Abrom Weintraum

Carlos Zilio, PRATO, 1971, industrial ink on porcelain, ø 24cm
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By JOÃO ADOLFO HANSEN*

Read an unpublished short story by the literary critic

When Abrom Weintraum woke up one morning after difficult dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic kafta. He was lying on the less fried side of his back, as if wearing round, brown armor across his chest and belly. Through the six-inch scar where her right shoulder should have been, an intense, cloying odor of fried oil, garlic, shallots, and more Arabian spices wafted through. He had gotten the scar early in his career as a janitor in an economic office the day a suitcase full of Israeli shekels, Indian rupees and US dollars had fallen on his head when he had gone to pickpocket it for a client who was about to flee the country. . The padlock had cut the sensitive skin on his shoulder; in time, it will heal. To the closest of his family and to the few strangers on worship days, Weinwanze would say that he had obtained it in an altercation against Stalinist teachers who indoctrinated Nazi children.

Now, lying motionless on the narrow bed, lowering as much as he could what he felt was his chin, when he managed to see what would be the belly by turning his supposed eyes towards the supposed navel, Weinalpdrucktraum glimpsed a slightly rounded surface, which formed a cylinder that it prevented him from lying completely on his back, causing him to slowly, involuntarily, oscillate from one side to the other, rocking what he still imagined to be his former little body. He felt his legs trapped inside the mass of flesh – was it flesh? – curled up and tried to see more and, something he wasn't at all used to, to think more.

- What happened with me? Weinalbtraum wondered. Could it be that the Traub of the wine I drank yesterday with the unleavened bread of the sacrifice I made to the God of the Host was spoiled and the wine made me sick causing this nightmare? And why did I turn into kafta, mein Gott, if this little Arab barbecue has nothing to do with the evangelical food with which I deny my Zionist family? It must be a nightmare. But it wasn't a dream. His room, a regular common man's room like all other lumpen converted to the unimaginative austerity of the religion of lumpen evangelicals, was quiet between familiar walls, plain, painted white with spots of mildew, without decoration. On the table, next to an American Bible, a disorderly heap of books on philosophy, sociology and history, scratched, torn, loose pages, unbound, crumpled. Abrom Weinarsch was a low official in the Ministry of Erasure in charge of eliminating works that were inconvenient for the good evangelical-partisan formation of children and adolescents. Didn't read them. I just followed orders. He scratched and tore and crumpled and chopped what he was told. Or he simply chopped and kneaded and tore and scratched when he didn't understand the order given. I almost never understood. He didn't even try, the books gave him a headache. The torn books on the table were from his work in the Erasura department. He had brought them in to work at home and get the job done. On one of the walls Weinfloh had nailed the picture he had cut out of a censored book. Must be Catholic. He was excited by her. In it, a naked woman with large breasts and a wild look climbed Jesus Christ in a tree with unknown fruits. The woman had an excited face under wild hair. Jesus was as in the Catholic pictures, meek as always, beside her, who was clutching the stick with an excited desire for salvation. A. Weinbillig turned part of his eyes towards the window and the sky – he could hear the raindrops hitting the glass – and became melancholy. How about getting some sleep and forgetting what ailed you? I had so much work to do. But he couldn't, because the plumpness of his kafta body prevented him from rolling to the right, sleeping on his right shoulder and right arm and right hand. He only knew how to stay upright in positions on the right. Violently, he tried to go to the right, but the effort was useless and his body came back on itself again, revealing the plump kafta shivering in his belly. Abrom Weinwanze tried at least a hundred times to go to the right, but his body was round or plump or cylindrical – feet ending in spikes, he thought that his head would also be elongated and long and pointed since the body was a kafta and… Abrom Weinalptraum he tried again, again and again and again and only gave up when he began to feel in what had been his right side and which was now a rounded surface a pain he had never felt before. O Great God of Judas Iscariot, he thought, what exhausting work! Will the bad grape must that has gone sour and rotten spoil the grape wine or the grape in the wine I have drunk? Now, he thought, it was a hell of a lot harder to do his daily work of scratching and tearing pages from books, tiring his fingers, sometimes even hurting his hands. I no longer saw or felt them. Now, there was lying there, round and plump all over a kafta that gave off a decided and decisive odor of meat fried in olive oil. Meat of what? got scared. Pig, if it's Schwein, he thought, it's a definite curse, alas, to spend the rest of your life, which I don't know how long it will last, turned into pork kafta. He nearly vomited from atavistic horror and atavistic disgust. Hoped it was a cow. Or lamb. And even chicken. Or cat or dog. Same mouse.

