Outside: the progress of backward societies, in terms of industrial modernization even of a given peripheral country as Brazil provides this contemporary scene full of innovations and tempter offers. That is to say, the sphere of production and consumption where the large capital expands itself is, in fact, everywhere, and an overfilled image surrounded by advertisements imposes to Melinda its everyday “fine” products, brands, services. COLCCI, LACOSTE, NIKE, AREZZO, WALMART, CARREFOUR, MCDONALD’S, PIZZA HUT, BURGER KING, SUBWAY, PANASONIC, MICROSOFT, HEWLETT-PACKARD, NOKIA — those she will never have any access to.
Invisible is she, as a horrid insect. And those who have been turning her into it look at her now, absurdly scatterbrained or indifferent. But blind aren’t both the insect, who naturally accepts its invisibility, and the observer, who naturally converts people like my protagonist into invisible vermin? Maybe! Or not! It might be only a powerful way to make people pulse in synchrony, as though they always share the same beliefs or have the same interests.
Reaching the streets, Melinda is immediately in contact with FIAT, FORD, VOLKSWAGEN, CHEVROLET, and TOYOTA — these are the fashionable cars only to be delighted with, those she will live her whole life without.
So she takes the GENERAL MOTORS subway car. From Insect Disgusting Land (her peripheral area) to downtown: on the way to Hopeless Avenue (her workplace), nothing to appreciate but lots of rubbish overall, the chilliness of her city’s deeply-shadowed streets where all houses are immoderately badly arranged, alleys inhaling the odor of their thousand beggars, ill-fated and mysterious men and women crossing the street full of its deterring brothels, nights of usual gloom, the old Cult Cine... Melinda’s city is a frenzied metropolis such as New York or Los Angeles — there are only streets, viaducts and avenues; from the deep down, the unevenness between cosmopolitan opulence and striking penury.
After a long trip, she finally gets to work. Her day is going to be tiring. Apparently? Melinda is cleaning up, and washing, and sweeping, and swallowing her pride, and getting lost among bewildering feelings and things. AJAX cleaner, BOLT past wax, SCOTCH-BRITE sponges, SURF detergent, 3M brooms and squeegees.
Crouching down, standing up, three-four-five-six-nine times, and once again, once again, tick-tack, tick-tack, tick-tick, tack-tack, back and forth, singing, sweating, crouching down, working, cleaning, washing, and once again, one more time.
Being up to day with her moral obligation bond. Bad mood to pick up or randomize a better route to follow through. Despair. That book she would love reading to the end. Debts. Supermarket.
A friend she intends to meet whenever. The streets. Cars. Luggage. The subway. A glass of pure water, please?
E-mails. HOTMAIL. GMAIL. YAHOOMAIL… The overload. No dialogue.
The darkness and directness of her failed requests. Those big exhibitions (Duchamp) opening, and galleries stretching out amazing shows, both only in her deepest dreams. Shopping. Books. Television. Movies. Entertainment. Chat rooms. Despair. Violence. The bus stop. Corruption. A man walking down the streets. One killing another, one prevailing over another. Screams. One of the same. Passengers in masses. Brands.
Products. Services. Men and women misplaced. Fear.