16
Apr
13

¿Has ganado?

X es ese policía que cuando te para en un control comenta con su compañero lo sucio que tienes el coche. X es ese tipo ciclado que te perdona la vida al cruzarse contigo. X es esa treintañera que critica los kilos de más de su amiga cuando esta se levanta para ir a mear. X es ese amigo que te habla de los caballos de potencia de su nuevo monovolumen. X es la funcionaria del INEM que te mira como si fueras basura. X es ese profesor que te decía que no estabas bien de la cabeza. X es tu suegra y X es el modelo de novio para su hija que ha perfeccionado durante años. X es ese vegetariano que asegura ser más piadoso que tú. X es el matón del colegio. X es tu jefa. X es tu editor. X es ese tipo que habla muy alto en el bus para que todo el mundo vea que tiene el último iPhone. X es tu reflejo en el espejo. X es quien tu padre quiere que seas. X es el que escribe libros de autoayuda. X es Walt Disney. X es José Luis Sampedro aleccionando desde el cielo de los viejos. X es el Bien. X es Obama y X es El Eje del Mal. X es Dios. X es cualquiera que se crea más que otro. X es todo el que piense que ha conquistado la cima. X eres tú orgulloso y realizado. X es por ejemplo ese gordinflón que paladea el Vega Sicilia del éxito junto a la piscina de su chalé ajeno al encapuchado que salta la valla trasera con una taser en una mano y un hacha en la otra. X no es más que X, y solo hasta que alguien surge de la nada y despeja la puta incógnita. Arrancándola de raíz.

12
Mar
13

¿Soy yo?

Después de la última discusión, el silencio se instaló en la sala de estar. Un silencio denso, casi sólido, que cementaba los oídos y obturaba las gargantas. Un silencio que ya no merecía la pena intentar romper. Así que se levantó del sillón, se puso el abrigo y cerró la puerta principal sin preocuparse siquiera de descargar parte de su enfado en forma de portazo. Porque hacía tiempo que ya no era enfado lo que le mordía las entrañas. Era algo peor. Algo parecido a la apatía. Algo dolorosamente próximo a la resignación. Y le entristeció estar seguro de que a ella le sucedía lo mismo. No sabía cómo había ocurrido, cuándo había empezado el fin. Pero estaba claro: ya no se soportaban. Al salir a la calle se detuvo a encenderse un cigarrillo. Pensó dónde podía ir para desconectar, para animarse un poco y conseguir forzar una sonrisa al volver a casa. No se le ocurrió ningún sitio. Además eran más de las once de la noche de un lunes y el frío plateaba el asfalto. Tan solo el bar chino de la esquina permanecía abierto. Se refugió en él y en el calor helado de una cerveza. Un par de solitarios machacados se acodaban en la barra mirando absortos la tele. Los minutos de la basura de un partido de media tabla. Cero cero. Cuando el árbitro pitó el final y la fosforescencia verde del césped fue sustituida por la publicidad, ambos hombres siguieron mirando la pantalla con la misma atención vacía. Aquello hizo que se le quitaran las ganas de beber. Dejó la cerveza recién empezada y un par de monedas sobre el mostrador y salió a la calle. Decidió dar una vuelta a la manzana antes de subir a casa. Y mientras caminaba se sorprendió pensando que probablemente aquel era el último giro de una vida en espiral hacia la nada. Ya frente a su portal echó mano al bolsillo en busca de las llaves. No estaban, se las había dejado arriba. Tuvo que llamar al telefonillo. ¿Sí?, respondió su mujer con voz metálica, revestida de óxido viejo. Soy yo, respondió él. En el ascensor, escrutándose en el espejo, lo repitió a modo de mantra: Soy yo, soy yo, soy yo. Pero no le sirvió de mucho. Ni remotamente consiguió reconocer la imagen que se reflejaba ante sus ojos.

03
Aug
10

Nothing cubed

I was eleven when my father said that he was going to get some tobacco. I had already heard what it is usually said in relation to this. So I shuddered at the thought. I looked at my mum but she avoided my pupils turning slightly her head. Although not enough to prevent me from seeing the huge bruise which encircled her left eye in all its crude reality. Again. Don´t worry, she said, everything will be ok. But it wasn´t like that: ten minutes later he came back home again.