In the Ministry office, Weinschwein had made a few acquaintances, who ignored him completely, and tried to make friends and then gave up when he saw that they despised and ignored him. Daddy Satan, carry them to Gehenna of fire! As he resentfully thought of the non-friends, he felt a subtle itch in his belly, which slowly turned into a little pain as the brown, parched skin itched without being able to scratch itself. A small piece of onion was tucked into her navel. His plump kafta body had no hands to scratch his belly. Abrom Weinticken saw that, where he was feeling the itch, it seemed that ticks were biting him, there were small lumps that he did not understand, more or less white, of a nature that he could not guess. They looked like flour cooked by the oil that had fried the kafta into lumps. It wasn't onion or garlic. He tried to touch them with the tip of one of the furry little legs full of little red splinters that had grown up beside his body – 6 in all, 3 on each side, like a Billig, cockroach – in the plumpness of the kafta as if it were suddenly a kafta cockroach or a monstrous cheap kafta. Abrom Weinbillig immediately tried to pull the tip of what looked like a foot with some pain, as it was as if a shower of cold water dripped golden drops on his round body like the golden shower that his boss participated at the end of the day when he met with other bosses and subordinates to hunt, use and kill gays.

Abrom Weinlarve forced his body to the right again and again and returned to the previous position on the round back. Being like that, he thought, makes one very stupid. A man of worth needs to sleep well to do his job well. Others live like women in a harem. For example, when I came back from the office the other day to carry out the orders I received to burn the seized books, those guys were sitting there eating breakfast. If I tried to do anything to my boss I'd be dispatched like a ham by one of his pups. Would it be better than lying here transformed into a monstrous kafta? If I didn't have to do what my dad and my dad's dad and the dad's dad say I would have disappeared right away, but first I would go to my boss and tell him exactly what I think of him. Maybe that would make him leave his Twitter for a few seconds, but it could be dangerous because he is unexpected. Just see how his eyes roll around in his face, always scared, as if pressed by an inner voice that he doesn't master when it barks. No, it was always best to just follow orders without asking why. I just don't know why today I woke up transformed into kafta. Are the bad berries of the wine the cause of my inhospitable dreams? Are the wine's rotten grapes? Die Traube von Wein. The big grape crap? Die grosse Traubschweinerei? What will it be? But when you get too close to the boss it's impossible to talk to him. He barks a lot. Weinhund is what he is, yes, a Weinhund, wine dog or dog wine, Weinbillig thought, wine cockroach or cockroach wine, while thinking that Weinscheise or Weinmist were good names to classify him as shit in the shit of that situation kaftaniana it was in. It's hard to listen to the boss. Well, there's still hope because I've already saved enough money to pay the tithe debts that my parents didn't pay to the pastor who passes them on to him. If I pay, when I pay, I'll be fine with it. Now, I'd better be able to turn around on the right side. Even better if I managed to get up. I am unable. It stirred a little and the smell of fried oil rose to the ceiling and immediately disappeared.

He glanced at the alarm clock beside the bed. Holy Father of Judas! she exclaimed. It was after 6:30 in the morning, almost a quarter to 7. Why hadn't the alarm clock gone off? From the bed he could see that it had been set to play at 4 am. Suddenly a door behind the headboard of the bed opened and the soft voice of an old woman: “Abronzinho, it's 15 to 7, baby. Don't you have to go to the Ministry?"

What a soft and sweet voice! Abrom felt a little shocked to hear his own voice respond to his mother's, for he heard a sizzle in it, like the kind you hear when meat is fried in a pan to make kafta. A cockroach dragging its legs on a torn page of a book makes a similar noise... "Yes, mother, I'm getting up." Other members of his family noticed that he was still at home and hadn't left to go to the Ministry. His father called, “Abrom, open!” And his sister, “Abronzinho, what's going on with you? Are you well?". And he, lying on his back, feeling the plump body of fried kafta, replied that “Jawohl, yes, of course, by Javé!”. And his father again asked him to open the door. He was relieved by the habit he had acquired: traveling or at home, he always locked the door of the room where he slept. His immediate intention was to get up quietly without being disturbed, put on the clothes of a Ministry of Ripping employee and eat something, he was very hungry, but first he had to get out of bed, which he didn't know how to do because his body was a kafta .

