David Arioch – Jornalismo Cultural

Jornalismo Cultural

Archive for the ‘Short Story’ tag

Children of the White Gold Cinema

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I saw the tears streaming down his face, wetting his plaid shirt buttoned up at the point of his neck

The White Gold Cinema, one of the great entertainment points of the population of Paranavaí (Archive: Osvaldo Del Grossi)

I am not part of a generation that has the strongest and clearest memories of the White Gold Cinema, one of the great entertainment points of the population of Paranavaí, in the Northwest of Paraná, until 1993. When the cinema was closed, I was still a child. Despite this, I went to the Gold Cinema for a few years of my childhood, and I have fond memories of that time.

My first time at the movies was a session of “The Bumbling Heroes – An Adventure in the Jungle”, on a weekend in 1988. By then, the biggest screen I had seen was the 21-inch TV, covered by a box of varnished wood, which was in the living room. Even so, I was happy watching cartoons on it.

As soon as my brother, my mother and I arrived in front of the White Gold Cinema, in Manoel Ribas Street, in the downtown, I paid attention to the people lined around the box office. Tiny, I watched everything in the proportionality of my stature. I saw more shoes, legs and belts than faces. Except, of course, when people were as little as I was.

Before we got inside the cinema, I walked slowly and backwards along the sidewalk, trying to observe the height of the White Gold’s building, but it was impossible for me. So, I thought that was the biggest movie theater in the world. Who knows, maybe it crossed the skies and had direct contact with the paradise they talked about in school.

The gentle popcorn seller smiled at me, noticing through my large, cylindrical black eyes that it was my movie debut. “Is it your fist time?” You’ll like it and you’ll want to come back many times”, he said, straightening a small amount of sweet pop corn, preventing it from mixing with the salty one.

Warm and smelling, the popcorn popped into the cart. For a moment, I believed, in my boyish illusion, that maybe the popcorn had a life, and wants to go to the movies to watch “The Bumbling Heroes”. By my side, prevailed a sweet aroma that pacified the most bewildering children – yes, it was an effective white-hot soothing odor.

It reminded me of the airy red tabebuia tree, that I saw every day near my house, when I pointed with my finger and shouted: “Look that sweet popcorn tree!” On the other side of the popcorn cart, the smell of popcorn changed, as well as the public. The adults, especially the men, approached and asked: “Give me the salty one, please!”

Skilled, the popcorn seller knew the exact amount of popcorn to fill every bag. I watched his grooved hands glittering in front of the small yellow lamp that glowed and gilded his wrinkled face. It was that way, whenever he leaned in or steeled himself. That was his spectacle, and at the entrance of the White Gold Cinema, nobody was more important than the popcorn seller.

On that day, before we went to the cinema, five shoeshine boys, aged between 6 and 14, approached. They leaned against a wall next to the White Gold Cinema and, as the ragamuffins boys from Buñuel’s “The Young and the Damned”, started smoking, watching families getting out of cars and crossing the sidewalk.

“If I had a father or a mother I would not be in this life, brother! Being poor and alone is not easy. No, sir! Look how much luxury those kids have”, said one of the four boys to his friends. Without a word, they just shook their heads in agreement, crushing little butts with their little feet.

Dirty, with grimy nails and the nauseating smell of cheap cigarettes, a shoeshine boy no more than 12 years old lead a group of kids. As someone hesitant about entering or leaving, he folded his arms and raised his face as one of the entrance lights highlighted his dubious expression of satisfaction

“Guys, listen up! Quickly! This movie ‘Bumbling Heroes’ is very good. There’s only one bad thing. Mussum and Zechariah die at the end. Thanks! Bye! “He shouted and ran laughing, while his dark and curly hair was fluttering. At that moment, he became an antagonist worthy of the villain Scar.

The boy dragged his shabby slippers and, with his companions, went down to Pará Street. Some children did not care about the revelation, but others were so angry that they wanted their parents to call the police or do something about it. For good, no one pursued them.

Inside the Gold White, I was stunned by the out of sight seats. “There are one thousand five hundred seats here. Look up there, it’s like an opera”, my mother told us, watching our reactions. Unhurried, we spun around the mastodontic room, trying to see all the details.

Luckily, there were vacant seats in the front row. Then, we walked there, crossing hallways and listening to the sounds of spectators eating popcorn, talking, making fun of someone and hugging each other. Near us, the usher accompanied everything with its indefectible aura of firefly. He felt like the leader of a coliseum where nothing would happen without his permission, especially when the lights went out.

As soon as I sat down, I observed a boy in mended clothes sitting next to me, accompanied by his mother. His name was Juscelino, and he was a year or two older than me. It was also his first time at the movies. I noticed his anxiety because his small feet kept swinging, as did mine.

His trembling hands sweated so much that every time he wiped them on the sides of his plaid pants. Juscelino was talking to me, keeping his face toward the disproportionate projection screen. I thought he was excited because of the movie, until I noticed something different in his eyes, a crystal clarity like I’ve never seen before. Naturally, the mother revealed that her son was born blind.

Juscelino could not see anything. Still, his excitement at White Gold Cinema surpassed even mine. The sounds and smells that came to him were like immaterial gifts, memorials. With a rare auditory and olfactory acuity, Juscelino could even see what people were doing or eating in the furthest seats- and he liked to discuss everything with me.

Son of peasants from Alto Paraná, he arrived in Paranavaí by bus in the morning, and stayed waiting for hours for the ticket office to open. His father could not participate in the big event, because the savings just barely covered the expenses of his wife and child. “It’s going to start, mom!” Said the little boy seconds before the projector started showing the movie, as if he had a gift for omens.

From beginning to end, Juscelino was completely silent, trying to absorb as much sound information as possible. Occasionally, he moved about the chair without making a sound, worried about bothering people. Juscelino, my brother and I were united by an experience that would never be repeated. Our greatest discoveries were visual, and those of Juscelino were auditory. Perhaps even richer than ours, as he put himself in the position of creator by putting forth to the creativity of everything he heard.

Still in the dark, I saw the tears streaming down his face, wetting his plaid shirt buttoned up at the point of his neck. At the end, with the return of the lights, I asked him what it was like to watch a movie at the cinema without being able to see. My mother scolded me, but Juscelino’s mother did not mind the question.

“I can not explain it right, but I see, yes, I just do not see with my eyes. I see everything I carry inside me”, he justified before taking hold of his mother’s hand and walking in short steps toward the exit. The artificial lighting contrasted and harmonized with the compliant light of the newly arrived portentous moon.

