Translated from Portuguese by Annie McDermott
Dr. Silveira walked through the antechamber towards the curtained doorway. The elderly attendant stopped him, about to ask for his calling card, but on seeing the look on the doctor’s face and the way he waved his hand as if wafting away an irritating object, he bowed, parted the green drapes and retreated into an alcove, thinking:
“He must be an important politician.”
Dr. Silveira stepped into the governor’s office. He did so as nonchalantly as if he’d been there a thousand times before, and his arms were held out as if for an embrace. An embrace—yes, of course. For he and the man he was visiting had been neighbours, classmates at primary and secondary school, best friends, completely inseparable.