Getting rid of the blanket was not too difficult. All she had to do was stuff the rounder parts of the kafta that looked like her belly and chest with a little more air, which she managed after a few failed attempts, and the blanket slipped and fell to the floor. But getting up was the problem because, if on the one hand its cylindrical body did not provide any support to rise, on the other hand the small legs that were born from the sides of the lying kafta hindered its intention to rise. Moving non-stop in different directions, three on one side, three on the other, as if the body were a cylinder that ended thin and curled up at the feet and, going up, got thicker, rounder and rounder, up to the height of the belly, and then tapering off towards the head that he couldn't see, but which also seemed to have shrunk into a curled-up point like the feet. AND, My God, how good it smelled! It made you want to eat yourself!! His little legs were moving and he couldn't get up. But what's the use of lying in bed all day like a fried kafta on a plate with little legs with a mind of their own and unable to get up?

Abrom Weinsmade thought he could get out of bed lower body first, but that lower part he hadn't been able to see yet because the elevation of the kafta round of what must have been his belly made it difficult to see the end of what would be his feet. lying down as he was looking at the ceiling. But he tried and tried, and after a while he gave up. It was better to stay in bed because it hurt a lot when he tried to get up and he fell heavily on the other end of his body.He tried to move the highest part of his body and with that managed to lift what would be his head a little above the edge of the bed. If he couldn't keep his head up and it fell he could literally lose his head, under the bed for example.

Abrom Weinwurm dreamed that his head was full of shit. It was not a dream, but the reality of wine. Weintraum, dream wine or wine dream. Weinscheise, shitty wine or shitty wine. Weinscheisetraum, shitty wine dream or shitty dream wine or shitty dream wine or shitty wine dream, he thought, the number of combinations of words was impressive. In the books it should have been worse. They only confused and it was better to cross them out, eliminate them, without reading any of them, which he had always done with the commitment of the exemplary employee, as he believed himself to be.

But when, after repeating the same efforts, he had remained in the same position as before one and two and four and sixteen times, and looked at the little legs fighting each other more savagely than before, if that were possible, he saw that there was no immediate decision to be taken. The kafta gave off its sweet smell of fried meat seasoned with garlic chives onion. Pork, yes, pork. Abrom thought, Weinschwein!! Pork wine or wine pig! But it no longer mattered that he was a pig, now he was an evangelical and he was safe, he thought, looking at the picture of the woman climbed with Jesus in an unknown tree that had its top downwards, rising from the underside of the flat Earth. Abrom remembered at that moment the absurd amount of books that blatantly lied, teaching poor children absurdities like the Earth is round. He had burned them all, one by one. When after a repetition of the same efforts he remained in the same position as before, sighing, and looked at the uncontrollable little legs fighting with each other more fiercely than before, if that was possible, and saw that he had no way of putting order in the In his confusion, he told himself that it was impossible to stay in bed and that the most urgent thing to do was to find a way to risk everything to get out of it. At the same time he tried to make himself understand that it was necessary to keep the end of the kafta that was to correspond to his head as cool and calm as possible. Cold fried kafta. Already 7 pm, he said he, and was quiet for a moment. When it's 7:15 I'll be out of that bed. He considered calling his father and Frau Goering, the cleaning lady. They were strong, they could easily get their arms under the bottom of the kafta and lift him. With an unexpected effort, he managed to throw himself out of bed and lay there on the floor, panting like a pig. In other words, he didn't throw himself, he slipped and fell to the floor with a thud, as if a bag full of 100 chocolates had been dropped and 30% of them, that is, three of them, had spilled out. Anyway, when he managed to get out of bed and hit the floor, he hit his head on the chamber pot and smeared the remains of the night on his face. He felt bad because he didn't have arms and hands to clean himself. Abrom Weinscheise Abrom Weinmist Weinscheise Abrom Scheise Mist Abrom, he said aloud. Shit shit shit. His head ached where he'd taken the hit. And now the smell of fried pork mixed with pig shit and pig urine. Or, in another order, pig urine and pig shit. The memory of the chocolates imaginarily sweetened the odor, and Abrom Weinarsch felt a little comforted.

