The man pulled some tobacco leaves out of his pocket. He grew them in the field. He casually placed the leaves on the ashes from the cooking fire. Upon fully drying, they crumbled at the slightest touch. The man placed them in his left palm and used his other hand to crush them carefully. Once reduced to powder, he held it in his left hand.
His wife was preparing dinner by the fire, using a big machete to peel the manioc. Neighborhood children were playing with a pot lid, rolling it on its side and mimicking the sound of a car as they chased it. The man’s son sat on a yellow plastic container, watching the world outside go by. Once in a while, he beat the container between his legs with his hands like a drum, unconscious of his action. He trained his eyes straight ahead. There, on a wooden bed frame, sat a certain researcher, who had been scribbling furiously into the little notepad he carried in his hand. Another child approached the man to hand him a scrap of paper. It had been taken from a 10x10-cm notepad, and on it was something written in French. The man took the paper from the child, poured onto it the tobacco leaf powder in his hand, and proceeded to roll it. Upon rolling the paper shut, he placed the cigar in his mouth and lit its end with a piece of firewood. The researcher suddenly raised his head from his notepad, as though regaining consciousness as he became aware of the presence of the cigar. One word at a time, what he had written was slowly being reduced to ashes.