Between the ground and the flight

There are stories that are true and some others that are not necessarily untrue; at least in the opinion of its author.  This question is, however, just pointless; generally, neither one of them are measured by that yardstick. It is quite unusual to believe a weird story the very first time we hear it; we tend to take our time to think about it in order to thoroughly evaluate the idea we should get with regard to what we have just heard or what we have to pronounce ourselves on. And when this kind of shapes in our minds, we start putting the pieces together mentally separating fantasy from reality in a way that nonsense cannot slip through in the middle. If I have spent an entire day deciding the publication of these lines is because I was moving away and getting close to be sure. I remain hopeful that, knowing myself, your skepticism will appear just as subjective. The point is that I met this guy in my flight to Los Angeles who was way beyond 200 years.


Verdi, have you ever seen pictures of him? In his eyes there are sadness and bravery, and those two together form the look of a man’s who is tortured by his own thirst; by the feeling of knowing that, having started to write was not even worth his while, knowing that the last word would be goodbye and yet he would not do anything to stop it. You would not dare to question a single word that would come out of man’s mouth with that type of look. I believed him right from the start.


We were three hours into our flight when I looked up and found those eyes that were staring like Verdi. He was shooting daggers from his seat at me while I was reading. He looked as if his face was overcoming a big pain, and at the same time it reflected his habit, he seemed relaxed, like he had just gotten back from a tough border crossing type of place, and I would not say downhearted, not at all, he did not look like a lifeless being whatsoever.


I went back to my book, “L’Interdiction” by Balzac, knowing that I would not be able to concentrate, knowing that I was no longer alone—just try to read under the pressure of somebody’s eyes that are chasing you in every single paragraph, that move forward through the page with a sort of insulting hegemony over the plot right on your heels—I imagined that he had already gone through those lines, that he had reflected about that labyrinth and was barely moved by his dilemmas as his dark angles and constant bifurcations.

I then put the book aside and, without hesitation, he responded the invitation. His name was Simosems. In his baptism he was just as mortal as anyone else; it was a day of 1814 when everything fell apart. He spent most of that year on a New York hospital bed. He woke up in the room 139 and learned that his heart was going to stop.

Being in front of such a cold situation, he got obsessed with reading, tirelessly, hastily, wondering which sentence or pause would kill him, and he would devour any story as long as it would distract him from his own fate. Meanwhile, stuck to him was a person who observed him, also tirelessly and with a secretly conceived purpose that changed his ending. The doctors were astonished; they fell short of magical explanations, especially in the 19th century, where miracles started to become pretty scarce. Time went by and his daughter became a writer.

It was nothing but an awful trap. His tender life precipitously vanished due to his absolute incompetence to write without vicissitudes that would distress him. Since he would collapse if he could not see her happy, they spent thirty years risking their lives and success with each other. They reached the resistance limit after balancing and counterbalancing a lot, just the day in which she, dying, finished her last short story and dedicated him right before passing away. Through lots of difficulties, he had discovered that the symptoms that depress us have their own inner song, each and every one of them. He conjured up his father’s, now permanently, in one single word; that is how she got him to stay here.

His story concluded, he handed a booklet to me and fell asleep. The title read “two points, one straight line”. I opened it. It was blank. I then felt the preamble of a movement, the immaterial intention of stretching his arm and wake it up, yet the monotonous sound of the reactor kept me there, in a calm state, staring the scene more and more far away. I bet you have guessed that the one who woke up was me. I opened my eyes and made eye contact with an inquisitive gaze of my seat mate and, all of a sudden I understood the cause of my weird dream.

Whether it was real or not, to my understanding, the sentence “two points and one straight line” cites the scientific and the romantic in an irresistible fashion; a diagnosis beat by pure inspiration, a clinical record transformed into narration. Just like from Los Angeles to New York: between the flight and the ground, believing more or less is the reader’s dilemma.


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