“Something is falling on the floor in the next room,” called the minister from the room to the right. Abrom Weinchalptraumscheise tried to assume that what had happened to him since he'd woken up in kafta might one day happen to the shepherd. No one could deny that it was possible. But in the adjoining room the minister trod the floor with a brisk goose step and his boots squeaked longingly for Raum und Blut und Boden. On the other side, Abrom Weinfloh's sister warned him that the pastor was there asking why Abrom Weinzug had not taken the morning train to go to work. We don't know what to say to the pastor, she said, but he wants to talk to you personally, so open the door, he'll know how to apologize for the mess in your room. Are you naked, dear brother? Bist du geschält, lieber Bruder?”. And the father said, on the other side, “Mein Weinschön, bitte, the pastor wants to talk to you and find out why you didn't take the train today, but he will know how to excuse the dirty mess in your room. if you are still naked, bitte, have the decency to put on your underwear and look decent”.

Guten Morgen, Herr Weinschwein, said the pastor outside the door. Please, I want to come in to speak with you face to face. Are you naked yet? Please stay decent in front of a man of God. – He is not well, my lord, he is not well. It was the mother's voice. -What else could make him miss the train? He only thinks about his job. He brings things home to do and never gets tired of ripping books, scratching pages, ripping out chapters. He's a good boy, shepherd, a good boy. He even deserves promotion. He always tells us that he would like to arrest professors who propagate subversive ideas at the university so as not to remain in a subordinate position in the career of scribbling and tearing up books. He wants to move up in the world and would like to study better book-burning techniques, that's what he always tells us, sir. He's a good boy, sir pastor.

– Mom, dad, sister, tell the pastor that I'll be on my way. But he was sprawled on the ground, unable to move. If the pastor entered, he would see a 1m 70cm kafta exposed naked or naked and round toasted brown smelling of olive oil garlic chives and onion a large coarse geschälte Kafta peeled kafta. What was he going to do? Weinalptraumschweinscheisenackt thought. But why didn't her sister lead the shepherd away? Was he going to punish his parents again by collecting all the back tithes? That was a pretty big amount. Poor Daddy, poor Mommy, she thought. It was better to sit still and wait, Weinwartig, still as a cold kafta in the window of the Arabic restaurant on the corner he had never been in.

– Mr. Abrom Weinalptraum, the pastor called outside in a louder voice, what's going on? Look at the man there, shut up in his room, answering only no or yes, causing great concern in his parents who are already elderly and forgetting his work, the responsibility he must have in his work as an eraser. Look, I'm speaking here on behalf of your boss and on behalf of your parents, please let me in for a precise explanation of what's going on with you. With you, please. Until now I believed that you were just a mediocre but exemplary official, scratching and tearing and burning books at the Ministry of Erasure. But now I see that I was wrong. You are making an unpleasant display of yourself. When I took my vows of allegiance to the Grand Chief Master of the Universe, I promised that nothing like this would never happen with my permission. But now I see that it happens and without my permission. I came here hoping that you would open the door for me so that I could speak to you in private. But as you did not open it in disrespect for the authority vested in me by the Grand Chief Master, I have to tell you that I will let your parents hear everything I have to say. You have always been an employee mediocrely fulfilling your duties of erasing, tearing and burning books. But I let it go, believing that in time you would make progress. But you are mediocre, you haven't done any. And now, with this behavior, you're not doing anything you've always done in a very unsatisfactory way. Not even that little bit of bad work you're doing now. This obviously calls for punishment, because this, Gotta know dank, is inadmissible.”

“But sir pastor,” stammered Weinkafta, “please sir pastor, I'm opening the door right now. A little illness, a gout attack, prevented me from getting up this morning. I'm still lying in bed. But I already feel well, mein Herr Pastor. I'm getting out of bed now. Please give me a moment. I'm not as well as I was yesterday, but I'm already better, Pastor, Herr Pastor, Heil Pastor, Sieg heil, mein Herr Pastor. Please forgive my parents, do not run the collection of late tithes. I promise I'll get up, I'm getting up right now. Please don't say anything to the Chief. I promise to work double, triple, increasing my quota of erased and torn and burned books. I will show service. I make a point of it. I'm a man of my word and I'll show service. Please, mein Herr!”

He was even determined to open the door if he could move from the floor where he lay. Open the door and talk to the shepherd. He was distressed to know what others would say when they saw him in the decaying kafta state he was in. If they were horrified, well, it wasn't his fault, it was theirs. And if they stayed calm, then there would be no reason to worry. He rolled to the left and rolled to the right harder and harder. With that he managed to roll to the bedroom door. The problem was turning the key to unlock the door. On the other side, his mother and father and sister and pastor were waiting for him. With two little legs on the right side he managed to push pillows that were on the floor near the door and roll on them until his mouth was at the height of the lock. Clutching the key in his mouth, he turned it to the right. The lock clicked twice and Abrom Weintraum realized that the door was unlocked. From the other side, the pastor shouted, "Listen, listen, he's opening the door!" Weindummkopf thought, “luckily I didn't have to call the locksmith”.

