Dor e prazer

Em memória de Christopher Hitchens

“É provavelmente uma benção que a dor seja impossível de descrever de memória.”
Christopher Hitchens, in Trial of the Will, o último artigo que escreveu e citado no obituário da Veja. Abaixo o trecho completo.  Eu, que já experimentei a dor física continuada, mas numa proporção muito menor do que a de Hitchens, tive a mesma percepção: a dor não guarda registro. Conseguimos lembrar do prazer de certas experiências, mas aparentemente a dor não é memorável.

“It’s probably a merciful thing that pain is impossible to describe from memory. It’s also impossible to warn against. If my proton doctors had tried to tell me up front, they might perhaps have spoken of “grave discomfort” or perhaps of a burning sensation. I only know that nothing at all could have readied or steadied me for this thing that seemed to scorn painkillers and to attack me in my core. I now seem to have run out of radiation options in those spots (35 straight days being considered as much as anyone can take), and while this isn’t in any way good news, it spares me from having to wonder if I would willingly endure the same course of treatment again.

But mercifully, too, I now can’t summon the memory of how I felt during those lacerating days and nights. And I’ve since had some intervals of relative robustness. So as a rational actor, taking the radiation together with the reaction and the recovery, I have to agree that if I had declined the first stage, thus avoiding the second and the third, I would already be dead. And this has no appeal. “