We said goodbye at the corner of the Eleventh. From the other sidwalk I turned to look back; you too had turned, and you waved goodbye to me.
A river of vehicles and people were flowing between us. It was five o’clock on an ordinary afternoon. How was I to know that that river was Acheron the doleful, the insuperable?
We did not see each other again, and a year later you were dead.
And now I seek out that memory and look at it, and I think it was false, and that behind that trivial farewell was infinite separation.
Last night I stayed in after dinner and reread, in order to understand those things, the last teachings Plato put in his master’s mouth. I read that the soul may escape when the flesh dies.
And now I do not know whether the truth is in the ominous subsequent interpretation, or in the unsuspecting farewell.
For if souls do not die, it is right that we should not make much of saying goodbye.
To say goodbye to each other is to deny separation. It is like saying «today we play at separating, but we will see each other tomorrow». Man invented farewell because he somehow knows that he is immortal, even though he may seem gratuitous and ephemeral.
Sometime, Delia, we will take up again – beside that river? – this uncertain dialogue, and we will ask each other if ever, in a city on a lost plain, we were Borges and Delia.
Jorge Luis Borges Dreamtigers