When the door opened, his mother fainted at the sight of the kafta that was talking plump on the floor like a son of a bitch. The father said nothing and remained silent in a corner. The sister got scared and closed herself in her room. As for the pastor, she ordered that Abrom Weinhurensohn son of a bitch with wine or wine of a bitch to stop clowning around and take off his kafta costume. And Abrom Weinalptraum as if coming out of a nightmare: "Lord, Lord Pastor, bitte, don't go away without a word for me that shows me that the Lord thinks I'm on the right path, at least to a certain extent". But the pastor looked at him silently, his lips tight with disapproval. Abrom Weinalpdruckalptraum's parents looked on in dismay. They had always thought that Abronzinho had a guaranteed place in the Ministry of Erasure for life. The pastor had to be arrested, brought back, prevented from leaving, the entire future of Abrom and the family depended on it. But the pastor fled clutching his Bible to his chest and Abrom's father, desolate, stood there, looking at that mass of fried meat that spread inside the room and a little outside, through the gap in the half-open door. Abrom's mother wept silently.

II

It was evening when Abrom awoke. From her left side, she noticed, liquid oozed from the hole left by one of the little legs when it had been torn off when she tried to get out through the gap in the door. There it was, moving by itself, gripped by the handle. A smell of pork with chives and garlic and fried olive oil dominated everything. Abrom Weinalpdruckschweintraumhunger felt hungry, very hungry. The smell of food was coming from his own kafta body. He almost laughed with joy. But he was soon very disappointed. He could only eat with help from his whole body. And he didn't like kafta.

He saw that the light had been turned on outside his room. It was the time when Dad read aloud from the newspaper to his mother and sister the daily column of the State sheet about the pogroms committed against its people by communist teachers. He grew melancholy, moved by his father, and a furtive tear wet the flesh of the kafta where his right eye should have been. Total silence outside. What a peaceful life my family is leading, he thought proudly, having ensured the comfort of father, mother and sister in that great functional apartment with his work. What if they lost everything? To forget these bad thoughts, Abrom turned and rolled and rolled his round kafta body from side to side. He was amazed at the familiarity he displayed with her kafta body. He thought that he wasn't too bad and got ready to sleep because it was already late and through the half-open door he saw that the lights were all off. He had fallen out of bed and, lying on the floor, he thought he was going to sleep under a sofa that was placed against one wall of the room. He tried to roll under it, but the back of the kafta was high and scraped against the wooden frame at the bottom of it, leaving little pieces stuck to it that later tore a little on one of the springs that was broken. He lay there all night, feeling hungry and vaguely ashamed. But also a small hope that, with patience and perseverance, he could convince the pastor, when he returned, to refer him to the Ministry of Erasure where he would resume his work with zeal. He didn't have hands to scratch books, he thought, and those little legs that fought with each other didn't help matters. But he was heavier and, of course, he could roll over the books, greasing them with his round body from which meat juice with onion and garlic dripped, making them illegible. Many are the ways of the Lord, he thought comfortingly.

A month passed and Abrom noticed that the kafta on his body had dried a lot in several parts of his upper body. In others, and this excited him, he had rotted away. He felt lighter and at the same time harder in the joints. He was thinking of the Ministry, of the mountain of books he would have to scratch and tear.

III

What left Abrom without action for at least another month was the apple. She was on the ground thrown by her mother or father or sister and stuck to the softening kafta scabs of what had been her buttocks. Little by little it penetrated through the orifice of her anus made of kafta or Kaftarsch which was hermetically clogged by it. No one dared to take it off. The apple in his ass greatly diminished his actions and Abrom was semi-paralyzed like an old invalid listening to the family talk at dinnertime about trivial everyday things. He felt that his kafta body swelled day by day, giving off a rotten smell. Unfortunately, he didn't have a mouth to eat himself, he thought wistfully. Thankfully his father had recognized him as a member of the family despite his now repulsive form. He was not to be treated as an enemy. On the contrary, family duty required and demanded the suppression of disgust and the strenuous exercise of patience, nothing but patience. Now, her father, mother and sister were silent, much quieter than before. His relationship with them no longer had the warmth it used to have. Vater, Mutter und Schwester were quieter. Right after dinner Dad was sleeping in the armchair and Mom and sister were making silence signals to each other; mother sewed one or two pieces of clothing and her sister, who had found a job in a store, learned Portuguese to improve her curriculum. Sometimes after a louder snore the father would wake up and say to the woman “how much patching did you do today!” and he went back to sleep as the two women exchanged a smile.

