At the funeral there are friends who find the dead man thin and worn out. Of course, he's wasted. We think about life, we are all menaced by death, today we are here and tomorrow not, but no one tells the truth, that is, that that one, Thomas, would never have asked to come into the world, and he lived all his years without knowing which was his goal, just to end up like this, stiff in the coffin.
Because, that one there, Thomas, was a poet.
He went down to the sea in the morning, where the foam lashed and gurgled the rocks, and wrote verses. Then he put his moccasins back on, went up the slope and went to work in the warehouse.
TThoma was no longer young, but for him the last poem was still the first. For him it was still the first day of work, that temporary, petty job that he didn't like. He felt fresh out of his studies, waiting to dive into real life, the life that gives you joy, satisfaction, pleasure.
Instead his skin was gray, and the eyes no longer saw, especially the left one. His wife, Pina, didn't even recognize him now when he came home in the evening.
Yet he waited, confident, he waited for life.
There was one thing he didn't even dare to think, a sentence he couldn't even formulate, while Pina was already talking about retirement and grandchildren.
What sense would it have, he wondered, if I died now, what sense would it have, this unfinished, wasted life of mine?
And, inside, he flapped like a lion in a cage, turned like a mad in his straightjacket, while, in silence, with extreme calm, he marked the paints and counted the cans.
First, you wait and you know you will succeed, then you wait and you are a little less confident, but, you say, it is not possible, there must be a purpose, a goal, a landing. Eventually you realize that you are giving up, that really no one will ever read your poems.
Then dying isn't that bad.
Thomas cried at night and clenched his fists.
Perhaps because he felt it, perhaps because the cigarettes had turned his fingers yellow and his voice hoarse. As many are saying now, he wanted it. The thing inside the lung has grown, it has disintegrated the alveoli, it has suffocated them. He died looking at the window, I know because I was there. Pina was silent, in a corner, with bills in hand.
So I went over there, where he kept the poems. Handwritten, because he didn't like tapping on the keys, because he had remained at high school times. I took the papers from the drawer, put them in the bag.
And now, Thomas, it would be nice to tell you that I have found a publisher, that the world will read you posthumously, that Pina and the boys will get rich with your verses. This story would make sense, a happy ending.
But the world does not turns up like this, the world is not of dreamers like us.
Tomorrow morning I will go to the sea, where you used to go, as soon as it gets light.
I won't need to read your words because I know them, as you know mine. We exchanged rhymes, advice, figures.
I will take off my shoes, as you did, and immerse the sheets one by one in the water. I'll stay and watch as the ink melts, and the words disappear.
Your words, Thomas, the words born on the sea, which the sea will collect.
And my words, the words of unknown poets, of hidden souls, of unfinished lives.