Quote of the Day – 29 July 2017: Knight and Death – Leonardo Scia
That appreciation had alarmed him somewhat; in a thrill of pettyness, of avarice, he had decided to take her home; But forget right away. He had now used to have it in front of him in the many hours of office. The knight, death and the devil. On the back cardboard were written in pencil the titles in German and French : Ritter, Tod und Teufel; Le Chevalier, to mort et le diable. And, mysterious: Christ? Savonarole? The collector or merchant who had wondered about those names might have thought of it, perhaps Dürer wanted to symbolize any of them in the knight?
Sometimes, when he looked at the engraving, he also wanted to wonder. But now, with his head left on the back, tiredness and pain, he looked at her and thought he had not accidentally bought it years ago. Death; and the castle up there, inaccessible.
From so many cigarettes smoked overnight, the pain had always lost its consistency, its weight, fading into a more diffuse ordeal. Look, you can give names of colors to different kinds of pain, its changes. For now, he had gone from purple to red: red, winding flame, which unexpectedly licked every part of his body, sticking to it or going out.
He mechanically lit another cigarette. He would have let her burn in the ashtray if the Chief, coming in, had not blamed her as usual for smoking too much and that it would destroy him. Stupid vice, death vice. The boss had been smoking for six months, no more. He was very proud of him: as he suffered, a certain envious, of a certain grudge felt when he saw others smoking; all the more so since now the smoke was really upset by him, it almost caused him nausea, while the memory of the times he smoked was a kind of lost paradise.
– You're suffocating here, don't you feel it? said the Chief.
The vices took the cigarette from the ashtray and pulled with a voluptuous. That's what it was like: you were suffocating. The room was full of smoke, which was crowding around the light bulbs still lit, envearing like a diaphanous curtain the windows of the window from which, changing, it was leaking in the morning. Another smoke.
– I understand, said the head with superior tolerance, not to have the will to let you down: but to seek your death with such stubbornness and abuse… How my nation… He was using the story of his brother-in-law, a heavy smoker who had died for months, not to speak directly of the evil that would surely die.
– I know, we were friends… You, imagine, have already chosen the way you die. I'm going to ask you to tell me sometime: who knows if you're not going to make me choose him.
– I didn't choose him and he can't be chosen; But as Soon as I quit smoking, I hope to die of another death.
– You know for a time lyric in Spain that the Jews invented the Catholic inquisition in Spain.
He didn't know. So:
– I've never had sympathy for the Jews, between you and me.
– I know, i know. But I would expect from you some interest in converts. They were almost colleagues, they'd been in love for years; therefore he could afford, without malice, impertinences, ironies, stinging lines, even. And the Chief overlooked, because of the subjectivity given to him the Vice's unexplained loyalty to him. He had not mentioned such a loyal Vice: at first he had gone out of his way to find any hidden cause; but now he knew there was none.
– Converts have ba, I have no sympathy. You, in return…
– I, by contrast, Jews or not, have no sympathy for converts: you always convert to worse, even if it seems better. In those who are able to convert, the worst always becomes the worst possible.
– But this has nothing to do with converting to quit smoking: in case there's an infamy to convert.
– He does, of course: from the moment you become a persecutor of those who still smoke.
– What a persecutor! If I persecuted you, these offices would be studded with "No Smoking"; And maybe I should think about it, despite your own good. Because for your sake, I think: my brother-in-law…
– I know, i know.
– So let's leave her dead. As for your philosophy on converts, I'd have arguments to blow it away! and snap smacking of your fingers. He often made this gesture, because many were the things he intended to blow: and vicele envy him as a child, for sometimes he tried, but the poker never succeeded.
– But we have other things to do. Come with me, come with me.
– Where are you going?
– You've already got it. Hai!
– But isn't it a little early?
– No, it's been seven now: i've wasted time with your philosophy.
– Quick, always fast!
He hated the police's habit of executing arrest warrants, searches and even raids and informative visits in the early hours of the morning and, more often, in the middle of the night; but for his colleagues and subordinates this thing was an unmissable pleasure, if they had even the slightest opportunity, the slightest justification. The noise-knocking in a door of which unknowing families celebrated rest, sleep: and even at the time when sleep, relieved by the burden of fatigue, was made less opaque, more transparent for dreams, more pleasant; alarmed "Who's there?" and the solemn and banging response "The Police!"; the cracked door and the incredulous sleep-crumpled eyes that were burning behind it; and then, inside, the hectic awakening of the whole family, the frightened and amazed voices, the crying of the children… For such pleasure, no one, however small or high in rank, was unwell after his own sleep carried on the drain; but Vicele, apart from the fact that he liked to sleep, after at least an hour of reading, from midnight to seven in the morning, had for himself and for the body to which he belonged to a feeling of almost anxious shame, in the rare times when he happened to participate in such operations.
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