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O CADERNO DE ANOTAES Norman Mailer O escritor estava tendo uma briga com sua namorada.

Eles caminhavam na direo da casa dela, e como o desentendimento continuasse, eles andavam com seus corpos se afastando cada vez mais. A moa estava obviamente guardando energia para a discusso. Sua voz se ergueria um pouco, sua cabea e ombros semoveriam na direo dele como que para adicionar peso a suas palavras, e ento ela se voltaria desgostosa, seus saltos batendo no asfalto em um ritmo preciso que era bem furioso. O escritor sofria com certa dignidade. Ele colocava uma perna depois da outra, olhava sempre em frente, sua feio era triste, ele sorriria tristemente de vez em quando e balanaria a cabea a cada palavra que ela dissesse. "Estou farta e cansada de voc," exclamou a moa. "Estou farta e cansada de voc ser to superior. O que voc tem pra ser to superior?" "Nada," disse o escritor, numa voz to calma, numa entonao to gentil que sua resposta poderia muito bem ter sido "Tenho minha santidade pra me sentir superior." "Por acaso voc me d alguma coisa?" perguntou a moa, e deu ela mesma a resposta: "Voc no me d nem as horas do seu dia. Voc o homem mais frio que j conheci." "Ah, isso no verdade," o escritor sugeriu suavemente . "No ? Todo mundo pensa que voc to bacana e simptico, todo mundo exceto qualquer um que te conhea de verdade. Qualquer que te conhea sabe bem." O escritor no estava impassvel, na verdade. Ele gostava muito dessa moa, e no queria v-la infeliz. Se com uma outra parte de sua mente ele notava o modo com que ela construa suas sentenas, a ltima palavra de uma frase parecendo dar impulso para a prxima, ele estava, no entanto, prestando ateno a tudo que ela dizia. "Voc est sendo completamente justa?", perguntou. "Eu finalmente consegui entender voc", disse ela, com raiva. "Voc no quer estar apaixonado. Voc s quer dizer as coisas que deveria dizer, e observar as coisas que deveria sentir." "Eu te amo. E sei que voc no acredita em mim", disse o escritor. "Voc uma mmia. Voc no nada alm de uma... de uma mmia egpcia." O escritor estava pensando que quando a moa ficava brava o imaginrio dela era, no mximo, algo nada inspirado. "Tudo bem, eu sou uma mmia," disse gentilmente. Eles esperaram pelo sinal do semforo mudar. Ele parou no meio-fio, sorrindo triste, e a tristeza em seu rosto era to completa, to paciente e to perfeita, que a moa saiu em disparada pela rua, com um gritinho, e atravessou trotando em seu salto alto. O escritor for obrigado a correr um passo ou dois para alcan-la. "A sua atitude diferente agora," ela continuou. "Voc no s eimporta mais comigo. Talvez costumasse se importar, mas voc no liga mais. Quando voc me olha, no est realmente me vendo. Eu no existo pra voc." "Voc sabe que existe." "Voc gostaria de estar em um outro lugar nesse exato momento. Voc no gosta quando eu sou desagradvel. Acha que sou vulgar. Pois bem, ento eu sou vulgar. Sou vulgar demais para os seus sentidos refinados. No uma lstima? Voc acha que o mundo comea e termina com voc?" "No." "No, o qu?", ela gritou.