On the corner, at the intersection between Pará and Manoel Ribas Street, the five shoeshine boys, children living as adults, drummed their boxes. They were seated on the curb, immersed in false smiles and sullen stares, trying to exist for a world that scarcely recognized their true intentions.

Returning home on foot, we crossed the street. As we passed them, the same boy, who caused the commotion at the entrance to the cinema, pulled me by the arm and, with an implied look, asked “Hey, my friend. Can you tell us the story of the movie you saw there at the cinema?”


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Written by David Arioch

March 30th, 2017 at 1:28 am

The death of the lady next door

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The announcement was made by two half-blooded dogs (Painting: Jonelle Summerfield)

A lady who lived on my street died. The announcement was made by two half-blooded dogs attempting to invade the house. They howled and left claw marks on the kitchen door. In a few minutes, they carved a tangle of risks, syncretism of sadness and despair. They felt her absence before witnessing her dead, fallen in the kitchen, victim of a stroke.

Together, they dug a hole in the yard, a naive attempt to reach her. They did not let themselves down. They just left the pit when they heard someone opening the gate. It was her son. “Mother … mother … I have arrived!” Lorenzo and Matino approached the boy. With muzzles full of dirt, they barked simultaneously.

Tuneless by their fatigue and disarticulation of surprise, they lamented as orphaned children who have not yet learned to speak. Tears streamed down, as did the long, fragile howl that floated like water wires drifting uncertainly through the mouths of the wolf. The son opened the door and the dogs moved forward into the kitchen. They licked the hands of the woman who no longer existed.

The boy covered his mouth and screamed, suppressing the sound and swallowing the hot breath like a burst of fire. He wiped the tears from his T-shirt and called the Fire Department. “There is nothing more to be done.” Circling the body, Lorenzo and Matino howled again. With a husky voice, the son shouted: “Sorry, mother! Forgive me!” Without making a sound, the dogs approached and licked the boy’s hands.

With the arrival of funeral workers, they packed the body in a PVC bag and left. The son went behind, in his car, accompanied by Lorenzo and Matino. With their heads through the window, they kept howling at nothing, or at all, since life celebrates death as much as death celebrates life.

Written by David Arioch

January 18th, 2017 at 11:14 am

The beard and the boy Yusuf

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“I never imagined that one day I would see you speaking Portuguese. Amazing, son!”


In 1957, the boy named Yusuf died in Port Said (Photo: Copy)

When I was much younger, I had never considered the possibility of growing a beard. The truth is that I did not even know if there was a beard to grow. However, from an early age I was intrigued by the number of bearded thinkers and writers until the early 20th century.

Among the Brazilians, my earliest memories of my time at the college involve authors like Machado de Assis, José de Alencar and Gregório de Matos. I do not know whether the fact of growing a beard was a preference with aesthetic motivation or whether it had a relationship with the zeitgeist. In addition, I also recognize that in the past it was customary to keep facial hair to hide imperfections and scars caused by diseases such as smallpox.

Thinking internationally, Plato, Chaucer, Melville, Victor Hugo, Ibsen, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Whitman, Bram Stoker, Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Bernard Shaw and Ginsberg are some bearded men who come to my mind at this time. And analyzing periods, it is fair to say that from the beginnings of philosophy and literature, the beard was present, and here I speak not as a form of social distinction, but as a resource of personal construction. However, today, unlike other times, bulky beards and long beards are almost always associated with hipsters, terrorists and religious fanatics. Of course, political parties.

Thinking about it, I remembered a singular experience after I became bearded. One day, I left around 8:00 am and went to the house of a man named Francisco, who arrived in Paranavaí in 1944. He agreed to give me an interview about the colonization times of the Northwest of Paraná. In front of his house, I rang the bell and watched a little dog roll around inside his wooden house.

It was not long when someone shouted from the distant porch: “Come in, my son. Come to me. “I opened the gate, climbed a few steps, and crossed the garden. There he was, tall and thin, sitting on a comfy brown chair with beige upholstery. Beneath his feet was a scattering of sand inside a small box. “What a nice old man!”, I thought, and then we shook our hands. Suddenly, he looked me in the eyes and said: “I bet you understand it more than I do.” I did not catch the message and I noticed his feet sinking slowly into the sand.

“Sand is life, isn’t it? How many shades of sand can you recognize?”, he asked. I was confused and I laughed, suspecting that the man was drunk or under heavy medication. Still, I replied: “It depends on the incidence of the sun, the factors of action and reaction. Hmm…thinking better, I suppose, I can identify 25 to 30. ”

– Splendid! I already imagined something like that. I was suspicious when I saw you”, he said.

And the conversation went a completely different way, leaving me sometimes hesitant. We talked almost nothing about his life, because most of the questions were asked by him. “I never imagined that one day I would see you speaking Portuguese. Amazing, son!”, he pointed out in the first ten minutes with a dubious smile.

He digressed heavily, and occasionally asked to see the palm of my hand. “You may not see it, but the traces of your hand say a lot about your beard. And whoever says that a beard is nothing more than hair on the face is a fool. It says a lot about the ways of a man’s life. It, in its sinuosity, is like a physical extension of your own mind. I know this because I have been growing a beard for almost 60 years”, he told, touching his gaunt white beard that covered his chin. So, he regretted that at the age of 86 he was no longer bearded like 20 years earlier.

I also noticed his damp eyes as he bent over and slid his index finger into the sandbox. Some tears dripped painfully, as if coming out of an eyedropper. Seeing that, I apologized and suggested that maybe we’d better schedule the interview for another day. Trembling, Francisco got up and asked me to give him a hug.

“Of course, mister Francisco”, I replied.

When his translucent wrinkled hands touched me, I heard his restrained sobs and his heart pounding. “Now, I could even shave my beard,” he whispered, weakened. Soon, he faded. I screamed and his wife appeared. She asked me to put him on the bed. Fainted, his expression was serene and I saw his meager smile. Respectfully, I did not ask for explanations, I said goodbye and walked to the porch, where I found a picture of a seven or eight-year-old child sitting on the shoulders of Francisco still young.

The following week, I discovered that the smiling little boy in the photo was an Egyptian orphan who would be adopted by Francisco, a former soldier of the Suez Battalion. In 1957, the boy named Yusuf died in his arms, after being shot in his head by an Israeli soldier on a mission in Port Said. “I will never shave my beard again in my life. Never! I swear by everything in this world, unless Yusuf returns to life”, shouted Francisco in tears that day.

