extrato: Os Transparentes (Ondjaki)

do romance Os Transparentes de Ondjaki (Caminho, 2015)

by the time Odonato got home, that day’s episode of the Brazilian soap opera had ended

Amarelinha was in the kitchen with NanaKunjikise, explaining bits of dialogues that her grandmother might have missed and about which she was apt to invent other possibilities, even entire scenes that had never taken place. for years the two women had been creating this post-fiction, living in parallel to the novela

— Nato, aren’t you well? your hair is all wet… — Xilisbaba came to greet her husband at the door

— just a hose off on the first floor… did Gadinho call yet?

— not yet

— he said he’s going to try to find Ciente

— hungry? want something to eat?

— thanks, i’m fine — he went to the kitchen, poured himself a glass of water, stood enjoying the conversation of the two women. — gossip queens!… — he joked, gently

— oh, dad… let us be — Amarelinha was in a good mood

— buy more seashells today? i saw your friend the MerchantOfShells downstairs… — Odonato laughed

— i didn’t buy any, but he gave me a few

— hum… ! — sighed Odonato

— hum… ! — sighed NanaKunjikise

— come on, now, enough scandalmongering… i’ll fetch a towel so you can dry your hair — Xilisbaba left the kitchen and was heading toward the bedroom

— no need… i’m going up to the rooftop. there my hair can dry and my thoughts can get themselves in order

on the rooftop Odonato stumbled onto a new configuration: rows of chairs, abandoned aerials assembled into an interesting art installation, a couple of garbage pails, small piles of trash already swept together, and the people gathered there, he saw, engaged in some kind of solemn activity

suddenly he felt sad

a smile broke out at the corners of his mouth. things change, that’s life’s way, all part of its rhythms and norms

they would suffer, th