"Por que voc est irritada? porque voc sente que eu no te dei bastante ateno hoje noite? Desculpe se no dei. No percebi que no tinha dado. Eu amo voc sim." "Ah, voc me ama; ah voc certamente ama," disse a moa, numa voz to pesada de sarcasmo que ela estava quase chorando. "Talvez eu goste de pensar que sim, mas eu sei muito bem." A imagem dela repousou na dele enquanto caminhavam. "H uma coisa que vou te dizer", ela prosseguiu, amargamente. "Voc machuca os outros mais do que poderia a pessoa mais cruel do mundo. E por qu? Vou lhe dizer por qu. Porque voc nunca sente nada e faz de conta que sente." Ela podia ver que ele no estava ouvindo, e perguntou exasperada: "No que voc est pensando agora?" "Em nada. Estou escutando voc e queria que no estivesse to zangada." Na realidade, ele tinha ficado bastante inquieto. Acabara de ter uma ideia para colocar no caderno de anotaes, e isso o deixou ansioso, pensar que se no tirasse o caderno do bolso e rabiscasse logo o pensamento, ele iria esqueclo. Tentou repetir a ideia para si mesmo vrias vezes at fix-la em sua memria, mas esse procedimento nunca era garantido. "Eu estou zangada," disse a moa. "Claro que estou zangada. S uma mmia no fica zangada, s uma mmia pode permanecer sempre razovel e educada, porque ela no sente nada." Se eles no estivesse andando to depressa ela teria batido o p. "No que voc pensa agora?" "No importante," ele disse. Estava pensando que se retirasse o caderno do bolso e o segurasse na palma da mo, poderia ser capaz de escrever enquanto andavam. Talvez ela no perceberia. Isso acabou ficando difcil demais. Ele foi obrigado a parar sob a luz de um poste. Seu lpis trabalhava rapidamente numa escrita nervosa e elptica ao mesmo tempo em que ele sentia a presso da presena dela ao seu lado. Crise emocional agravada pelo caderno de notas, ele escreveu. Jovem escritor, namorada. Escritor acusado pela garota de ser observador, no participante, na vida. Tem uma ideia que precisa anotar no caderno. Assim o faz e a discusso piora. Garota termina o relacionamento por causa disso. "Voc tem uma ideia agora," a moa murmurou. "Mmm," ele respondeu. "Esse caderno. Eu sabia que voc pegaria esse caderno." Ela comeou a chorar. "Por que... voc no nada alm de um caderno," ela guinchou e correu para longe dele rua abaixo, seus saltos zombando de seu sofrimento num claro batimento contnuo sobre a calada. "No, espere," ele chamou por ela. "Espere, eu vou explicar." Ocorreu ao escritor que, se ele fosse ilustrar tal imagem, as nuances poderiam ser alteradas. Talvez o ponto da histria devesse ser que o jovem rapaz pega seu caderno de notas porque sente que esse seria o melhor modo de destruir o que restou do relacionamento. Era uma tima ideia. Abruptamente, tambm lhe ocorreu que talvez isso fosse o que ele tinha feito. Ser que ele desejou terminar sua prpria relao com sua prpria namorada? Ele considerou isso, orgulhando-se pelo fato de que no esconderia motivo algum de si mesmo, no importa quo desagradvel o fosse. De certa forma, aquilo no parecia ser real. Ele gostava mesmo da moa, gostava muito dela, e no desejava o fim do relacionamento deles. Com alguma surpresa, percebeu que ela estava quase uma quadra distante. Portanto, ele comeou a correr atrs dela. "No, espere," ele chamou. "Vou lhe explicar tudo, prometo que vou." E enquanto ele corria, o caderno de notas sacudia calorosamente contra ele, o

cachorrinho de um amigo, sempre fiel, sempre carinhoso. THE NOTEBOOK The writer was having a fight with his young lady. They were walking toward her home, and as the argument continued, they walked with their bodies farther and farther apart. The young lady was obviously providing the energy for the quarrel. Her voice would rise a little bit, her head and shoulders would move toward him as though to add weight to her words, and then she would turn away in disgust, her heels tapping the pavement in an even precise rhythm which was quite furious. The writer was suffering with some dignity. He placed one leg in front of the other, he looked straight ahead, his face was sad, he would smile sadly from time to time and nod his head to every word she uttered. "I'm sick and tired of you," the young lady exclaimed. "I'm sick and tired of you being so superior. What do you have to be superior about?" "Nothing," the writer said in so quiet voice, so gentle a tone that his answer might as well have been, "I have my saintliness to be superior about." "Do you ever give me anything?" the young lady asked, and provided the response herself. "You don't even give me the time of day. You're the coldest man I've ever known." "Oh, that's not true," the writer suggested softly. "Isn't it? Everybody thinks you're so nice and friendly, everybody except anybody who knows you at all. Anybody who knows you, knows better." The writer was actually not unmoved. He liked this young lady very much, and he did not want to see her unhappy. If with another