“Behind this sad spectacle of words, unspeakably trembles the hope that you read me, that I didn’t die completely from your memory” – Julio Cortázar
“Behind this sad spectacle of words, unspeakably trembles the hope that you read me, that I didn’t die completely from your memory” – Julio Cortázar
Belgrade, July 2013
The city still slept as we walked through the street along the Sava. It was a Sunday morning and we were probably the only people in the street. We didn’t really sleep and our bags felt a thousand times heavier every step. We partied almost all night at the boats around Block 15, where everything was insanely cheap, which suited our falling economy and the friends we made on the way were cool and got good molly. After the last boat closed and the people went away, we wandered the streets without direction as the reality of restarting our lives was approaching and the responsibilities that follow weren’t far away. We came to our hostel, slept around two hours and decided to hit the road to don’t miss the train.
The central station was deserted as we sat on the starts and smoked cigarettes waiting for the first train to Budapest to arrive. We got into the train and felt asleep along the way. Strange dreams haunted me and kept me in a state of constant confusion as the train stopped along the stations during the eight hours ride. People to which I should have said goodbye or at least show a minimal display of affection, since I would probably wouldn’t see them again, came and went in my dreams, sometimes angry, sometimes happy, yet always blurry. The drugs, endless partying, and the spontaneous encounters weren’t fun anymore. Who I was pretending to be was just a fabrication in order to avoid the one I was back home and I couldn’t hold into the numbness anymore . My emotions, fears and concerns were in a state of suspension, yet as the days went by and the time to come back home came closer; they haunted me in my dreams.
As I woke up, a guard came to our wagon with a dog looking for contraband and drugs, which after a long search they found a package three sits behind ours and arrested a sketchy looking guy, making the trip a little bit interesting , after enduring the monotonous landscapes of the Serbian border with Hungary.
We arrived to Budapest and that train got stuck into the deep of my subconsciousness for a reason yet to comprehend, as a scenario within my dreams where my memories and dreams meet to make peace with each other, as I made peace with myself and accepted that the only way to continue was to let go and face what was next, without finding excuses to ignore it.
Stuttgart , November 2013
We weren’t the best coders neither the best at managing a website, but for a time everybody was able to enter write something and collaborate in our endless-senseless writing. It was an annoying twitter for letting go our creativity and improve our writing skills. Somehow, it became a place to relieve secrets, tell amazing short stories, and let our feelings pour out.
One day the serves we had went down and most of the data was lost and many amazing short fragments coming from the hearts of random strangers with them. Bringing back the data was expensive and the book we planned wasn’t very successful. Eventually, we gave up and the server flashes a forbidden error.
I still refresh it sometimes, hoping that it will work out even though I was the owner of the server and I imagine some people still refresh it up to today and that we all connected with a single click and the little disappointing that it produces.
Monterrey, April 2010
Home parties were the choice, staying home and playing video games became more attractive despite the good weather. We would talk about them more than never and the amount of stories that we shared sounded more from a horror movie than reality, but they were true and there were videos all over the internet to confirm them.
I couldn’t describe the way I felt the times I walked the streets at night or when we heard the sounds of sirens in the vicinity when we played baseball. It wasn’t anymore fear neither anger, more like a sense of powerless followed by a mild sadness, but life went on. The constant bombardment of news in the tv and the rumors in social media made us more numb than surprised.
Every morning, when I walked to university, there was a heavy police presence in the neighborhood, yet it didn’t really produced a feeling of safety; and it was more like that of expectation, expectation of something that could happen. I , as anybody else, would worry for an instant just to later forget about it and move on. Once a class mate said: “If it comes, we would just follow”. It could easily describe anything, yet I knew what he meant and I agreed.