Written by David Arioch

December 27th, 2016 at 11:54 pm

The fisherman and the golden fish

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It was a glinting golden as the first light as the sun was thrown on the Paraná River


One hour later, Orlando was startled to hear something crashing against the hull’s boat (Photo: Copy)

As he did every day, Orlando washed his face, brushed his teeth, prepared his stuff, said goodbye to his wife and granddaughter, and left the house in the silent darkness of the night. During the walk to the shore’s river, he listened to cicadas and crickets singing with such eagerness that seemed like they looked forward to the dawn.

When he touched a bamboo wall a few meters from the riverbank, Orlando lit the straw cigarette and watched the idle sun on the horizon appearing behind the water curtains – casting a glow that gilded the river as far as the eye could see. “What a beautiful thing! This view makes it worth waking up so early every day”, said Orlando downing and blowing a grizzly smoke coming out hot and then cold, leaving a wheezing and a bitter taste on his tongue. He remembered the exhaustive pleas of his wife asking him to stop smoking. Stubbornly, he still was smoking two or three cigarettes every morning.

Before the last smoke, Orlando’s Stern face gave way to a candid laugh, making his stomach hurt while he noticed eight frogs croaking and playing at the heart of a swamp. “It seems like a contest to see who sings louder. And there are those who say that the animals aren’t smart”, he commented when the smallest frog dodged a blow by the biggest toad.

Without distractions, Orlando walked to the river, knelt, revered sky, earth and water; rose on the boat, untied it, straightened his stuff and started the engine. He created wavelets and cut the water that became less turbid and more clear as it distanced from the shore.

When the fisherman was massaging his few gray hairs, the temperate and humid wind brought youthful memories about departed friends and deceased parents. Since he was 60 years old, he was tired, but not from the actions of the time on your body. The striated face did not bother him. Orlando simply didn’t know what was wrong with his life, so he continued doing what he always did. He was a fisherman since childhood and lived in five islands within the Paraná River. He fished a lot in 45 years, so he no longer took pleasure in plundering the treasure’s nature.

– Since they created the dam, many species of fish are gone. That’s what everyone says, including me. But do we also have no fault in it? All those years of fishing must have traumatized nature – reflected Orlando, scratching slightly his wrinkled chin – burned by frequent sun exposure.

For decades, he smiled in photographs, holding fish up to 180 pounds. He supplied many fishmongers in a distance of over 63 miles. But in the last five years, Orlando stopped seeing the animals taken from the water as if they were trophies.

In late afternoon, he chafed when his friend Larry, one of his clients, talked about disruptive business, claiming he was delivering few fish.

“Looks like you forgot how to fish. I know some kids out there who already are leaving you behind, my friend. You will say you’ve forgotten that you called Hook Eye? Let’s get smart here!”, complained Larry. During the crossing of the Alligator’s Lagoon, Orlando recalled the episode in the fish shop. He said nothing to Larry that day. He felt under pressure, but did not even understand the true reason.

Around 5 p.m., after visiting the Bahia River, he returned to shore. Discouraged, he saw the house itself highlighting on the hillside. He turned off the boat’s engine and kept silent, watching the water and the sky. The fisherman didn’t want to be there and delayed the inevitable, embittering the volatility of an existential crisis.

Saddened, he dozed, keeping his head propped up on the lifejacket. The night wanted to be born and he had not caught any fish. “What will they think of me?”, he asked. The sun was pious and covered his body with a warm light. One hour later, Orlando was startled to hear something crashing against the hull’s boat.

Faltering, he prepared the fishing rod and cast it into the water with dexterity, as if whipping the riverbed. In less than a minute, the fisherman felt the bending rod and something biting the hook. As he struggled to pull it, a fish moved violently under water. It was a glinting golden as the first light as the sun was thrown on the Paraná River.

Laying unwillingly in the boat, the 13 pound fish fought with vigor, struggling on a piece of canvas. Orlando scowled, clenched his teeth and avoided looking directly at the animal. His eyes ached. Still, he took the fish and wrapped it in canvas to not have to watch him and walked to the fish shop. There, he put the golden on a table with traces of viscera and dried blood and shouted:

– Hey, is anybody here? Where are you, Larry? I came to bring a golden fish. You always complain about the shortage of this one.

– I’m here, Orlando. In the back! Come and give me a hand. I need to change the freezer’s place.

Even reluctantly, Orlando helped Larry. Back at the reception, the golden was no longer there, only the piece of canvas that was rapped around him. The fisherman brought his hands to his head and his heart raced.

– I don’t believe this! It is not possible that someone took the fish here! What am I going to do now?

One hundred meters downhill, Orlando was shocked when he saw the golden fish jumping, trying to get close to the shore. Then he ran to him and before anyone else did, took him in his arms and went down without worrying about the slipper straps that undid on the way.

With dark eyes and a mouth that opened and closed all the time, the fish stopped struggling, and for the first time the fisherman saw his own reflection on the animal’s scales. More than anything, the golden longed for water. And the smell emanating from his body was not of flesh, but of life. In the light of the setting sun, as soon as the fish was thrown into the river, Orlando was reborn and the golden fish disappeared.

The Beard

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I never imagined that I would go through such an unpredictable and uncomfortable situation


He came home. Beside the bed was a comb and a series of products

I woke up and I kept lying in bed with a strange feeling. Even though I did not see him reflecting on the ceiling, I noticed my face had diminished. When I pressed my thumb and index finger of the right hand on my chin, I shuddered. It was plain. There was no thread of my full black beard. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom without feeling the beard touching my bare chest.

 In the mirror, my face looked so small. “No! That’s not me! It’s not right! What happened?” Even my head had shrunk. ”Dove head, pinhead!, I judged myself. And to make matters worse, I had rejuvenated at least ten years, which bothered me most of all.

Hairless, my face was so fulgid that I had to partially close my eyes and protect myself with my palms facing the mirror. I never imagined that I would go through such an unpredictable and uncomfortable situation. I left the room and slammed the door. I felt the breeze touching my skin unaccustomed to the absence of hairs.

My face was vulnerable, extremely sensitive and unprotected. Entangled, I went to the bathroom and poured some water over my face. “How strange to see the water touching my skin so easily.” I brushed my teeth and went back to the bedroom. I sat up in bed and I thought, without veiling melancholy.

