Indulging in his calculated confession with his conscience and subconscious, crisscrossing with those opposing voices, and sitting still in that truck for hours, Nippon began to reflect on his life. He thought about his worth, his freedom, and his immunity from being judged or being judged. In many ways, he told himself, life was silent, deafening, and aching. He felt as though he was living in a primitive forest instead of a modern city, with heavy threats, arrogance in many people’s hearts, if not snobbishness, as he imagined the Cro-Magnon man might have felt had he had time to visit Lima in his space and time for a month, year, or decade: undoubtedly, he would Despite having to live among what he referred to as “The antes,” or human ants, he found life in the big city to be unpleasant because he was unable to comprehend them.

So he began to reflect and mull over various topics, including Lima, his friendships, his nature, the truths, mythomaina, and so forth.

He was different from everyone else; he didn’t need to learn how to live; such was his life; he knew everything he needed to know at birth, like Adam in the Garden of Eden; such was his way; he was in harmony with the universe: silent, talkative, free, capable, tireless, easygoing, just with justice, gifted, and satisfied with nothing. He also knew everything he needed to know at birth. When he was younger, he enjoyed dancing, music, and occasionally getting drunk. Even at birth, he learned about the creatures’ secrets and their world of exhaustion, where they were content without understanding.

Friends were something else. It is their responsibility, or a loved one’s responsibility, to care for you and your connections, such as family members, friends, or others; however, that is a completely different issue. I can’t find the right word, he used, but he told me once he had a friend, it was during war, 1971, he got shell-shocked, couldn’t talk for a week, had to be taken out of Vietnam and sent to Japan for recovery, when he had got home from the war, he called him up, and his friend said, “Calling again only makes me think about that terrifying day, so don’t bother!” He may have learned that friendships are futile, pointless, or some other phrase along those lines; in any case, he had discovered that we only truly show our love for someone when they have passed away, and even then, only for a brief period of time. “We love the dead,” he spoke out loud in his truck’s front seat, looking at the door of his house. Then I started thinking again: We love the dead because they are no longer subject to our obligations. That’s man; he has many guises, loves to be loved, and gives love in return when he is loved. He loves when someone is lovable, but when they are not, it’s a different story, and the love is rarely unconditional. Now for the show: tragedy awakens love.

What does the average man do? He reads newspapers, magazines, watches sports on television, consumes news, drinks beer, and engages in fornication. He travels the world while doing all of this, which wears him out. And killing, killing people for the purpose of liquidation, much like the tiny flesh-eating fish in the Amazon who, after finishing, leave only the skeleton of a man.

And as far as Lima went, to him, it was just sidewalks, crossings, an ocean on one side, mountains on the other, all hemmed in by fog every day; a train that crammed you in like sardines; little and big shops everywhere; if you dared to eat there, you had to bring your pills along to cleanse your inners; everyone was the same. A city of neon, alcohol, and drugs, all emanating like smoke, with people floating around like funeral ducks and somnambulists who could care less where they were—in Bali or Java or even on the moon.

# 3-21-2016

Part of the story “Anthills of Lima”

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