A historic tiredness was spread over the afternoon

like the skin of an animal spread in the room of the sick-man

who was always laying on his bed; his fever had

subsided; a smell of sweaty undershirt and alcohol. The skin

was of an animal they skinned alive — he insisted on that.

The hairs were obedient, neutral, dead; yet, the pain, flat and

sharp, remained on the other side of the skin. He insisted

on this: the animal was alive when they skinned it. And as

he was lying down there, his hairs stood up, the skin created its

curved back and the sick-man traversed the hallway on

the back of the skin, he passed the kitchen, went out to the yard

and the casseroles sounded like steel drums behind him.