marți, 11 aprilie 2017

Zero K, Don Delillo

`There were three men seated cross-legged on mats with nothing but sky behind them. They wore loose-fitting garments, unmatched, and sat with heads bowed, two of them, the other looking straight ahead. Each man held a container at his side, a squat bottle or can. Two of them had candles in simple holders within reach. After a moment they began, in sequence, left to right, seemingly unplanned, to take up the bottles and pour the liquid on chest, arms and legs. Then two of them, eyes closed, advanced to head and face, pouring slowly. The third man, in the middle, put the bottle to his mouth and drank. I watched his face contort, mouth opening reflexively to allow the fumes to escape. Kerosene or gasoline or lamp oil. He emptied the remaining contents on his head and set the bottle down. They all set the bottles down. The first two men held the lighted candles to their shirtfronts and trouser legs and the third man took a book of matches from his breast pocket and finally, after several failed attempts, managed to strike a flame.`

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