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Love and madness from Mario Benedetti

Once upon a time, all the feelings and qualities of human beings met somewhere on Earth. After Boredom had yawned for the third time,  Madness, as crazy as ever, proposed to them: let’s play hide and seek! The Intrigue was intrigued and raised the eyebrow, and  Curiosity helplessly asked: Hide and seek? And how does this work?

It’s a game, Madness said, in which I'll cover my face and start to count from one to a million, and when I’m finished counting, the first of you that I'll be seeing will have to take my place and continue the game. The Excitement danced enthusiastically supported by the Euphoria. The Joy was jumping around wildly and ended up convincing both the Doubt and even the Apathy, who never seemed interested in doing anything. But not everyone wanted to participate. The Truth preferred not to hide herself… Would this do her any good ? Not really, as in the end,  she would always come to the daylight anyway ! And the Pride said it was a very silly game (actually what bothered him was that the idea hadn’t been his) … and the Cowardice chose not to take any risk.

One, two, three … Madness started to count. The first one to hide was the Sloth, being as lazy as ever, and she dropped after the first stone by the wayside. The Faith went to Heaven, and the Envy hid behind the shadow of the Triumph, which had put in its own efforts to climb the highest tree. The Generosity hardly got to hide herself because every place she discovered, she thought was wonderful for some of her friends … a crystal clear lake for the Beauty … a hole in a perfect tree for the Shyness … the flight of a butterfly for the Voluptuousness… a great gust of wind for the Freedom.

The Selfishness, however, found a very good place from the beginning, airy and comfortable … but just for herself. The Lie hid in the depth of the ocean (the Lie hid behind the rainbow). The Passion and the Desire hid in central volcanoes. The Oblivion … I forgot where Oblivion did  hide, but that’s not important. The Madness had already nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine … and the Love had not yet found a place to hide among the flowers.

The Madness counted a million and began searching. The first character she found  was the Sloth, just three steps behind some rocks. Thereafter, the Faith was heard arguing with God about theology and the Passion and the Desire were felt vibrating in volcanoes. In a slip he found the Envy and of course, could figure out where was the Triumph. It was not necessary to look for the Selfishness because he just went out from his hiding place; it had proved to be a hornet’s nest. Tired of walking, he felt thirsty and went to a nearby lake where he discovered the Beauty. The Doubt was even more at ease because he found the Beauty leaning on a fence, still undecided where to hide.

And in this way he could find everyone. The Talent lying on fresh grass … The Distress in a dark cave … The Lie behind the rainbow (it’s a lie… instead she was at the bottom of the sea). The Oblivion had forgotten tht she had been playing hide and seek. But only the Love did not appear anywhere.

The Madness looked behind every tree, every stream in the world, on top of the mountains, and when she was about to give up, she saw a rosebush and thought: the Love is always so corny, she probably hid safely  in the roses.

He took a fork and began to move the branches. Then suddenly a scream was heard… he had hurt the eyes of the Love. The Madness did not know how to apologize: she cried, she prayed, she asked to be forgiven, and promised to be her guide.

Since then, since for the first time hide and seek had been played on Earth, Love has turned  blind … and Love is always accompanied by Madness.