VISITOR

He sank into the rocking chair, the same one in which Rebeca had sat during the early days of the house to give embroidery lessons, and in which Amaranta had played Chinese checkers with colonel gerineldo márquez and in which Amaranta Úrsula had sewn the tiny clothing for the child and in that flash of lucidity he became aware that he was unable to bear in his soul the crushing weight of so much past wounded by the fatal lances of his own nostalgia and that of others he admired the persistence of the spiderwebs on the dead rose bushes the perseverance of the rye grass the patience of the air in the radient Febuary dawn and then he saw the child it was a dry and bloated bag of skin that all the ants in the world were dragging toward their holes along the stone path in the garden aureliano could not move not because he was paralyzed by horror but because at that prodigious instant melquìades final keys were revealed to him and he saw the epigraph of the parchments perfectly placed in the order of man's time and space: the first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants aureliano had never been more lucid in any act of his life as when he forgot about his dead ones and the pain of his life as when he forgot about his dead obes and the pain of his dead ones and nailed up the doors again witg fernandas crossed boards so as not to be disturbed by any temptations of the world for he knew then that his fate was written in melauìades parchment he found them intact among the prehistoric plants and steaming puddles and luminous insects that had removed all trace of mans passage on eartg from the room and he did not have the calmness to bring out the light but right there standing without the slightest difficulty as if they had been written in spanish and were being read under the dazzling splendor of high noon he began to decipher them aloud it was the history of the family written by Melquìades down to the most trivial details one hundred years ahead of time he had written it in sanskrit which was his mother tongue and he had encoded the even lines in the private cipher of the emperor augustus and the odd ones in a lacedemonian military code the fibal protection which aureliano had begun to glimpse when he let himself be confused by the love of amaranta úrsula was based on the fact that melquìades had not put events in order of mans conventional time but had concentrated a century of daily episodes in such a way that they coexisted in one instant fascinated by the discovery aureliano read aloud without skipping the chanted encyclicals that melquìades himself had made arcadio listen to and that were in reality the prediction of his execution and he found the announcement of the birth of the most beautiful woman in the world who was rising up to heaven in body and soul and he found the origin of the posthumous twins who gave up deciphering the parchments not simply through incapacity and lack of drive but also becausr their attempts were premature at that point impatient to know his own origin aureliano skipped ahead then the wind began warm incipient full of voices from the past the murmurs of ancient geraniums sighs of disenchantment that pteceded the most tenacious nostalgia he did not notice it because at that moment he was discovering the first indications of his own being ina lascivious grandfather who let himself be frivolously dragged along across a hallucinated plateau in search of a beautiful woman who would not make him happy aureliano recognized him he pursued the hidden paths of his descent and he found the instant of his own conception aming the scorpions and the yellow butterflies in a sunset bathroom where a mechanic satusfied his lust on a woman who was giving herself out of rebellion he was so absorbed that he did not feel the second surge of wind either as its cyclonic strength tore the doors and windows of their hinges pulled off the roof of the east wing and uprooted the foundations only then did ge discover that amarananta úrsula was not his sister but his aunt and that sur francis drake had attacked riohacha only so that they could seek each other through the most a intricate labyrinths of blood until they would engender the mythological animal that was to bring the line to an end macondo was already a fearful whirlwind of dust and rubble being spun about by the wratg of the biblucal huri ate wheb aureliano skipped eleven pages so as not to lose time with facts he knew only too well and hr began to decipher the instant that he was living deciphering the last page of the parchments as if he were looking into a speaking mirror then ge skipped again to anticipate the predictions and ascertain the date and circumstances of his death before reaching the final line however he had already understood tgat he would never leave that room for it was foreseen that tbe city if mirrors or mirages would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when aureliano babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments and that everything written on then was unrepeatable sunce time immenorial and fir ever mire because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not havr a secknd oppurtunity on earth gr