Short Story by Iacyr Anderson Freitas
Translated from the Portuguese by Desirée Jung
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“But a life too quiet is always like this, boring.”
I run my method to every detail. I get ahead of myself. I foresee. Everything must work without mishaps or the risk will lead back to my name. First I choose the eighth grade’s students.
One per classroom only. There is no science in this selection process, only an obscure personal inclination. Then the game begins. At first I try to instigate them with small gestures, sentences full of ellipses, furtive glances when crossing the legs or adjusting the dress neckline.
I create chance encounters, where I must draw the first letters of our complicity. This phase by far is the richest. I carefully analyze each one’s personality, touch it with my teeth, reflect.
Then I make my verdicts: this one needs to be better worked, it’s too green for the holocaust, that one serves me or doesn’t, etc. Most important, however, is privacy.
Everything needs to happen in silence, a difficult task among fourteen or fifteen year’s old boys. The success of the game can be measured by the absence of comments in the college hallways.
Only then I can take the next step. I tease the ponies I chose for my body. I taste them red-hot. Red lit, burning. As ridiculous as it sounds, from the top of my experience, I humiliate them.
I make them beg every quarter inch, but I don’t concede half a word around the rules of our game. Let them wait. Let them find their own answer. The delight of the battle is best revealed in modesty.
No further explanations. No one imagines the ore I extract from the chosen ones, still red with pain and vertigo. From their already carved muscles to the impetus of all animal might. I dome them, so that this force is multiplied – and overcomes me.
I say, I don’t want it like this. Do this, not like that. In the end, what is left over from sex doesn’t surpass the vinegar of instinct, raw material by nature, whose name doesn’t exist or can never be pronounced. I leave to the chosen ones the certainty of no refinement.
To reach the summit, the body needs to let itself go to what it is destined, even if hidden by us. That’s why the sordid whispers, the pleasure I feel when humiliating them. They perceive them in my eyes, like an extinct affection.
I reflect on this as I am about to my make my speech, closing the school’s holiday party. The director always chooses me. According to him, I am the institution’s golden key, the teacher who polishes the events and celebrations.
But the naked raw truth is that I still get excited. Nothing more natural. I’m only saying how I feel. For example, when I affirm that all education must be put at our happiness mercy – not the job market or mere curricular satisfaction – I will seek my chosen ones in the auditorium full of parents and students.
They will know, in the flesh, the strength of what I am saying. The seasoning of every word. Sensing my exposed dedication, a light and liquid erasure will take charge of the audience’s eyes.
All education must be a path to happiness, I will repeat the motto that will conclude my speech. The director will have the national anthem performed before the long session of applause ends.