Abrom's father was retired but continued to wear his crematorium cleaner uniform even at home. As a result, his always clean uniform began to look grimy and dirty despite his mother and sister's efforts to keep it in order. Abrom took to spending time watching the grease spots on him, seeing how his golden knobs were always polished and shiny. The old man would sit with them and often on top of them, peacefully, with extreme discomfort, but always very obedient, always as someone who carried out orders.

Abrom began to notice that his family was dumping in his room all the things he no longer used and didn't want to throw away. Its stretch of kafta softened at the back at the bottom and completely dry and starting to crack and crumble at the top was now being covered by broken chairs, a desk, an old ashtray like that with a rusty iron rod as a base, the old garbage can from the kitchen, coils of barbed wire that Abrom's father had brought from the country, a rocking chair, and more old, broken, useless things. And now three more people were living in his house, three men with long beards, an older one whom the other two younger ones seemed to obey by saluting. When Abrom's father arrived, they would rise and seem to say a prayer before eating. They ate in complete silence. But to eat, Abrom concluded, you needed teeth that bit and chewed. Being kafta, he had none, and very sadly, he sadly thought and sadly thought again and again I'm hungry, Ich habe Hunger!

I'm really hungry, I'm really hungry, but all this food is not for me. How these guests are getting fat and here I am starving like a rotten kafta. And without being able to return to the Ministry where so much erasure work awaits me! The three men had a passion for order and would not tolerate anything superfluous, like the few books in the house, which they burned with the butts of their cigarettes.

Abrom's sister played the violin, and one night when she started to play, the three men ran into the kitchen where she was and pressed against the door to hear her. Abrom wanted to hear it too, and heedless of them, he rolled a piece of kafta to the right, towards the kitchen door, and lay there, stretched out, while they, absorbed in the music, stepped on him without noticing. Suddenly, the three of them left at the same time and went to smoke in the living room, showing signs that the music was bad and the execution worse. They said the music stinks. But Abrom's sister was playing divinely. The three judged differently.

When it stopped playing, Abrom's sister told their father that it was high time they got rid of him because he was already stinking. The father agreed and the mother started coughing into her right hand with a crazy look in her eyes. - We need to get rid of him as soon as possible, said the sister, before he finishes us off. When you have to work as hard as we do, you cannot bear this continual torment at home. I can't take this anymore. And she started sobbing and the tears fell on her mother's face. - But honey, said the old man, what can we do? His sister shrugged. If only he could understand us, but it's rotten kafta. "He must go away," cried the girl. Please, you must forget your idea that this pile of rotten meat is your son or my brother. We believed that for a long time. But now how can this be Abrom? Let's get rid of that and remember Abrom as that good boy good official at the Ministry of Erasure who liked to scratch and tear and burn books. Lets do this.

The rotten apple in his ass and the inflamed region around it, all covered with dust and the smell of rotten stuff, made Abrom think of his family with tenderness and love. And so he stayed until the tower clock struck three in the morning. Early in the morning, when she arrived, the cleaning lady Goering saw Abrom stretched out on the floor and, with the broom, tried to sweep him up. He didn't react and she swept him harder out of the room. In the hall, she knocked on Abrom's parents' door, shouting, come see, come see, bitte, he's here, dead, already rotten, crumbling to dust.

Abrom's parents quickly got out of bed. – Dead? the father asked. – Yes, dead, the cleaning lady said, pushing a piece of kafta with parsley and chives with the tip of the broom. - Well, thank God, said Abrom's father. -See how thin he is, despite being swollen because he has rotted. - Yes, said the father, it looks like he hasn't eaten anything in a while.

Abrom's body was there, flat on the ground, in pieces, dry on top and soft on the bottom. The three guests with beards got up and demanded their coffee. But the cleaning lady made a sign of silence and told them to go to Abrom's room. They went and there they stood around the body of the kafta. – Get out of here, shouted Mr. Weintraum. The three looked up, startled. - As? – Get out! The three of them left, half amazed by the old man's love for those remains of rotten kafta.

*John Adolfo Hansen is a retired senior professor at USP. Author, among other books, of Sixteenth-century sharpnesses – Collected work, vol 1 (Edusp).

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