Thursday, October 6

One-on-one Covid



He ended up catching me: I’ve been at the closing of a courteous ‘tête-à-tête’ with the Covid for days. I am a lucky man. If he had hunted me two years ago, who knows how it would have ended. But Ómicron is, those who, if they don’t know, pretend to know, tell me, a poor relative. So let’s leave it at that: I’m a lucky man. I have not stopped repeating myself for a week. To myself and to the walls of my house: because the first thing that Covid suppresses is any human interlocutor. It’s not that I’m very sociable either, so so cute.

What still, however, I do not quite understand is the luminous prophecy of Doctor Sánchez: «We will get out of this

stronger”. Well, he will explain it to me. I, for the moment, walk down the hall like a zombie. And, for a zombie, what will be left of the world economy: of the Spanish one, I’m not even talking. But I may not understand the subtle Sanchez. Everything is in deciphering which is the presidential ‘us’ who is going to benefit so much from this: there will be some.

With a stroke of paracetamol and patience, the fever lasted four days. The chest and throat pain continues, but subsides. The most annoying thing is fatigue. That brings to mind that crazy adolescence of mine, in which I started running long-distance races. Not even after the worst of them has a slab as cement as this one fell on me. Patience. And sofa and reading time: although the eyes also raise their protest table and the head is not for very wise disquisitions.

Let’s look for the good side. Has it? “This will save you, when you are my age,” an old professor, now dead, used to say to my library, who had a library twenty times better than mine. Well, life does not save you, but it entertains you. That and the listening very remains – the headache imposes strong limitations – of the so tenuous motets of William Byrd, of Verdelot, of Willaert, without which I would never have written my novel ‘Sleeping with your eyes’, in whose plot a chancellor dying evokes the splendor of Florence Medici.

In a volume of Epictetus, which must have been unopened for a long time, I amuse myself by recognizing the passages that the one I was forty years ago underlined or noted. It is a curious task. One knows that it is no longer the one who was amazed by this book. But, in the continuity that the book and the wonder impose, he perceives an unforeseen mirror in the time tunnel. And he knows that this past says his present. Although the one who wrote it down was a smug thirty-year-old professor who now makes him laugh.

Epictetus: «If you have an aversion to illness, death or poverty, you will be unhappy. Take from you everything that does not depend on you ». Epictetus was a slave. He could not avail himself of the comfort of a good library. How could I, who, sick or not, have that privilege, complain? No. I’m a lucky guy.

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