viernes, 4 de marzo de 2011

Y la avispa

Children of her type contrive the purest philosophies. Ada had worked out her own little system. Hardly a week had elapsed since Van’s arrival when he was found worthy of being initiated in her web of wisdom. An individual’s life consisted of certain classified things: "real things" which were unfrequent and priceless, simply "things" which formed the routine stuff of life; and "ghost things," also called "fogs," such as fever, toothache, dreadful disappointments, and death. Three or more things occurring at the same time formed a "tower," or, if they came in immediate succession, they made a "bridge." "Real towers" and "real bridges" were the joys of life, and when the towers came in a series, one experienced supreme rapture; it almost never happened, though. In some circumstances, in a certain light, a neutral "thing" might look or even actually become "real" or else, conversely, it might coagulate into a fetid "fog". When the joy and the joyless happened to be intermixed, simultaneously or along the ramp of duration, one was confronted with "ruined towers" and "broken bridges."
The pictorial and architectural details of her metaphysics made her nights easier than Van’s, and that morning —as on most mornings— he had the sensation of returning from a much more remote and grim country than she and her sunlight had come from.
Her plump, stickily glistening lips smiled.
(When I kiss you here, he said to her years later, I always remember that blue morning on the balcony when you were eating a tartine au miel; so much better in French.)
The classical beauty of clover honey, smooth, pale, translucent, freely flowing from the spoon and soaking my love’s bread and butter in liquid brass. The crumb steeped in nectar.
"Real thing?" he asked.
"Tower," she answered.
And the wasp.
The wasp was investigating her plate. Its body was throbbing.
"We shall try to eat one later," she observed, "but it must be gorged to taste good. Of course, it can’t sting your tongue. No animal will touch a person’s tongue. When a lion has finished a traveler, bones and all, he always leaves the man’s tongue lying like that in the desert" (making a negligent gesture).
"I doubt it."
"It’s a well-known mystery."
Her hair was well brushed that day and sheened darkly in contrast with the lusterless pallor of her neck and arms. She wore the striped tee shirt which in his lone fantasies he especially liked to peel off her twisting torso. The oilcloth was divided into blue and white squares. A smear of honey stained what remained of the butter in its cool crock.
"All right. And the third Real Thing?"
She considered him. A fiery droplet in the wick of her mouth considered him. A three-colored velvet violet, of which she had done an aquarelle on the eve, considered him from its fluted crystal. She said nothing. She licked her spread fingers, still looking at him.
Van, getting no answer, left the balcony. Softly her tower crumbled in the sweet silent sun.

Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or ardor.