Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A bit of what I'm reading . . .

Polanco almost always begins: Look here, I dreamed that I was on a square and I found a heart on the ground. I picked it up and it was beating, it was a human heart and it was beating, then I took it to a fountain and washed it the best I could because it was covered with leaves and dust, and I went to turn it in to the police station on the Rue de l'Abbaye. That's completely false, Marrast says. You washed it but then you wrapped it disrespectfully in an old newspaper and put it in your jacket pocket. How can he put it in his jacket pocket if he was in his shirtsleeves, Juan says. I was dressed propertly, Polanco says, and I took the heart to the police station and they gave me a receipt, which was the most extraordinary part of the dream. You didn't turn it in, Tell says, we saw you when you went into your place and you were hiding the heart in a closet, the one that has a gold lock. Imagine Polanco with a gold lock, Calac laughs rudely. I took the heart to the station house, Polanco says. Well, Nicole allows, that was most likely the second one, because we all know that you found at least two. Bisbis bisbis, says Feuille Morte. Now that I think about it, Polanco says, I found about twenty. Great God of Israel, I'd forgotten about the second part of the dream. You found them on the Place Maubert, under a heap of garbage, my paredros says, I saw you from the café Les Matelots. And they were all beating, Polanco says with enthusiasm. I found twenty hearts, twenty-one counting the one I'd already taken to the police, and they were all beating like mad. You didn't take it to the police, I saw you when you hid it in the closet. In any case, it was beating, my paredros concedes. Could be, Tell says, the beating doesn't worry me at all. There's nothing like a woman, Marrast says, a heart's beating and all she sees is a gold lock. Don't be a misogynist, my paredros says. The whole city was covered with hearts, Polanco says, I remember quite well, it was terribly strange. And to think that at first I only remembered one heart. You've got to start somewhere, Juan says. And they were all beating, Polanco says. What good did it do them? Tell says.

- from 62: A Model Kit by Julio Cortazar, translated by Gregory Rabassa


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