 

Alarm clock, foot, floor, cold, shower, brush, teeth, clothes, buttons, coffee, microwave, gulp, sickness, elevator, street, bus, race, ticket, mass, sweat, humanity, street, office, 8 hours of nothing, street, bus, silent, tiredness, bags under the eyes, street, elevator, home, facebook, nothing, hotmail, nothing, freezer, lasagna, microwave, bite, sickness, buttons, pajamas, bed, insomnia, sleep, I don´t care… Another 8 hours of nothing. Alarm clock, foot, floor. Cold. Sickness.

 

The French child was playing with his dog in the park. Tête d’or. Trees with trunks similar to doric columns. Lakes, streams, some centimeters of fallen  leaves padding the world.  An authentic forest. Another planet, still and scented. So the child was happy jumping up and down with her dog. Until she stumbled at the foot of a beautiful oak. Her red patent leather shoe got caught on the half-opened mouth of a semi-buried head. It was anything but golden.

20
Jul
10

Subway

I don´t like travelling by subway. And even less early in the morning. It’s not like travelling by bus. You can’t see out of the windows. You cannot imagine what will  the sky be like. You cannot get distracted looking at the traffic, the shop windows, the still sleeping beggars under the gleams of Zara stores with their feet sticking out from their cardboard boxes. You cannot even sink your eyes into the bases of the trees surrounded by dog shit and escape from reality, thinking of millions of ways to kill their owners. And forget about hearing anything apart from the screech of metal against the metal and sporadic coughs from the urban convoy. Suburban.

I hate travelling by tube at seven in the morning because it means to be forced to choose between the emptiness of the tunnel blackness and the emptiness of the guy who is sitting in front of you or at the other end of the carriage and who reminds you of you too much. Someone you don´t know, but who you are sure they will have a 6 Euro set menu alone in a café in an industrial park. Or some of you could say that they are going back to their rented flat after spending the night in a on the building site of a luxurious new shopping centre.

For these and many other reasons I prefer to put up with the freezing cold, waiting at the bus stop when all of the stars or simply a mass of dark blue clouds can still be seen. But that day I didn’t hear the alarm clock and I found myself rushing out, sicker of life than usual, pushing myself to run fast and without a miserable coffee in my stomach, to a place where I didn’t feel like going to at all. Yet, instead of sitting in the park next to my home to see the dawn over my neighbours’ satellite dishes and thinking about how to sort my life out, I ended up throwing myself into the subway station entrance because my brain kept telling me that the subway is the fastest way to get there. While I was descending flight after flight of the stairs, the growing anxiety was making my guts, and me, writhe.  I suppose that´s why the ticket clerk couldn’t be bothered to be courteous when I went up to the ticket booth and asked for a ticket. Maybe I should have thanked her for giving me the change from 50 Euros and chewing and swearing in an almost inaudible way from behind her glass. But the truth is that I didn’t do it. I just grabbed the ticket and my change which she scattered on the aluminium tray, I went through the glass barrier and I ran down the escalator three steps at a time onto the platform, yet more stressed due to the annoying squeal of a train stopping.

The quick beep-beep-beep of the automatic doors of the convoy stopped and gave way to a kind of vacuum packing noise, like a spaceship compartment sealing, right at the moment I got in. And when the train started to move I felt that it could do whatever it wanted to with me. I felt that actually I didn’t mind if it never stopped at the destination which I had just paid for. It was almost preferable to be kept locked in the guts of the endless iron worm, going back and forth on the lines as it pleased. After all, that was not so different to what was happening day after day in the world which lay everywhere thirty metres above, on the sunny, dark, cold or warm surface. So I leaned back against the lock gates and it hurts to admit that, unlike so many other times,  I didn’t even notice when they suddenly opened and let me fall onto the tracks, because I assumed in one moment/flash that those kind of tragedies have no place in a everyday life

And I stayed there standing, trapped in a corner by the crowd which saturated the convoy, going with the flow, willing to let the time pass in the most innocuous way. Willing, for example, to read from one end to the other, several times the signs indicating the capacity of the vehicle, the no-smoking and no-eating signs, the regulations and the safety instructions for the passengers. And the headlines of the free newspapers behind which some passengers were hidden. And the book covers which the most restless people pretended to read, The Da Vinci Code, The Pillars of the Earth, etc. And I read  (change of subject from they to I) the brands of their mp3 players. And the route board stuck over each convoy gate. To memorize the stations, the change points, the embossed serial number which distinguished each of the seats crowded with people with their sad faces looks…