 I definitely did not shave myself the night before. I did not even approach any kind of blade or razor. Where did the flat face come from? I was irritated, believing that some covetous man had stolen my beard in the dead of night.

I remembered the envious unbearded men, who were not few. There it was always one or another at each corner, looking at my beard at the level of my chest, fluttering with the breeze strokes. They showed their teeth pretending cordiality. Scoundrels! They must have banded together last night.

I leaned to the floor and began to look at it closely, trying to find at least one strand of my beard. There was nothing. Nothing! Nothing! The conspiracy was so well planned that there was no trace left. “How? How? How? What a terrible nightmare!”, I monologued, disconcerting my eyebrows.

I wore jeans, a t-shirt, a pair of sneakers, and I walked to the streets in an attempt to ease the agitation that consumed me. The sky remained clear, and the sun spread its light unreservedly. It was a beautiful day. To my surprise, friends and acquaintances did not recognize me. I got close to a comrade, and he frowned, spat on the ground and shouted that he had never seen me.

“Stand back, sir, stay away or I’ll call the police,” another man warned.

It’s all right. I crossed the Rondon Street and entered the Bank of Brazil. I went through the door and, as I always did, I approached the security guard to greet him. The man dodged and threatened to hit me.

“Do not come any closer to me like that!” Never again, sir! I could hurt you”, he declared.

Without saying a word, I stepped back, picked up a password for the bank tellers, and I sat in a blue armchair, watching the electronic panel. Worried about the time, I opened my wallet, but I could not find the bank card. “What am I going to do? More time wasted, frankly …” Anxious and cranky, I took a deep breath, and stared at a fixed point in a small transparent space in the partition separating the clientele from the cashiers.

I did not believe what I saw. I condemned myself to insanity. Something furry and slender in his smallness walked across the partition carrying an orange card. He had no human hands, but improvised fingers with his own hair. When he noticed, I was watching him. After, he stepped forward in a rush through the legs of the security guard. He was like a little king of the maneuvers.

Bastard! Ungrateful! Disgraceful! You little son of a bitch! How could you do this to me? I screamed into my own consciousness, itching in my mouth.

It was my beard! On the way out of the bank, he swung my card and ran off with his pelous feet, which kept hygienic distance from the floor, as if floating. For fear of drawing attention, or fearful of the embarrassment of being ignored, I walked in disguise. Outside, my beard ran lightly, almost disappearing around the corner.

In desperation, I put my hands to my head and shouted:

“Stop! Stop that beard around the corner! Look! Looks like a fluey little man! But it is not! He is faking it! It is a sneaky being! It’s a beard! Do not let that hairy crook run away! He stole my card! You damn bastard!”

Almost nobody heard me. The few who attended my cry, laughed and shouted: “Another drunk in this city! Get out of here, you crazy one! I’m sick of all this bullshit!” One of them called a police car as I ran down the sidewalk. Close to touching my hands on the fledgling beard, I felt someone pull me by my arm.

The scent of the beard faded like the most ephemeral of illusions. Rascal, he stopped running and began to walk slowly, shaking my card and making fun of my situation. Before entering the Hairdresser’s House, he stretched the ends of his long mustache, straightened his hairy ass, and rocked it before crossing the threshold.

I wanted to squeeze him and sharpen him with punches and kicks, but I could not do that with my beard. I needed it whole. Him? I do not know! How to define a beard? Male or female? Whatever! I was taken to the police station. They made the report, qualifying me as an offender, disturbing the peace. There, I met three co-workers and, once again, I was not recognized by anyone.

“No, I’ve never seen him. I know a person by that name, but it’s not him. It must be mere coincidence”, told one of the comrades.

I paid bail and I was released. With nothing to lose, I told the investigator everything that happened that morning. He recommended an appointment with his brother-in-law, a psychiatrist. Enraged, I returned to my home recognizing the defeat, and decided to write a story about the disappearance of my beard. The newspaper did not want to publish it, describing it as implausible. It’s all right. I was happy to publish a note on the online classifieds.

“Wanted – black bulky closed beard. It has independent profile, male shape, athletic posture, spacious walk, elongated mustache, handlebar type, and hides between the hair an orange bank card. Good reward will be paid for any information about his whereabouts.”

Only the most cunning opportunists responded to the announcement, bringing me other people’s beards, and with their varied colors and shapes. Most of them, probably collected from the barbers shop’s floor.

At the end of the afternoon, I gave up looking for him. The next morning, when I got up and scratched my chin, I ran to the bathroom mirror. I just smiled. He came home. Beside the bed was a comb and a series of products. Yeah. I should have taken better care of my beard.

Written by David Arioch

December 16th, 2016 at 12:09 am

A body that suffers

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I stopped walking for a few months, as soon as my body took control of my life

I still do not move and I can only think about the last time I stood up (Art: Mindcage, by Rodrigo Aviles)

I still do not move and I can only think about the last time I stood up (Art: Mindcage, by Rodrigo Aviles)

I woke up one day and realized that my body was no longer mine. I tried to move myself on the bed, but it did not work. I belonged to him, but he did not belong to me. So, I kept lying there, watching the ceiling amid plaintive darkness. There were misshapen and oscillating traits. No! More than that! A dense and clear filth that reminded me of those awful bacteria that I saw in biology classes in my teen years.

I had never noticed how the liner could be so dirty. I think that concentrates the core of our rotting. Or, was it my imagination? Maybe, I was the bacterium itself, graced with a panoramic view of myself. Who knows! The truth is that my breath was still stinking and noisy. It was horrible! My nose simulated a landfill, spreading slurry every exhale. And what dripped from my nose, I didn’t feel or see. After all, I was relegated to a mere spectator of the repulsive spectacle that used my body as a stage.

How I struggled to silence my mind. Of course I could not! I closed my eyes for a few minutes, and the ambient temperature dropped to five or six degrees Celsius. I shivered more by hate than cold. I was covered with a white comforter, old and dingy, with some yellowish spots – circles of piss that damn neighbor’s cat gave me as a present when he invaded my wardrobe. What a bastard!

It’s alright! Soon I forgot the cat and wanted to get up to give a lesson in mother nature. How I wish to drag her by the hair. Maybe with each wad of hair pulled out, she would rise a degree of temperature. With 15 wads, I would leave her partially bald and we would have 20 or 21 degrees. And what a victory! And I could still use those hairs to make a duster or a little curtain for a puppet show.

