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The Careless Man

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Agora

He didn’t know what what worries are, have seemed that he was born to live outside of time, not to worry about anything, not touched by any of the natural troubles of everyday people. He didn’t know what sadness is, and envy never bitten his soul. Not even ever celebrated his birthday, 30 years seemed to him an age as any, the smile was his usual facial expression, and his forehead was dug by no wrinkle.

He lived with the girl he liked since childhood, but never thought it would be better to have a child, life seemed a monotonous and naturally sequence of beautiful events. Harmony was troubled only by the changing weather, but he think all this are everywhere, that all men should live this way…

Never had ambition and he walked the Agora stages, where sages, merchants or politicians kept their speeches, driven only by curiosity to see how they play with words, without ever thinking that behind ditirambe there are pride, vanity and real interests of those which, in fact, make the history…

One day his girlfriend (did not bother to formalize the relation!) said she feels bad, lay on the bed and, despite the fact that he stroked and talk softly to her, until evening she died. The wake raises for him the first questions, because apart from a few friends of her childhood, a few relatives that he did not know until then, no one else came.

After the three ordained days, his girlfriend was cremated and his urn with her ashes sat in the alcove of the atrium. He stood there for a few days, then go back to Agora, he needed people, agitation, speech, the warmth of others.

He observed that nothing had changed, people commented passionately the speeches. He joined a circle of such commentators and tried to enter into conversation with a man, then another, but all moved away from him…

Puzzled, he headed towards market full especially with women who bargained with merchants. He knew he will need the company of someone, that it’s natural to talk, to tell, to listen, to look … He offer to help a middle-aged matron with a basket of bought vegetables, but she refuses, then he saw that nobody wants to talk to him.

Tired, he sat on the edge of the fountain in the market, and there he hear two girls talking: “Be careful, run by the freak! I think it’s crazy, people know him smiling only, whatever heard, I was told that he was smiling also when his wife died … ”

Suddenly clear, our man reached the water from the fountain’s trough to wash their face, to clean the smell of sweat and refresh himself. Then he saw the water surface: his hair had turned white and on his forehead appeared two wide folds…

(Translated from aMorale, by Marius Cilibia)

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