The dust whispers into town like fog the difference being that fog bubbles are hollow and wet while dust bubbles are solid and dry.

The houses are painted in bright colors so that people can find their way. The red houses lead to restaurants, the green houses to parks, the blue to water—rivers and lakes—and so on.

Those who are colorblind use guide dogs. The dogs know the colors by their smell.

The dust gatherers collect the dust. It has many varied uses. They are the only ones who know how to gather the dust and what to do with it.

One day the dust gatherers fail to come. The dust piles up on doorsteps, windowsills, and streets. People complain but nothing happens. The people know nothing about dust.

Dust obscures the bright colors of the houses. Dog nostrils become clogged. People can no longer find their way.

The dust gatherers are invisible until they’re gone and then one sees them everywhere in their absence.


The dust gatherers are nobodies.


Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on them–will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn’t rain down yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn’t even fall in a fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms.    Eduardo Galeano


The dust gatherers return. To gather dust is their fate. People find their way again to the restaurants, the parks, the rivers and the lakes, and so on.

The fog whispers into town like dust the difference being that dust bubbles are solid and dry while fog bubbles are hollow and wet.

Hollow hearts. Wet tears.



Eduardo Galeano and Miguel de Unamuno follow the green houses to a park where a discussion about character ensues. Galeano maintains that character is the consequence of the circumstances of birth and fate. Unamuno says character is in the hands of the author.

“What author? Who is the author?” asks Galeano.

“We are all authors,” answers Unamuno.

And with that the discussion abruptly ends.