Rhinitis, bronchitis and sinusitis, sinusitis, bronchitis and rhinitis, it was difficult to find out who wanted to screw me up. Dammit! Who am I trying to fool? I really smoked! And I smoked a lot! I’ve consumed four packs a day! I was a chimney more effective than any iron horse ever seen. I am the greatest collector of lung diseases that this world does not know. I should be in the Guinness Book! Holding my biggest trophy, the only lung I have left, so black it looks like a post-barbecue coal.

So what? My teeth were so blond, and my breath so grody that I could make cosplay of Beetlejuice. I loved to blow smoke on the people’s face, especially those who despised smokers. I came close, like someone who did not want anything. I concentrated on the smoke and I released it just when someone would open their mouth to say something. Then, I faked embarrassment – a pair of wide eyes, a deep breath and a nod of the head, I apologized and walk away. I had so much fun when there was a no smoke free environment. Oh! Never mind… I do not want to talk about this anymore!

Look! I had never noticed how the lining gets filled with dashed lines at dawn. They are like roundworms that dominate the backstage of the house. I think I am one because I no longer feel my vertebrae. I summarize myself to a dormant emaciated matter. It may be that all that I see and contempt is, in some proportion, a representation of myself.

I wondered how many creepy, hideous creatures inhabit this place night after night. I bet if I knocked it down, I’d find hundreds of nameless animals, never cataloged. They are beings that only exist for a few hours of the dawn, when we confuse reality, dream and nightmare. It may be that they feed of hopes, daydreams, and prolonged reflections.

Right! I still do not move and I can only think about the last time I stood up. It seemed so irrelevant, useless. “Watch your spine, correct your posture, one step after another,” How silly! I just wanted to sit and lie down, lie down and sit down. Maybe, I was born to be an armadillo. But rolling also takes so much effort that I feel shivers just imagining. And the abdominal pressure at the time of turning? Sad and painful! Being a slug is equally despicable because I’m impatient and want it all at the same time. Well, I do not feel represented by any animal, rational or not.

Dude, I love food! I fed my life so badly and it gave me the most unusual of pleasures. Where someone was feeding properly, I would approach and sit beside them. I wanted the person to be disturbed by my presence. I was a wake-up caller. I did everything I could to shock them, to see them astonished by my bad habits.

“That’s right! This is me! And I am against everything you believe in. I am here as the full proof that the world does not belong to you. The dictatorship of health will not prevail. We are still the majority and we will not be defeated. I will not allow it! Never! Never! Look! Look at his size, how much fat! I asked the clerk to put another 200 grams of bacon and 200 grams of cheddar cheese. The more industrialized the better! I demanded triple trans fat! Watch! Watch the oil trickling through the burrs of my snack. There is so much oil that we can fry a potato inside my mouth after I eat it. Do you accept it? “I suggested. Displaying my teeth caramelized by the churros that I ate before as an appetizer. Shocked, the girl next to me in the food court got up and left without a word.

Physical activities? I despised it from the first day I saw it! Wherever I passed, if someone invited me to exercise, I did not think twice before telling them to back off. What a shame! Fuck the damn thing! I will live and die as I wish! Why stand, walk or run? I hate all this with all my might! I do not even believe we were meant to walk! Whose idea was that? I hope the moron has died brutally!

Speaking of bipeds and quadrupeds, how I loved meat! I ate more than 15 pounds a week until I got atherosclerosis. Marvelous! What’s done is done. But there is no denying that it was one of the best phases of my life. When I walked through the downtown, people thought they were close to a butcher or slaughterhouse. No! There was nothing like that around us. It was the natural fragrance exhaled by my body. “What smells of raw meat, where does that come from?” “Wow! What a dead cow stink!”,”I think there’s a new butcher shop nearby”, I listened copiously.

My constant drinking also marked my life. Of course! I said it was just a social gathering. Funny! Fool of whoever believed. What I drank three times a week was what many did not consume in a month. I needed to be good at it. So I discovered an effective method to increase my tolerance for alcohol. Of course, I will not say what it is! Yes! I went so far, so far that my liver could not stay with me. Today we live in separate places.

Now, the memories of my transformation have come to my mind. I stopped walking for a few months, as soon as my body took control of my life. It was about where he wanted to go and when. So capricious, what a strong personality! If he did not like the idea, he turned off like a toy with a worn-out pile. Is he vindictive? Yeah! How can be so hateful? Last week, he allowed me to move my right leg and left arm for the last time.

I keep looking at the lining, aware of two lizards that feed on a beetle. Leaning on the open window, the neighbor’s demented cat, with its ears staring at the full moon, licks his own paws and watches them. I remember the Devil Scarab, so valuable and so useless, just as life is for so many people. I feel tired, oblivious to my body. My eyes close and I recognize that I am no longer human, only prey to who I was predator. “May your body not be the first grave of your skeleton”, wrote Jean Giraudoux in Notes et Maximes, Le Sport, 1928.

Written by David Arioch

December 12th, 2016 at 5:11 pm

The piglet from the showcase

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The truth is that no one cared about his presence until the glass began to vibrate


“Oh my God! What is that? A live pig! Disgusting! How awful! What a joke! Lord, have mercy!” (Photo: Copy)

One day, the butcher shop queue seemed endless, extending to the far white wall, where the exhibitors showed up with hundreds of cereal boxes. And more and more people were buying huge amounts of meat.

“Give me twenty kilos of lamb!”, “I want ten kilos of pork ribs!” “Oh! And seven kilos of tuscan sausage!” “No! I asked fifteen kilos of termites!” “Yes! That’s it! Eighteen kilos of palette!”

Ground beef, chicken wings and drumsticks, topside, rump steak, skirt steak and bacon. The demand was so big that one of the butchers had to see if there was enough meat to satisfy all those people. Some customers became despaired with the possibility of missing one or another cut. “For the love of God! If I don’t get a good piece of steak, I don’t know what to do. This will be the end of the holiday for my family”, complained a man pushing a cart full of frozen and chilled meat trays.

While some people gnashed their teeth and others gnawed on their nails, the most discreet individuals subtly kicked the wheels of the cart and waited for the butcher’s response, who was given the most important task of the day. “I want steak, mother! I want bacon, mother!”, shouted a crying kid under eight years old. The little meatlover opened his big mouth to complain, and it was not hard to see meat lint between his teeth.

