Eleven Minutes: A Novel (P.S.)
Excerpts from the book - Eleven Minutes: A Novel (P.S.)
Up until then, travel and the idea of going far away had just been a dream, and dreaming is very pleasant as long as you are not forced to put your dreams into practice. That way, we avoid all the risks, frustrations and difficulties, and when we are old, we can always blame other people—preferably our parents, our spouses or our children—for our failure to realize our dreams.
Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings.
Brazilians have a strange superstition: when you visit someone for the first time, you must not be the one to open the door when you leave, because if you do, you will never return to that house.
Since I was in the company of an intellectual, I would quote from Plato. According to him, at the beginning of creation, men and women were not as they are now; there was just one being, who was rather short, with a body and a neck, but his head had two faces, looking in different directions. It was as if two creatures had been glued back to back, with two sets of sex organs, four legs and four arms. The Greek gods, however, were jealous, because this creature with four arms could work harder; with its two faces, it was always vigilant and could not be taken by surprise; and its four legs meant that it could stand or walk for long periods at a time without tiring. Even more dangerous was the fact that the creature had two different sets of sex organs and so needed no one else in order to continue reproducing. Zeus, the supreme lord of Olympus, said: 'I have a plan to make these mortals lose some of their strength'. And he cut the creature in two with a lightning bolt, thus creating man and woman. This greatly increased the population of the world, and, at the same time, disoriented and weakened its inhabitants, because now they had to search for their lost half and embrace it and, in that embrace, regain their former strength, their ability to avoid betrayal and the stamina to walk for long periods of time and to withstand hard work. That embrace in which the two bodies re-fuse to become one again is what we call sex.
It was normal to feel jealous, although life had taught her that it was pointless thinking you could own another person—anyone who believes that is just deceiving themselves.