SEVEN STEPS TO LIVE SEVEN DAYS

CARLOS GOIS

 

INTRODUCTION

Gray clouds landed on top of the ocean, and the wind drags them until they’re dense and swirling above our heads. As people ran away, I lifted my arms to the skies and fell on my knees, maniacally laughing off the situation. I spoke the language of natural disasters and demanded the author of such outrage confront me. From the sea, I detect that a shoal has fallen, and it replies, “it’s on us, chief, but you’re never getting away with it.”

The natural disasters’ supreme court considered me guilty, arguing that I did not collect the recyclables from that day’s breakfast. A colossal choir of deep-water-dwellers dazed me, screaming “hooray!” as they took me to prison.

 

DAY ONE

I have always been a miserable man. For the time locked up, I was certain I would kill myself as soon as I was released. As soon as they let me out, though, the wind materialized itself, arguing that the jail had made me delusional. “Don’t let it take you away from your path,” I said to myself, as his arguments were persuading me. “You must inhale all of it!” said the policeman when we thought we were lost.

Every prisoner was released and united with us in what seemed like a gigantic Lamaze childbirth class. We breathed so hard. I can still feel the unison of the cycles, and how we had to hold each other’s hands as to not be struck by the pressure.

In a desperate attempt, all of them undressed and made me wear all their clothes at once. If no air was felt, then I could firmly believe no wind existed, and still I would be breathing.

 

DAY TWO

“Multi-lover,” the wind said, “I am one. I’m delusional, and may have always been, but I do not hallucinate. I put incredibly heavy weights on myself when I can’t live up to them. Sometimes unbearable amounts claim for unmethodical and unsteady alchemies.

In other people, I see unique things, and I push that oneness to the boundaries. In other times I may just watch for whom the others are in me. Troubles of time, of the training that rarefies the reachable, that brings the most pleasant surprise in finding mundanities shared by two, by instant, and not anymore.

At this moment I like to believe I have never wanted to lie down and stare at the ceiling light with my eyes closed, that there are never limits and overflows. Nothing slips out, something floats and someday connects, when before subsisted, after what we shall not know.”

 

DAY THREE

I once had a girlfriend, and she was shriveled in her bed, her head leaning against the wall, her eyes looking very far. I yelled at her, and she cried. Tears need someone to blame, they need, and it wasn’t like I could be a more hideous and miserable man. I wanted to say I was sorry, and shrink myself with her, while the world would slowly contrive and collapse on top of us, filling us and making us part of all matter there is. But I knew it would mean nothing if I didn’t turn my back on her, so I ordered pizza and watched TV.

 

DAY FOUR

“I want to buy an apartment, a roomy one where I can see the balcony right away from the white entrance door. There can be no furniture, appliances, curtains, or windows in the building’s outside corridors.” I remained silent while she prepared the documents. The mood got tense. We stared deeply into each other eyes. “I have just realized that now is the time when everybody got somewhere, but all your potential is over (Figure 1.)” She sketched a poor-spirited smile and handed me the documents. 

 
 Figure 1: Finding  now  in life's infinite potential well

Figure 1: Finding now in life's infinite potential well

 

DAY FIVE

After getting the keys, I bought some spray paint and headed home. Entering the building, I stole the lobby’s mat. It said, “welcome.” The doorman was frenetically twinkling to the walls and blindly writing random numbers on the desk, after that he would take a look of absolute admiration at the ceiling lights while counting how many electrons were being emitted from the surface of the barely lit bulb.

I entered the apartment before properly presenting myself. It waited until I opened the balcony door wide open and lured the wind to throw me back to the corridors, where I landed with the carpet over me.

Carefully putting it at the doorstep, I stepped up and painted a black bear on the door. He was balanced with his belly upon a very small iceberg with no room for his feet to be supported. As the night fell, I closed the door and leaned my head with the bear’s and thought of that until we slept.1

By 6 a.m. it was time to open the door and watch the day pass to the next night.

 

DAY SIX

I stuffed my backpack and started to walk. A  liquor store opens at a Sunday’s
daybreak.

There was a construction site, some unfinished buildings, an infinite field pointing towards the sunrise, a girl. She was tearing grass from the gaps between the tiles and collecting them in a clump.

I sat next to her, and we started to scrape our fingers on the floor, watching scraps of skin falling softly through the air as I lifted her hands. Each of our joints showed a couple of holes with blood that didn’t trickle, our bones reduced to sockets for our eaten fingers. We made a love video of the rising sun and we made some music and drawings and writings, after that, she knelt on her pile of grass, endlessly  
                                                                                                                  whispering them to

“go back home, go back home, go back home...”

DAY SEVEN

A fussy couple was arguing, and the veteran waiters said that was a perfect occasion for me to practice. I took a pen and twenty candles from my pockets, arranging them on the tray, in a golden spiral (Figure 2.) I slowly walked toward their table. They were quiet, and there I lit the candles one by one. After a very deep breath, I blew it all at once.

When closing the doors, I struggled to remember what I heard a few days ago, while a slight breeze ruffled my back.  I don’t think I really understood it back then, and I can barely remember it now. 2

 
 Figure 2: The correct arrangement of candles on a tray.

Figure 2: The correct arrangement of candles on a tray.

 

______________________________
1As all my neighbors had already been through the stage of getting acquainted with their homes, I was the only person still sleeping in the corridors.
2Though I think there will be some sort of thrill when I get admitted into my living room.  That must be life at its  plainest.

 

 

Carlos Gois is a physics student, currently working in academic research at State University of Campinas. Though he is Brazilian by birth, he lived in Hungary for several months while in an extension program. During that time he was able to travel frequently and gather inspiration for his writing.

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