This is my seagull: work as a way of resisting the destructive power of other people's boredom

After breakfast, as Nick Drake floods the house with the strange mixture of the damn successful failure, I sit down with a book in my hand. Time passes and silence, usually so scarce, overflows. She asks me what animal bit me. “Don’t tell me you’re sad to be reading that Russian over there!” she says. I don’t know if it’s a doubt or an accusation that I’m committing an unforgivable crime. Just in case, I deny and apologize. But denial and excuse are tainted by lies. My silence is the fault of the Russian himself.

Because, before my eyes, it’s as if Chekov held out a mirror. That sucks me into a fantastic and inhospitable realm, of a melancholy that never descends into depression. But, oh, sometimes it gets your feet wet. This is the problem with always having crooked laughter on display: silence, so common to others, sometimes sounds like an offense to me. “I don’t understand why you keep reading these things…”, she says. With reason. But now it’s too late. I return to the book, drinking for the third or fourth time from the source of my melancholy.

In “The Seagull”, Trigórin is confronted by a dazzled Nina, who idealizes the writer’s life. She envies his success and recognition. To which Trigórin replies: “I live on the hunt for every expression, every word, mine and yours, and I hasten to lock those words and expressions in my literary storehouse: one day they may be useful! As soon as I finish a job, I run to the theater or go fishing: maybe then I can get some rest, forget about myself, ah… None of that, inside my head, a heavy cast-iron ball soon begins to spin. , a new subject for a short story, and soon I drag myself to the table and again have to write and write as fast as possible. And it’s always like that, always, I never give myself peace and I have the feeling that I’m devoting my own life, I have the feeling that, to manufacture the honey that I deliver, at random, to people I don’t even know who they are, I remove the pollen from my best flowers, I pluck those same flowers from the ground and trample their roots.”

I read almost until I remember. And I find myself forced to laugh that silent laugh that has all the pains of a life that drags on for more than four decades. If you substitute theater for “films”, fishing for “Pesca Mortal” and tale for “chronicle/article”, this efedepê is talking about me. Next, Trigórin, in Russian fashion, complains of being a cursed person forever – in the Dalton-Trevisanian, very Curitiba sense of the term. And he continues to rub my anguish in my own face. Straight from the end of the 19th century. “How can you?!”, atheists must be asking themselves.

In a delicious self-criticism, which can also be seen as sadistic, Trigórin talks about his repressed desire to “represent the life as in dreams”, a desire that is daily buried by other obligations. “(…) I adore this water, these trees, this sky and I feel nature, it awakens in me an enthusiasm, an irresistible desire to write. But I’m not just a landscaper, I’m also a citizen, I love the country, the people, I feel that, if I’m a writer, I’m obliged to talk about the people, their sufferings, their future, I’m obliged to talk about science, of the rights of men, etc. etc., and then I talk about everything, I get flustered, they pressure me from all sides, they get angry with me, I run from one place to the other (…)”, writes Chekov, giving voice to Trigorin.

Right now, I close the book and can’t contain my sobs. “I knew that Russian over there would make you feel bad,” she says, in a reprimand accompanied by the hug I need. Between the crying that is not convulsive only because the cliché bothers me, I find an opening to make fun. “You know what’s worse?” I ask. She knows, because love made us develop a curious telepathic relationship, but she says it’s not just out of generosity. “The worst thing is the seagull that Trepliov kills and throws at Nina’s feet.” she laughs. I laugh. I don’t know why we’re laughing.

All I know is that, after referring to voluntary slavery that imprisons me in a whirlpool of ideas every day, all day long (!), Trigórin sees the dead seagull and does not hesitate to write down the idea for a short story. I read aloud the passage that the Bic pen dared to underline: “a young woman has lived on the shores of a lake since childhood, like you; she loves the lake, like a seagull, and is happy and free, like a seagull. But suddenly a man appears, he spots her and, for lack of anything else to do , he destroys it, just like that seagull.”

This is how the second act of the play ends. I close the book and immediately feel “a heavy cast-iron ball spin”. I take the notebook out of the inside pocket of my imaginary frock coat in order to jot down the idea. “Nothing to do!!!!!/dead seagull”, I write, anticipating those who, out of sheer boredom and a perversity that they are often unaware of, will annihilate my attempts to represent beauty. And also this seagull of mine.

Towards the end of the play, a disillusioned Nina, after trying to be an actress, says that “what matters it is not the glory, it is not the splendor, it is not what I dreamed of, but the ability to endure. Learn to carry your cross and believe. I believe and, that way, I don’t even suffer so much and, when I think about my vocation, I don’t feel afraid of life.” Sorry for the paragraph that looks more like a post scriptum, but I needed you to read this too.

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