The tension increased as the butcher did not return. I noticed shaking hands, people scratching their bodies, as if taken by itching. With uneasy glances, expressions of dismay, anger and disapproval, swelled the bulwark of unrest. When the butcher returned, he nodded and smiled, and the crowd of customers applauded.

Quickly the voices and applause were drowned out by the sound of butcher saws slicing colossal rib pieces. No one cared about the mist of bone sharps falling over their heads. Thus the algid and assorted smell of flesh, a piglet was kept in the showcase.

With an apple in his mouth, he was ignored. The truth is that no one cared about his presence until the glass began to vibrate. The customers looked at each other and saw no hand or human leg touching the showcase. And inside, the piglet was trying to break the glass with an apple in his mouth. He made an extraordinary effort to get rid of the fruit. Then he grunted more than ever. Frightened, adults screamed and children cried. But no one was more thrilled than the pig who slipped on his tears.

“Oh my God! What is that? A live pig! Disgusting! How awful! What a joke! Lord, have mercy! This is so evil! What is this world coming to?”, they said. The image of the live piglet made customers leave the butcher’s queue, and if not for horror, at least for embarrassment. The exception was the man who was in line to buy fillet steak:

– What do you want, sir?

– I want the pig.

– But, sir, he’s still alive!

– This is how I want it.

– I will see what I can do.

– Well?

– It’s all right! You can take the piglet. You can pay for it over there, with the cashier.

– Alright! Thank you, my friend.

On that day, the last store customer abandoned the cart which carried many chilled and frozen meat trays. With the piglet in his arms, he crossed the market and ignored dozens of looks. At the register, he paid for something that he didn’t consider as one more product and walked to the exit as if carrying a baby. Outside, the night did not seem dark and cold. Then, the piglet from the showcase put his nose on the man’s shoulder and did not cry, just dozed.

Tony the cowboy

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The man will wake up when the sky falls down on the ground. And we’ll all graze by pleasure of smelling the grass around


Outside, Tony whistled and Atalante appeared, a 15 year old robust black horse (Art: Amanda Kate)

Tony opened his eyes, sat on the bed and watched the billowy and reddish sky through the window on the Sunday morning. He was surprised by the silence of the rooster, but did not care. He got up and walked toward the sink in the corner of the room. He washed his face, moistened his hair, fixed his beard with his fingertips, and kept his hair down while the water was flowing. “I think that this day doesn’t want to show up. The sun seems to be a stubborn. Who is to blame? I have no clue!”, he said scratching his muscular chest.

Tony wore jeans and a blue shirt. He polished the sparkling bucket bringing the T letter highlighted and put on a pair of high boots. Before leaving for work, Tony straightened the hat on his head, prepared the coffee, looked for a mug, and wiped his beard with the back of his hand. “Now I’m ready”, he said smiling, slapping soles on the parquet floor and seeing his reflection in the mirror hanging on a nail.

Outside, Tony whistled and Atalante appeared, a 15 year old robust black horse. He prepared the saddle, climbed onto the animal’s back, and rode toward the meadow. In the early hours of the morning, without blowing his horn and getting assistance, the young mestizo of caucasian and kaiowá origin brought together more than a thousand oxen. He started to sing “Cabirúchichi”, a song that talks about the renewal of human love for animals after 30 days of tempests and thunderstorms.

– The man will wake up when the sky falls down on the ground. And we’ll all graze by pleasure of smelling the grass around. Today is the day, my friends!

The cattle understood Tony’s words.  Whenever he finished his song and his speech, they watched with attention and complacency. And the silence of seconds was overshadowed by a skyward bellowing chorus. The oxen’s reaction vibrated the meadow and shook the grass. That was the cowboy’s life for over 10 years, and lately his way to treat animals began to cause estrangement with his workmates. During the traditional crossing of the Saint Lucy Stream, he comforted the cattle as a psychologist or psychiatrist attending to a patient.

– Don’t be sad, Ruffian. You can! Look at you, man! Handsome and so strong. See how many of your friends are waiting for you to cross the stream. They respect you and follow you. Come on! Trust me. Please!

Hesitantly, and keeping the hooves on the bank of the creek, Ruffian attended to the Tony’s request. The crossing of Saint Lucy always frightened the cattle because it was part of the final route before confinement, followed by slaughter. They felt that the worst was to come. Across the creek, the cattle grazed plaintively, as if following a funeral procession. Tony tried to cheer them in vain. No ox wanted to see nothing, but the burnt grass and footsteps of his brothers who never returned.

Across the creek, cattle grazed plaintive, like following a funeral procession. Tony tried to cheer them in vain. None of the oxen wanted to see anyting beyond the burnt grass and footsteps of his brothers who never returned. Some of the animals supported their heads on their closest companions, believing that this would protect them and keep them away from death. Tired, they mooed softly until it disappeared into the sunny horizon and never were seen in that prairie.

One week later, Tony jumped into the Guararema Creek to save a baby calf, Ruffian’s son, dragged by the current. When he came out of the water with the trembling and moaning baby calf in his arms, he noticed three men waiting for him, sittting on the grass and smoking haystack. One of them, Cambuci, the eldest, stopped drilling the ground with a dark knife’s blade and said:

– We see that you’re different now, Tony. You stopped eating meat and eggs, and drinking milk. And began to treat animals like people. So far so good! I have nothing to do with your foolishness. Now what you did was too much. The boss heard everything and said this isn’t right. You betrayed his trust and need to pay.

Tony put the baby calf on the grass, patted his back and the animal ran away.

– Do what you have to do, but you should know that tomorrow’s world will not be the same as today, regardless of your will or the boss’s will. The land bleeds with the animals. You will say you never noticed? Look what it turned into here. This burned field, punished for more than 100 days of drought.

As he spoke, he received five bullets in the chest and lay on the creek’s bank. Without replicating, the three gunmen disguised as cowboys turned and left. Tony did not cry, scream or moan. He noted the sky more clearly than ever and felt a small amount of water caressing his ears and massaging his hair. Also, he saw the Ruffian’s son struggling to push his body out of the water with his head.

The baby calf groaned and made an extraordinary effort. Suddenly, a long stream of blood flowed from Tony’s mouth and mixed with water, following the stream as if it had life. “Follow the blood, follow the blood, follow the blood …” he repeated before he passed away. The baby calf was carried away by the Guararema and went with the flow, being dragged for miles.

