Seeing

by Sofia

The worst thing that could happen to the inspector would be for the old man with the black eye-patch to appear, not so much for the reason you are thinking, that following a pretty young woman is obviously a more attractive prospect that trailing after an old man, but because people with only one eye see twice as much, they don’t have their other eye to distract them or to insist on looking at something else, we’ve said as much before, but truths need to be repeated many times so that they don’t, poor things, lapse into oblivion.

 

 He walked through the garden and stopped for a moment to study the statue of the woman with the empty water jug, They left me here, she seemed to be saying, and now I’m good for is staring into this grubby water, there was a time when the stone I’m made from was white, when a fountain flowed day and night from this jar, they never told me where all that water comes from, I was just here to tip up the jar, but now not a drop falls from it, and no one has come to tell me why it stopped. The superintendent murmured, It’s like life, my dear, we don’t know why it starts or why it ends. He dipped the fingers of his right hand into the water and raised them to his lips. It did not occur to him that the gesture could have any meaning, however, anyone watching him from afar would have sworn that he had kissed that murky water, which was green with slime and came from a muddy pong, as impure as life itself. The clock had not advanced very much, he would have had time to sit down in the shade somewhere, but he did not.

José Saramago

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