Monday and Thursday were days of serving detention for vandalizing school assets. Not far from clearing shelves in the library and putting up with Gleice’s unconventional sympathy: the receptionist who had no aptitude for a librarian, but on the occasion of vacation of the other, was the one who did the job.
The first thing I saw as walked through the double doors did not vary: A targeted smile, shining behind two rows of braces — today sparkling pink.
“Arriving early ...”
I ignored the comment, tossing the backpack under a table and already heading for the stack of books beside it.
- I separated some there that I thought you would like. - She insisted, she always insisted! I rolled my eyes as I passed them through the titles that said nothing to me: Homer’s Iliad, Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, Gilgamesh’s Epic, and Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray. Lots of tough names I could never pronounce without stuttering.
I muttered a “thank you” as I began to place the remaining copies in their proper places. It was easy to work, but monotonous as death. An eternal reminder of the current situation of Brazilian education.
“Are you going for the tour on the Museum?” She asked, breaking that sacred silence.
- What’s your guys problem with this ride? - The tone of voice rose a few levels, resulting in an awkward echo. - It’s just the Museum of Tomorrow ... - I whispered, still pouting as the brunette glared at me. - It’s not like we are going to Mars, and by the way, as you well know, I have detention on Thursday.
“You never read the warnings on tickets, do you?”
Bracing her chin in one hand, Gleice raised one eyebrow majestically. I was apparently the only person in the universe who couldn’t do that. Realizing my disquiet, the girl continued. - Extracurricular activities count as time of detention. Apparently they like to make these tours feels like you’re grounded. Especially if it’s Miss Bianca who takes you.
“This woman won’t retire?”
- I’ve been asking myself this question every day.
After the brief conversation and an endless hour of bookshelves A, B, W, and Z, I finally decided to skip the math class and take a look at the copies left by the receptionist. Gleice had gone out for lunch twenty minutes ago and had not returned. Her naivete made her trust that I would be quiet and not damage the library. Out of compassion, I remained calm.
The first title I chose was “The Divine Comedy,” not for its cover or vague synopsis, but for its own sake. My life was full of tragic comedies and none of them seemed divine.
The narrative was far-fetched, but it had fun dialogues and captivating characters. I swallowed the first “chapter” during the Portuguese language class, which was not an infraction, as the plot seemed much more interesting than the combination of direct and indirect objects. Can you imagine a painful and pleasurable sensation at the same time, mixed with the smell of old pages?
Half of the second chapter went away during the seventeen-minute walk from school to the small apartment next to one of the dozens of Turiaçu Evangelical Churches.
At such times, I liked not to be accompanied by Claudio and his prey. While maintaining the healthy habit of reading, I was shrouded in Virgil and Hell as I walked through the door, making my way through the many pairs of sneakers and beer bottles.- I’m at home! - I announced without receiving an answer. From the empty condom packets around the room, the night had been good and the smell of strong smoke lasted until morning.