Dazed and weakened, he was held by a sandbar. There, he lay crying. Within minutes, the baby calf heard a bellowing beyond the hose. It was his father, Ruffian, restless, trying to cross the fence. Surprised and thrilled, Mirela, Tony’s girlfriend, approached and asked two young men to carry the calf. Baptized as Obajara, that was the first day of the young survivor in the underground Sanctuary, Parassú, where Tony sent hundreds of animals in recent months.

Written by David Arioch

December 7th, 2016 at 11:36 pm

The goat of the mango tree

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It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss

It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss (Photo: Copy)

It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss (Photo: Copy)

I was eight years old. Henry and Rick came to call me on a Saturday to go to their house to play with a “different” animal. My mother allowed me to go, and we went down the street. Arriving there, I saw a goat, and she was so white and portentous that simply the fact that it exists seemed to be enough to convey the most enjoyable serenity.

She remained silent tied to a mango tree in the backyard, and since the first time I saw her, I noticed her melancholic tiny eyes. Some parts of her body had a lot of scars; the goat might have been hurt in escape attempts. While I was drawing my own conclusions, she got tired of standing and sat down on a portion of dried leaves, ignoring the rotting mangos messing up her fur.

Her head was moving slowly from side to side. At the same time, seven or eight people were shouting, laughing and talking. Dogs and cats were running around the yard. It was like a joke without time to finish. For fear of being scolded, I stayed in a corner watching the goat whom I called Angel – without telling anyone.

Henry’s father didn’t take his eyes off her. Between sips of beer, he approached the goat. And she remained indifferent to everything, didn’t react to subtle slaps she received, accompanied by a smile and a cliché phrase: “It’s toooodaay! Yeah!” I didn’t understand what he meant and I kept silent. When I coughed, Angel perceived I was sitting on the floor’s porch, resting my back.

In her eyes, there was an opacity that sometimes turned into a fortuitous shine. It was as if she tried to throw her essence beyond a shaky and noisy abyss. Fifteen minutes later, she closed her eyes, looked at the floor and stayed that way. I got up and walked up to her, then Henry’s father suddenly appeared and suggested that I should depart from the goat. “Go play over there, David! Don’t get near the goat!”

Sulky and startled, I went to my corner. Angel opened her eyes again. Even with dirty paws and its slightly turbid loin, in my ideas she was still the most unpolluted being in that place. I couldn’t associate Angel’s image to dirt. The countenance and everything emanating from her reinforced my opinion.

After a few minutes, a sudden breeze rustled the leaves of the mango tree. Angel rose, lifted her head skyward and felt the whiff of nature stroking her long thin beard. I had the impression of seeing her smiling while her fur swelled in their contemplative simplicity.

Once the zephyr left, the light gradually extinguished. The sun no longer shone on our heads. It was an early afternoon which seemed like an early evening. Worried, I ran to the house to help my mother to take clothes off the clothesline, believing that the rain would come soon, falling and dragging everything with rascality.

Back at Henry’s house, my legs trembled when I looked toward the mango tree. Angel had her throat cut and below it there were two buckets of blood splashing on the ground, painted red the leaves and mangos on the ground. I tried to touch her head with my hand, or at least the threads of her beard, but I was small and only could pet her legs.

I felt chills and cried when I saw her mellifluous rectangular eyes still damp. I knew she had been crying because her beard dripped transparency on my forehead. Angry, I walked to a men’s circle and asked why they killed the goat. “To eat! What a silly question!”, they responded as a chorus, making fun of my exasperation.

At night, before sleep, I knelt beside the bed, I prayed and asked God to put Angel in a good place, and do not let her wander aimlessly, because she died tragically and prematurely. In the morning, some people came to our house to offer goat’s meat, but my mom declined politely. Although angry, I didn’t say anything. Then, I was told that everyone who ate Angel’s flesh became ill.

Furthermore, four men who participated in the goat slaughter died in an accident in the same week, carrying cattle from one state to the other. Superstitious, Henry’s father never killed another animal. And I, over a month, continued with the same prayer: “God, put the friends of Henry’s father in a good place. But give priority to Angel because she died first.”

The call of the animals

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Within seconds, it turned into a euphoric little pig that grunted and turned around its tail

File_2581, 7/26/12, 12:34 PM, 8C, 5720x3815 (7+2036), 100%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/25 s, R111.1, G81.5, B97.1

It was a landrace pig that ran through my face with his tongue (Art: Cari Humphry)

The memory still fresh of the last time I ate meat. My friends offered me a hamburger, something I spent even months without eating, and I accepted. After all, it was a friday night. “All right, just today”, I thought. I bit slowly, and without the pleasure I once had. The food that was brought had a variety of meats – chicken fillet, red meat and bacon slices. It was huge and barely fit in my hands, even though they are not small.

After eating, I looked the white paper surrounding the burger. I crumpled it up and threw it in the trash can. A long time ago, I got used to not overeating, because I see no sense in going beyond my needs. While sitting there, I lost interest in continuing to read a book that hitherto pervaded my thoughts and ramblings. I felt myself bloated, not by the amount of ingested food, but for some motivation that I believe is biologically inexplicable. Suddenly, my mouth went sour as if I had received a dose of gall. I went to my bedroom, looked in the mirror and I did not recognize myself. My eyes were translucent and in it I saw something suddenly moving, as if motivated by overblown discomfort.

I took my hands to my abdomen and I realized that my stomach had become unrecognizable, misshapen and soft. Involuntarily, it was distended in a careful concealment. It was incomprehensible because I had not eaten much. When I turned my attention to my face in the mirror, there were some risks in my carmine sclerotic. I closed my eyes for a moment, and when I opened them had vanished. The same happened with the marks that appeared on my stomach, remembering paw touches. “What a strange thing! What’s happening to me? “, I questioned scared.

I turned off the computer, turned off the light and lay in bed. I was tired, but sleep overcame my desire to stay awake. I looked at the ceiling and I noticed that it was moving slowly. I could not be dizzy because my space notion persisted accurately. Beside me, I could see everything with precise clarity. As soon as the ceiling opened, as if it were moved from place without causing any kind of noise, clutter or dirt, the fresh rain threw diligent over me. I moved on the bed with the swiftness of those who were suffering from hypnic jerk. Standing and mesmerized by the moonlit sky that was lighting up my room with an azure light, I continued in silence, inert.

