Sometimes one wakes up and finds it difficult to take the first breath. Quite as if one has slipped into the wrong body in one’s sleep. The air is too thin: to inhale brings no peace. Has one banged one’s eyes into the wrong element? Would one be better off with mucus in the eyes? Should one try to breathe through the nose?
One breathes because one must. But there are things that one does simply because one can do them. For example, one travels to Morretes in the Brazilian province of Parana simply because one can travel there – that, too, from Curitiba on the Serra Verde Express, presumably one of the slowest trains on earth. And when one finally gets to the destination one wants very soon to take the train back. Not that the tiny settlement at Rio Nhundiaquara is unattractive. But knowing the motive for one’s presence in the village gives every single step a desperate triviality, of meaninglessness.
First Publication: 6-2-2012