A few blocks away from my apartment there was a beautiful house with high walls and some bodyguards outside. Neighbors said a prosecutor lived there, others said a big shot in the game. I walked pass by that house everyday and wondered if the person living there will feel the same everybody else did or safer or more in danger, guess probably the last. One day all the bodyguards were gone, and the house looked empty, but in the entrance there was a huge piece of cloth with the following text:
If you die today, would that person know that you love her?
Don’t wait. Tell her today
Guess in between all, there was still lines for love. The piece of cloth was taken away hours later and kept me wondering if he actually did tell her, because we could only accept the things how they were and live in, since it may or not come and we will just follow.
Monterrey, March 2010
Through life people tend to focus on the way things are near to them, they go forward through life without noticing the crude reality that surrounds them as if they were horses with blinders following what the carriage’s tells them to follow and so was I living my life without mayor worries or any serious problems, being ignorant and deaf to all the buzz that blasted the news and social media. I was focused, as many others are, in scoring a good time with the girls at the club or getting fucked up at some frat party, but really comes silently close to you until it is to obvious to ignore it, but deep down you knew it was always there.
It was a late and the after party was not good enough. My throat was dry and the booze was running out, plus the pretty brunette I spend my whole night speaking to will not give me more than a kiss, which was disappointed after the time spend in the after party of her yuppie friend; it was time to call it a night. My car was parked a couple of blocks aways and the idea of an early morning walk seemed to be plausible to my drunk self. The sky was still dark as I left the apartment complex and make my way into the main street, which was completely silent despite a few dying distant barks of some dogs far aways and the dance of the leaves touched by the dawn’s breeze. I kept walking along the sidewalk, not really thinking about anything, not really caring about anything, because my consciousnesses drifted m due to lack of sleep. My state temporarily killed my relentless state of mind as a weekend routine to forget to ask myself the questions of who I was or what I was doing, because the answers were vague and confusing as my interactions with the world.
I walked a block more, when within the streets I saw a black jeep with polarized windows and two suspicious looking guys smoking cigarettes in front of an old abandoned building giving me the chills, therefore I ignore them and kept walking as the fool I was. One of the guys turned around and saw me.
– Hey man, can you come here and help us with something? – Said the guy. I looked at him. He was wearing a long oversized white shirt with some trashy pattern, black baggy pants, Jordan’s and a white new era Yankees cap or the “homie i’m here to rob you” look. -Sorry man, I’m in a hurry, need to get home soon. – I replied while speeding my pace. The guy started to get close to me and said something else, but inside I was panicking and I started to run. Two blocks ahead there was a police control and I would be safe ( or so I thought), so I push myself to run with no hesitation. My head was not dizzy anymore as the adrenaline rushed through my body when I ran pass the next block. For an instance I felt it was over, but the black van passed by my side and stopped in front of me. The guy from before got down and pointed at me saying – I told you to come here motherfucker – He didn’t show me any knife or gun, thus I turned around and made a run for it again.
All the violence and criminality that I heard of was for the first time clearly visible to me and as I ran trying to stop any passing vehicle to help me as the jeep turned around made more sense and it felt more real by the minute. Eventually a clueless taxi driver stopped and I got into the cab and told him to drive to the university, which was pretty close by and there were constant college police in the area. Once more I felt I was escaping, just to be crushed of thar illusion as the jeep approach the cab and through the window they guys screamed to the driver – Stop if you want no trouble, we want that motherfucker- The driver without hesitation stopped the vehicle and opened the door locks without even looking at me. – Man just drive, the police is not far away please.- I begged him as I saw the guy and another of his mates get down of the jeep to approach me. The old taxi driver looked at me through the rear view, his eyes were distant and I could see that he did feel sorry for me, but I understood why he would not risk his own skin for a random guy at dawn. – Sorry mate, I can’t risk any trouble- He replied making my fear grow even more. Still I wouldn’t just give up, despite my fear I knew that letting them take me wouldn’t end in any good way and why not risk all to avoid the uncertainty of even death? Why would I not just fight to the last minute? I knew the answer with certainty as they approached to the taxi, so I push opened the door with all my might and hit one of the thugs and for one last time I choose to run. A couple of meters beyond stand the guard office of an apartment building and for my luck the guard was outside having a smoke. I ran in front of him and screamed -Let me inside and call the police its an emergency!- He looked at me confused but let me in and I closed the door behind me to the thugs. The guard was my fucking savior or more specifically his need of nicotine. Thanks Marlboro.
