tassels that burned like silent giant squib, who could not whistle.

Soon they became an incandescent nothing. The fire went up so fast that I fell back, feeling my body warm and my vision slightly blurred. Tilting my head back, I saw the ceiling glowing. The fire, alive as we had never seen, earned transfigured forms until the moment that Uncle Lu, with the help of my mother, came to prevent it from spreading.

We watched everything in our inertia. The rapid intervention did not prevent the liner from staying black. And so we earned our own mourner sky without moon or stars, just a static darkness that overshadowed the fortuitous glimmer trying to illuminate the tassels remained.

We were grounded for a long time. Nevertheless, we felt like heroes, believing that we avoided the giant people eater to ever come down the beanstalk transformed into tassels. “It would not be long until he comes. We did well”, we agreed. After a beating belt and a week without going out to play, my mother discovered the reason why we put fire in tassels.

On the day of revelation, I learned that before the fire, the vase of the tassels was replaced by another equal, but with shallow background, giving the impression that they were larger. And the water around the tassels was poured in the morning when my mother went to our bedroom with a bucket of water to clean the floor.

“The grain fell to the ground as I ran around the room with an open package of beans to answer the phone”, she told us. We listened in silence, we undersood and we acknowledged our guilt. Back to the bedroom, we smiled at each other. I threw a grain of raw beans at my brother and he did the same. It was not necessary to articulate words. “True innocence is ashamed of nothing”, said Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Written by David Arioch

October 12th, 2016 at 12:46 am

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