part of his mind he was noticing the way she constructed her sentences, the last word of one phrase seeming to provide the impetus for the next, he was nonetheless paying attention to everything she said. "Are you being completly fair?" he asked. "I've finally come to understand you," she said angrily. "You don't want to be in love. You just want to say the things you're supposed to say and watch the things you're supposed to feel." "I love you. I know you don't believe me," the writer said. "You're a mummy. You're nothing but a ... an Egyptian mummy." The writer was thinking that when the young lady became angry, her imagery was at best somewhat uninspired. "All right, I'm a mummy," he said softly. They waited for a traffic light to change. He stood at the curb, smiling sadly, and the sadness on his face was so complete, so patient and so perfect, that the young lady with a little cry darted out into the street and trotted across on her high heels. The writer was obliged to run a step or two to catch up with her. "Your attitude is different now," she continued. "You don't care about me. Maybe you used to, but you don't care any more. When you look at me, you're not really looking at all. I don't exist for you." "You know you do." "You wish you were somewhere else right now. You don't like me when I'm nasty. You think I'm vulgar. Very well, then, I'm vulgar. I'm too vulgar for your refined senses. Isn't that a pity? Do you think the world begins and ends with you?" "No." "No, what?" she cried. "Why are you angry? Is it because you feel I didn't pay enough attention to you tonight? I'm sorry if I didn't. I didn't realize I didn't. I do love you."

"Oh, you love me; oh you certainly do," the young lady said in a voice so heavy with sarcasm that she was almost weeping. "Perhaps I'd like to think so, but I know better." Her figure leaned toward his as they walked. "There's one thing I will tell you," she went on bitterly. "You hurt people more than the cruelest person in the world could. And why? I'll tell you why. It's because you never feel anything and you make believe that you do." She could see he was not listening, and she asked in exasperation, "What are you thinking about now?" "Nothing. I'm listening to you, and I wish you weren't so upset." Actually the writer had become quite uneasy. He had just thought of an idea to put into his notebook, and it made him anxious to think that if he did not remove his notebook from his vest pocket and jot down the thought, he was likely to forget it. He tried repeating the idea to himself several times to fix it in his memory, but this procedure was never certain. "I'm upset," the young lady said. "Of course, I'm upset. Only a mummy isn't upset, only a mummy can always be reasonable and polite because they don't feel anything." If they had not been walking so quickly she would have stamped her foot. "What are you thinking about now?" "It's not important," he said. He was thinking that if he removed the notebook from his pocket, and held it in the palm of his hand, he might be able to scribble in it while they walked. Perhaps she would not notice. It turned out to be too difficult. He was obliged to come to a halt beneath a street light. His pencil worked rapidly in nervous elliptic script while he felt beside him the pressure of her presence. Emotional situation deepened by notebook, he wrote. Young writer, girl friend. Writer accused of being observer, not participant in life by girl.Gets idea he must put in notebook. Does so, and brings the quarrel to a head. Girl breaks relationship over this. "You have an idea now," the young lady murmured. "Mmm," he answered. "That notebook. I knew you'd pull out the notebook." She began to cry. "Why, you're nothing but a notebook," she shrieked, and ran away from him down the street, her high heels mocking her misery in their bright tattoo upon the sidewalk. "No, wait," he called after her. "Wait, I'll explain." It ocuurred to the writer that if he were to do such a vignette, the nuances could be altered. Pehaps the point of the piece should be that the young man takes out his notebook because he senses that this would be the best way to destroy what was left of the relationship. It was a nice idea. Abruptly, it also occurred to him that maybe this was what he had done. Had he wished to end his own relatonship with his own young lady? He considered this, priding himself on the fact that he would conceal no motive from himself, no matter how unpleasant. Somehow, this did not seem true. He did like the young lady, he liked her very much, and he did not wish the relationship to end yet. With some surprise, he realized that she was almost a block away. Therefore, he began to run after her. "No, wait," he called out. "I'll explain to you, I promise I will." And as he ran the notebook jiggled warmly against his side, a puppy of a playmate, always faithful, always affectionate.