The beauty of autumnal morning offering a variegated aroma of leaves and flowers was overshadowed by miasma, brought by a flying little cow with a pig snout and crow’s feet. After all, it was a beautiful animal in its disharmonious uniqueness. I remembered the paintings of Corine Perier and Chris Buzelli. The difference was that they did not smell of death. When the little cow landed beside me, the pestilence intensified. “I didn’t drink! How bizarre is that? Am I freaking out?”, I thought. She watched me soundlessly. Her eyes grew and decreased. It looked like a heart beating. And the stench only increasing. Suddenly she gave a mooing, mixed with a cackle and groan. Then she leaned over to massage her head.

One of them jumped on my pillow and began to chirp as if he wanted something (Art: Dan Kosmayer)

One of them jumped on my pillow and began to chirp as if he wanted something (Art: Dan Kosmayer)

Before I touched her, the little cow left the same way she arrived – flying and throwing from her breasts, some gushes of thick milk mixed with blood. A portion impacted on my head. I passed my hand and I perceived my greasy hair, with stench of curd and rust. I breathed deeply with closed eyes, trying to restore my calm. When I opened my eyes, everything was gone except the smell of death which was in fact emanated from my body, not from her.

I went back to bed suffering from a stomachache – gave me the impression that the hamburger was turning my stomach. I slept less than an hour because I heard an unusual noise which was repeated every five or ten seconds. Troubled, I bowed my head under the bed and I felt a damp warm thing caressing my complexion. It was a landrace pig that ran through my face with his tongue. In the dark, his eyes glistened as if they had their own light. He smiled and that was intriguing.

Paying much attention to me, the pig stepped back quietly, as if he was sorry. He tripped over his own feet and cried. His tears streamed down his muzzle. Cornered in a nook beside the door, his fear highlighted even more than his rosaceous skin. I was confused and startled when the pig asked me a question with a faltering voice: “Why did you eat my mother?”

The question was not repeated and I thought I was delirious. I did not answer. I preserved the silence until the sudden arrival of retching. Pale, I saw my hands turned diaphanous. Something rose in me while my body was warming and cooling. When I opened my mouth, the bacon bits were released as one-piece to the floor. They joined as if they were magnetized.

Within seconds, it turned into a euphoric little pig that grunted and turned around its tail. As he entered, the pig jumped on her and, eagerly, licked her. The two were there together, so close that I had the impression that they shared the same breath. When I looked away quickly, they disappeared. I lay in bed again. I slept for two or three hours until I saw an animal playing on my back. He was light and smelled like corn grits and soybean meal. There were three chicks walking over me.

One of them jumped on my pillow and began to chirp as if he wanted something. The animal started to scratch on me, trying to convey a message. I stood and watched him climb up my arm like a bridge. Over my shoulder, he chirped softly, communicating with the other two who repeated the path. In a burst, the retching came with everything. From my mouth, came out a few small pieces of chicken fillet. Before falling to the ground, won the shape of a chicken that flew short flapping her wings and making a scrannel shambles.


Only an ox who introduced himself as Pastiche spoke to me (Art: OuShiMei)

The chicks jumped on him and the four ran out the door in the silent darkness of the morning. I didn’t follow them. With my arms flat on the bed, I watched everything with battered and half-closed eyes. Exhausted, I fell into bed and fell asleep. In deep sleep, I saw myself eating the hamburger from last night. With every bite, I felt the pain of finitude, the uninterrupted scent of death. All the sadness of the passing was absorbed by my body, making me experience occasional chills.

There was fear, anxiety, stress, helplessness and agony. The dead animals concentrated all in their flesh wich fillled my lunch, vibrating inside me the agglutination of unintentional and solemn negative energy emanated by the certainty of decline. The pain ran through my essence and made me watch the final moments of cattle, pigs, goats and poultry. Many were weeping before the execution because they recognized that their vitalities were will be inhibited early.

Death created a tortuous path that subsisted in me. “See my pain, feel my pain. A world with so many animals and less lives. One day men will suffer like us. The meat shall remain, but there will be nobody to feed. So, the world will rot, surrendered to the unrestrained excesses of production”, echoed in my mind a voice that although well articulated simulated a syncretism of animal sounds of various species.

“I was born in these days. Just look at my size, I grew up. And tomorrow, I will have to die because that’s what my creator wanted”, said a resigned chicken in a plastic cage, before having his feet chopped off by a machete. The more gullible, who did not know their fate, fluttered in vain. They were badly wounded, but they were fighting for freedom with innocence and awkwardness, since unaware of another reality other than confinement.

In a large farm out of sight, the pigs commented that there was a great slaughter the next day. One of them managed to escape and reveal the plot to other animals imprisoned 50 and up to 100 meters away. “We were created to die! To die! Only that! Nothing more!”, shouted a young clumsy pig. During the night, the animals got together and dug a ditch mammoth. In sequence, they jumped on the hole and asked dozens of horses from the stud farm to cover them with soil.

“At least we’ll die with dignity”, argued one of the highest rated pigs of the property. They chose to kill themselves because they believed that they would lose their souls. when they were served as food to men. The next day, everyone was dead – the little ones, young adults and older animals, embraced regardless of species. In front of the huge makeshift tomb there was a scratched sentence on the earth – “The speciesism is like a snorting candle in the rain.”

I woke up again when I heard a scream. I found myself behind bars being transported on a truck. I searched my hands and I could not find them. I looked down and realized I was no longer a human being, except for my own conscience, psychological and emotional condition. Physically I was a sturdy black ox flanked by oxen. Most remained silent. Only an ox who introduced himself as Pastiche spoke to me.

The time is coming, my friend. Our journey came to an end. Pasture, feedlot and slaughter. It is our fate”, he lamented, articulating a mournful and prolonged bellowing. Suddenly, everyone was silent, with their bulky heads in their own paws. I heard a strange and unison sound. It was like a ritual I did not understand because I was not a real ox.

I recognized the weight of death when the truck driver lost control and fell from a cliff. Down there, where the grass penetrated my nostrils and reluctantly invaded my mouth, I saw the broken and open body  of the truck. Around me, my traveling companions were killed, including Pastiche that brought an expression of satisfaction in the midst of misery. There was a smell of narcotic blood, manure and feed based on corn.

With few injuries and abrasions, I got up and ran across the green meadow. My ears recognized the lofty oxytone sound of a flock of swallows. I kept running without stopping, for an infinite land where man could never reach me. Awakened again from a dream, I was startled, with my heart pounding, feeling in my lips a taste that seemed to be of my own flesh. Ensnared, I saw that there was still at my side the hamburger’s white paper, an unforgettable memory of an avalanche.