The guard called the police, but the thugs tried a couple of times to convince to open the door saying that I was a robber and they were taking me to the police, but the guard looked at me and made a quite obvious conclusion. Eventually they left and the police arrived. The case was not solved until one day the city attorney’s office called me to state that jeep was found with bullet holes down the river, apparently a bigger fish took over.
For a long time I couldn’t really walk without watching my back, because I accepted the reality I was living in and that ignoring that things are going good in order to normalize life is not possible. Things could have been worst, but they didn’t and I ran with luck not like many others in the war on drugs.
Rather unexpected and driven more by luck and casualty, she bumbed into me and gave me a warm smile. Her big eyes, infinte, starred at me reflecting the neon lights around us. The music and noise of the crowd went mute as we stood there silently looking at each other as we drew closely. An unplanned rencounter at the end of the summer,out of a cheezy movie script. And then we kissed, when I realized that my past & future didn’t matter and that for now on I could feel free and once again my heart took the wheel for the upcomming ride, a ride where my fingers slided through her blonde hair and my lips followed hers in an almost syncrhonized dance.
Loneliness humiliated me and turned me into that you wouldn’t like to have.
Vanity transformed you into that you wouldn’t like to be.
Sadness pushed me into that abyss you wouldn’t like to look.
It wasn’t cruelty neither despair, rather just tiredness of pretending to be what we couldn’t be.
Our eyes couldn’t cross, our smiles couldn’t be true and our hearts closed.
Time came and our words weren’t familiar anymore and the red lights would be annoying instead of ours.
Stockholm, September 2018
I’m sitting in a meeting room, wearing a dark blue suit with a white shirt without a tie. Actions plans are discussed, a budget plan is proposed and a connection with our international partners is made. My colleagues speak and even though I am listening, my view is lost in one of the big windows. We are sitting in one of the tallest buildings of the city (which if you compre it to any industrial city is not that tall) in one of the upper floors and due to the flatness of the skyline and the lack of ugly glass skyscrapers I am able to see how the city spreads with its black roofs through the islands that and beyond them the archipiélago seems not to end in the distance.
A plan is made, a critical path is analysed, someone is worried about the deadlines, the schedule is changed, their voices fade as my sight is lost between the boats sailing, the blue trains going back and forth in between the islands, and the people that look like little dots. I’m sitting here, but I am not really here. I have pursued to be here, but a side of thought of be somewhere.
I comment, collaborate, propose and discuss, yet I am a preconceived version of myself. The water reflects the white clouds and the birds fly down and up the water hunting for distracted fishes, while a part of my consciusness flies with them, away from what I call my life, away from who I am supposed to be.
Hands are shaken, roles are proposed, and everybody leaves the meeting room. As I walk through the corridor I look once again into the distance behind the glass window. I’m here but I am also there, because that is how I have always been, nowhere.
Real de Catorce, May 2016
I ride at dawn passing by the peaks which mark the limit of the town, leaving behind our group, leaving behind the familiar into the dusty planes that extend beyond the horizon. The air still fresh from the dying night hits my face as I ride knowing I am going nowhere and my horse gallops at a firm phase through the bushes.
I pass by the old railroad station, far into the plateau, far away from any road. The sun rising up in the clear sky, warming the soil and with it the sounds of the animals hidden in the nature, singing like a coordinated orchestra with a feral touch. There were no signs or men, just the face of nature and its creations dwelling in the bushes and through holes along the soil.
