Like most doctors, the fanciest ones, he seemed offensively healthy, as if he kept the real secret of vitality to himself. He would live forever and people would crumble and die around him. You were supposed to feel like death after seeing him, in terms of your complexion, your posture, your whole body. If necessary, this doctor would eat you to survive.

The tree of possibilities: life as it reveals itself to a man arriving, astonished, at the threshold of his adult life: an abundant treetop canopy filled with bees singing. And he thinks he understands why she never showed him the letters: she wanted to hear the murmur of the tree by herself, without him, because he, Jean-Marc, represented the abolition of all possibilities, he was the reduction, (even though it was a happy reduction) of her life to a single possibility.

But it seems clear to me that on some level, spirits choose their parents, because these potential parents possess certain traits and values that the soon-to-be child needs to assimilate during his or her lifetime.

If the office in the Rua dos Douradores represents Life for me, the second floor room I live in on that same street represents Art. Yes, Art, living on the same street as Life but in a different room; Art, which offers relief from life without actually relieving one of living.

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