Of Memory Keeping
The fames, to keep their memories, proceed to embalm them in the following way: After fixing the memory in great detail, they wrap it head to toe in a black cloth and place it upright against the living room wall, with a sign that reads: “Trip to Quilmes” or “Frank Sinatra”.
The cronopios, on the other hand, those messy, warm beings, leave them to be free throughout the house with joyful shouts, and they walk among them and when one runs by, they caress it softly and say: “Don’t hurt yourself” and also: “Mind the step”.
Which is why the fames’ houses are orderly and silent, while at the cronopios’ there’s loud noises and banging doors. The neighbors always complain about the cronopios, and the fames shake their heads in an understanding manner and go check if all their signs are still in place.
It was not without effort that a cronopio managed to establish a life thermometer; a cross between a thermometer and a topometer, between a catalog and a curriculum vitae.
For example, the cronopio invited a fame, a hope and a language professor to his house. In the application of his discoveries, he established that the fame was infra-life, the hope para-life and the language professor inter-life. As for the cronopio, he considered himself as slightly supra-life, but more out of poetic inclination than of any underlying truth.
When lunch came, this cronopio found joy in listening to his companions talk, because they all thought they were referring to the same thing when they were not. The infra-life used abstractions like ‘spirit’ and ‘conscience’, which the para-life listened to like one listens to the falling rain –a very delicate task. Of course, the infra-life constantly asked to be handed the shredded cheese, and the supra-life cut the chicken in forty two movements, Stanley Fitzsimmons method.
At dessert, the lives saluted each other and returned to their own occupations, and in the table there was nothing left but loose little pieces of death.
Conservación de los Recuerdos and El Almuerzo by Julio Cortázar, translation mine. with special mention to cutefeyrac because i am a doofus and so very sorry.