"Not all the people living at Beverly Home were old and helpless. Some were young but paralyzed. Some weren't past middle age but were already demented. Others were fine, except that they couldn't be allowed out on the street with their impossible deformities. They made God look like a senseless maniac. One man had a congenital bone ailment that had turned him into a seven-foot-tall monster. His name was Robert. Each day Robert dressed himself in a fine suit, or a blazer-and-trouser combination. His hands were eighteen inches long. His head was like a fifty-pound Brazil nut with a face. You and I don't know about these diseases until we get them, in which case we also will be put out of sight.
This was a part-time work. I was responsible for the facility's newsletter, just a few mimeographed pages issued twice a month. Also it was part of my job to touch people. The patients had nothing to do but stumble or wheel themselves through the wide halls in a herd. Traffic flowed in one direction only, those were the rules. I walked against the tide, acording to my instructions, greeting everybody and grasping their hands or squeezing their shoulders, because they need to be touched, and they didn't get much of that. I always said hello to a grey-haired man in his early forties, vigorous and muscular, but completely senile. He'd take me by the shirtfront and say things like "There's a price to be paid for dreaming" I covered his fingers with my own. Nearby was a woman nearly falling out fo her wheelchair and hollering "Lord? Lord?" Her feet pointed left, her head looked to the right, and her arms twisted around her like ribbons around a Maypole. I put my hands in her hair. Meanwhile around us ambled all these people whose eyes made me think of clouds and whose bodies made me think of pillows. And there were others out of whom all the meat appeard to have been sucked by the strange machines they kept in the closets around here- hygienic things. Most of these people were far enough gone that they couldn't bathe themselves. They had to be given their baths by professionals using shiny hoses with sophisticated nozzles.
There was a guy with something like multiple sclerosis. A perpetual spasm forced him to perch sideways on his wheelchair and peer down along his nose at his knotted fingers. This condition had descended on him suddenly. He got no visitors. His wife was divorcing him. He was only thirty-three, I believe he said, but it was hard to guess what he told about himself because he really couldn't talk anymore, beyond clamping his lips repeatedly around his proturding tongue while groaning.
No more pretending for him! He was completely and openly a mess. Meanwhile the rest of us go on trying to fool each other.
I always looked in on a man named Frank, amputated above both knees, who greeted me with a magisterial sadness and a nod at his empty pajama-pants legs. All day long he watched television from his bed. It wasn't his physical conditon that kept him here, but his sadness."
Segunda e terceira páginas do conto "Beverly Home", do livro "Jesus' Son", Denis Johnson.
Pensei em traduzir mas acho difícil este estilo minimalista, mais difícil de contornar imperfeições.