The being-with is a secret being-against
behind the mask of a being-for.
Soon the euphoria will start. The sofa. I will lie down on the sofa of brilliant gold satin and wait. That’s all I can do: wait and see what happens. Slowly I shall reach the full state of euphoria. Slowly. “Piano, pianissimo!” shrieks Miss Aurora Crane, wading bird, nesting on one leg in the middle of the scales. And grandfather fumes with anger behind the beveled glass partition on which, outlined in a golden web, enormous herons dream. He is fuming because he cannot stand Miss Aurora: worse than incompetent, she is extremely ugly. Bony and withered. And shortsighted, too. The old man kept his sense of aesthetics till his dying days; whenever the offensive presence of some ugly object or person assailed him, his nostrils would start to quiver in tempo and his eyebrows would arch. “Why don’t you hire a decent-looking teacher?” he asked my mother reproachfully. “She is cheap.” “But she looks awful and, besides, doesn’t know how to teach. The child is not learning and has to listen to her hysterical squawking.” “I’m not rich. If you pay the fees, I’ll send her to the conservatory.” “Don’t make her take piano lessons if you can’t afford a good teacher.” “It’s a must. All society girls take lessons.”
Pianissimo. Soft, golden vapors in the evening sky. The launch advances lazily up the Santa Lucia. From the railings I look at the