I ride along the high mesas and the ground resounds under my horse hooves and he gallops faster as I slightly press him with my boots. Our blood heated as the sun warmed our skin and our mouths dry up and our breath becomes heavy. I turn into the old hill road and he goes anxious as if he knows our time is coming to an end and I know that what I was seeking to discover in the desert was a think that I’d always knew; that our shadows would never be one again and that my future was beyond the distance under a different sky, in which we will not ride again.
I ride through the old mining compound, silent and abandoned through the times of the revolution and I take down the mounting of my horse and we both drink water from the small pound under the ruins of the old mill. I look at his big brown eyes that seem calm, yet he looks at me quietly as if he know my heart was full with sadness. We stand there without making much sound as the cold breeze of the nearby mountains cools down our bodies and I prepare the mount again to head up into the old road.
We encounter cowboys and their cattle, jeeps full of tourists ready to venture in search of peyote, and later on I hear the bell of the church marking the entrance back into civilization and I ride back to the old hacienda, where my friends and family are having breakfast. I leave the horse at the stable with the other horses and he looks back at me from the fence quiet and still as if he knew we will not ride again, as if he was saying goodbye.
Stockholm , July 2018
Goodbye old friend.
I’m sitting in the restaurant wagon of a train. I look through the window and cannot recognize the place the train is going. It could be the mountains of the Sierra Madre, but all signs in the train are in Cyrillic and its unusually cold for what it seems a summer day. I’m wearing a slim fit black suit and I’m sipping a surprisingly good gin tonic. My head feels like its gonna explode and my heart is pumping fast as if I snored two lines of good peruvian coke. The trains is empty and the perception of time doesn’t exist. Where is this train going? Why it feels so familiar? I don’t have a clue.
You are sitting in front of me,wearing an elegant blue dress with your hair loose and you keep staring at me expressionless , but you don’t say a word. I can see a sadness through your eyes and I try to hold your hand, but you don’t let me and instead you laugh and sip a glass of red wine, which was not there a minute ago. The train goes faster and the coldness turns into a unbearable warm, yet you don’t seem to bother. The landscape turns into an endless desert, like the one in Sonora and in the wagon speakers “I wanna be your dog” by Iggy Pop starts to play and you start laughing and hold my hand tight. I am not sure if I am there or if I’m not, because I don’t feel your hand and I wanna kiss you, but I cannot move and you keep laughing and suddenly the wagon is full of confetti and the train goes faster and through the windows the desert is covered on fire.
– It is the last time, but not like the other last times, this is truly the last time. – you say in a soft and sad tone.
– But I don’t know if that is what suppose to happen or if I can promise you that it is – I said while tears fill my eyes, but I cannot cry so I keep smiling.
– I guess there isn’t much we can say or do about it, it is just how it is and you should just go wherever this takes you. – You reply to me and stand up and you move towards me and kiss me, like I kissed you the first time; fast and by surprise. The train starts to get on fire and the confetti turns into ashes all around us.
– There are no goodbyes, just jumps into different futures that may or may not entangle again. – you say as you slowly walk into the entrance to the other wagon, which is already covered on fire, but you don’t burn with it and as you walk aways into the flames you start to fade away.
I’m alone and the train accelerates into a upcoming tunnel as I and everything around me covers on fire, but the fire is cold and my heart is full of pain, but I cannot move because of the speed. The tunnel covers the light from the windows and I sit in plane darkness and you are gone and I know that I cannot follow you. I start crying, because I remember I have been sitting in this train before and I reached the destination always by myself. The train exits the tunnel and stops and the flames are gone and I’m in a unnamed Eastern European city alone, waiting for the next train to come again.
I wake up and stare into my white roof. I look around and the one next to me is not you and I wonder if you wake up next to another, will you sometimes think about me or maybe not? I make coffee and go into my life as usual, thinking about that train, your blue dress, and the things that are not mean to happen.
As the day goes by, it all fades away just to come back in another random night in which I will be riding that train again, but you may or may not be there.