Reading everything, just not to have to rest my eyes on any of the other elements of the herd, who were not travelling, no, they were simply being transported along with me to whatever unwished destiny and with a bit more luck would have had a life worthy of being called human. People sitting or standing or leaning on the rubber of the articulation bellows, between the wagons and convoy swinging their heads to the monotonous rhythm of the train. People of different races and creeds and football teams, but identical in their gift to impregnate, or foster, their sadness in mine. So it is better to take my eyes off them and to start to read absolutely everything. Even the coins and notes that some minutes ago the unpleasant clerk had given me and that I was still holding in my hand, immersing them in my sickness and sweat. And then, on one of  the FIVE EUROS with serial number FL 28190605 C and the secretary and treasurer or whoever unreadable signatures, a telephone number written in almost colourless blue ink. I didn’t think too much about it. I didn’t even practise what I´d say if someone answered the number. I guess that I simply wanted to do something different to what I do every day, and dialling that telephone number seemed to me a good way of introducing a certain degree of novelty in my life. A possibility that I had in hand, at least. And I took my mobile when we stopped at a station similar to all the previous ones and to those which would come after. A mountain of people that wanted to get out and another mountain that wanted to get in, crowded together around the doors and struggled for some seconds, but finally the convoy-platform, platform-convoy meat transfer ended without any important incident.

The only thing worth mentioning is that the human tide wanted to place immediately in front of me, so close that I could feel her chlorophyll breath swayed my smallest facial hairs, a beautiful girl. Not an stunning girl, nothing to write home about. Simply beautiful and young. And, certainly less beautiful than many of the other girls which were in the entrails of Line J. However, I couldn’t see the rest of them while I had her only inches away from me.  So it is so possible that she caught my attention just because of mere physical proximity, due to the fact that she was accidentally invading my personal space and that her perturbing eyes momentarily met mine. In any case, whatever the reason, what counts is that I liked having her in front of me. Maybe, I even thought, I was falling in love with a stranger to who the metropolitan mass movements had randomly stuck in front of me. Since that seemed a stupidity like those I so detested in other people, I decided to look away and distracted myself with the only real option I had. I read the number scribbled on the note yet again and dialed it. A shiver run down my spine when a mobile phone started to ring in the carriage synchronized perfectly with the dialing tones in my right ear. I couldn’t breathe when I observed, almost in slow motion, how the girl was searching in her bag and took out her phone. So, for a moment as terrifying as it was beautiful, both of us were face to face with our mobiles ready to end the surprise, comedy, love story or simply anecdote. Whichever one it was, it would something worth telling your friends, and I felt a little bit alive. It was a nice moment.

The bad thing is that it lasted so little time because when she pressed the green button of her mobile she smiled widely, her eyes lit up and she immediately said a lot of beautiful things with a happy voice to whoever was at the other end of the line. My mobile, while I continued looking like an idiot, rang a little longer and when it was finally answered, I heard a recording made by a lazy idiot with a flat voice who said “Hello” and then added that my life couldn’t be good if I had resort to calling to an unknown number that arrived in my hands on a 5 Euro note. But, don´t worry, the voice of that son of a bitch went on, you are jerk number fifteen thousand three hundred and eight who has rung this number; you are not alone.

That morning, when I got to the surface, I did the same thing I did every other morning. And the next day was the same too.

08
May
10

Released with charges

The telephone was ringing almost everyday. Many times it was because of the same reason as ever. Debts, unpaids, pending matters. Other were calling to offer me their condolences.

People were calling everyday and letters of the IRS were arriving, notarial requests, summons. Also the distressed words of some distant relative.

I had to leave.

I opened a drawer this morning. To take a pair of clean socks. Nothing special, the same drawer as ever during the last couple of months. But I guess I rummaged through more than usual because I touched a piece of paper. And I cannot remember having put anything there or anything like that. I don´t know what it is, but I can imagine it. I take it. A picture. And a thousand of memories in an instant. As when you can feel a similar smell to the school kitchen one from anywhere, for example. A second after, you are a child and you are with your friends doing an easy thing in the recess. You can see yourself exactly as you used to be. Your friends, the playground asphalt, the scratches made by a thousand forks on the different steel trays where you used to have lunch. Everything exactly the same as it used to be but impregnated by that sadness given off by that which is already dead. It´s been something like this.

