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376 Spanish Eugenio Florit (1903–99) Conversation with My Father Clearly you already know it you already know it all know it all clearly. Because of this you know too how I wish to tell it, for while I speak I am recalling as I sit here beside you: I writing and you silent beside me. . . . Well, since you left many things have happened . . . Men have died and been born, grown ill and recovered, felt well, taken their sup of soup, piece of fish, got up, gone into the sun like cats to the window. Others do not get up but remain stretched out and die. Die like you, and others, men and women, and all that you love and all those who follow you. Although many still live. They keep living, despite weeping and mourning. And one day they want to go for a walk, to go to the movies, to play the piano much as you do. Not that in this way I bury you deeper; Eugenio Florit 377  but that, more living, they remember you more. Because they live with you, with what you enjoyed in your books. (Though I still have in its grey covers, Peñas arriba, which you left open that day . . . ) And we all continue living and you see, remembering you daily. And we say: he liked this dessert, and used to walk here, always in a hurry, and once shaved off his moustache and at once let it grow again. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . More than once I thought how much you enjoyed walking in these parts, to go to the museum and there tell me about Las Meninas and then gazing side by side at La Duquesa de Alba, that Doña Cayetana de Silva that your brother Pepe once brought from the other side. Yes, it would be fine to wander again through so many rooms—except the little French things of the 18th century, so silly, and the English women with their buttery flesh. And then go into the park and sit down to talk at our ease observing how at sunset the air moves rippling the lighted waters of the pool. You already know how the war came about and how in it people died; and how the war ended and how the people’s mania followed it 378 Spanish bent on destruction, killing as if all the maceration of flesh were not enough. And we learn nothing. And it is sad to think that all this agony could simply disappear if man could learn to wipe the grin from his face, and to say one good word, truly, and wish, in fact, to make life noble. But he does not want it, as you see. What he wants is to follow this overwhelming dance of death which is not your death nor mine —that is to say, death as it may happen about the house, one that is met in slippers or at most in the open country or in clear water, without the other, heaped up mountainous in stinking fields and foul waters, death which drops from the air and comes from hiding to crush bodies as if they were nuts reap them as if they were heads of wheat. Then there are other things: the case of the atomic bomb, to me, among ourselves, leaves me neither hot nor cold —to the day it leaves me in eternity cold. And that would be the last of my worries. That which worries me most is to be blinded or maimed unable to see a day full of sunlight nor hold a rose in my fingers for the eyes have fallen into a pit of darkness the fingers remain dried up like burlap. I say, that if we are to see, it means almost nothing to me. Eugenio Florit 379  But the inquisition of having to be seated in those metal chairs or made of I don’t know what, with glass mirrors where you may not sit which are on the walls and the window, but mirrors where plates and cups are set and glassware on the tables instead of wood, so that you have to keep looking at the skirts of the ladies, that yes, is more an inquisition than the bomb. When you left, all of this had hardly begun, but now . . . I tell you I yearn to go into an old curtained house with rugs on the floors (but real ones, not those made of wood-fiber...


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