I´ve been living here almost for two months, at the other end of the country. It is not bad most of the time. The advertisement said that the accommodations were included with the job. And behind the kitchen of the bar there is a door which leads to a small warehouse-basement with no windows but with a bed and mountains of beer boxes. Half full, half empty. There are no rats neither and the place is not specially wet, so I suppose that it can be called accommodation. My boss carried out her agreement. The first day the woman gave me a piece of advice, even, she told me not to spend my money in a television set as the signal was fuzzy down there. Yes, I cannot complain about my boss-landlady. Actually I think that although the boss had been an authentic bitch I could have not complained about her.

Because probably the only reason of being here and now is my father.

It was a strange time. I feel like being at home less than usual. Any offer was good. Even any excuse. If there were no excuses, I used to get out and just start to walk. Trying to keep my mind away from my father´s shit. His problems with the law, his problems with us. It was the time when I used to be able to go from one end of that fucking city to the other just for the sake of passing common people and thinking that maybe they were as fucked as I was. It was the time when I should have explode but I had no time.

Yes, all this stuff has a lot to do with my father.

My father´s brother used to wear long sleeve shirts. At any season of the year. He didn´t like that anyone touched his skinny arms. From the elbow to the wrist was a banned area. He said that he felt embarrased. Sick. Fear. In sum, it made him feel bad. It is one of the three images that I keep of my uncle. I was a child, six or seven years old, but I remember well the hate which he felt towards his forearms because once he suddenly hit my face while he was playing with me. Then, he looked at my mum and said that I had touched there, as if with that thing could justify everything. Then I didn´t understand anything, of course. Another memory is a cloudy morning being walking with him and my dad on the bottom of a pool plenty with leafs and covered with washed-out green tiles. Almost all of them cracked. It was in the middle of the winter judging by the clothes we were wearing. My father and I were in parkas and my uncle was wrapped in a brown and beige checkered flannel dressing gown. And slippers. They had been as thick as thieves. But life had placed them in apparently very distant worlds. The only thing that my father could do for him was keeping him company sometimes. It had to be hard, I guess. Hard for both of them. Some years after I understood that my uncle was in hospital because he was a heroin addict. Some years after I knew that he was in there because he had already tried it once. The third detail I´m keeping in my mind is an eighty something new year´s eve in my grandparents´ home. My uncle used to live there since her wife had cleared off. It is curious, also that night my uncle was wearing pyjamas. Light blue fabric pyjamas. He said he was going to bed before the middnight and the good whishes arrived. I think I remember that the rest of us stayed there and the older drank a toast and the younger threw streamer and confetti. Hours after, when the new year started to get light, the telephone rang at home. My father run towards it as if he was arriving late somewhere. And my grandmother shouted from the other end of the line that Antonio was dead. They found him locked in the kitchen. In his pyjamas. Sitting on a rocking chair and with the gas oponed.

I guess that later he was brought to the forensic lab and an autopsy was done, but that is something that has nothing to do with the fact that since then my father started to get drunk, beated the shit of us and then started to cry and begged us perdon thousand of times. In fact, it possibly has not explanation. Then the new year´s eves were moved to any day of the year, and that started to be quite disgusting. Not loving your father makes you feel weird at least. Whishing that he dies for once in the hell and for all makes you feel a son of bitch to say the least.

And it happened precisely at new year´s eve. The last one. The only thing we knew about my father is that he had finished work at six in the afternoon. Some years ago my father´s drunkenness of year farewell and a junkie brother had been reduced to that, to old man drunkenness. Alcohol with no blood, that´s all. But that night I stay home just in case. After a sad and tired toast my mother goes to bed. And I stay on the sofa watching the endless tv show. Welcome 2008. Having Christmas pastries and getting drunk with champagne. And at five I hear noises at the landing. A strike and after as if someone was pushing the door. I can see my father half unconcious on the doormat, like other many times. Full with alcohol, slimy and muttering, probably coated in his own vomit. Unable even to ring the doorbell. So I decide to screw him up and let him sleep at the staircase. I forget the thing and I fell asleep. Or I fall asleep and I forget the thing, it doesn´t matter. The thing is that an insistent dingdong of the doorbell wakes us up after a while. And some urgent hard blows on the wooden door. The first thing I can see after opening the door is the upstairs flat neighbour. He says whatever and I look down. My father is at my feet. So pale in the middle of a small blood puddle. According to the forensic report, he has lost most of his five litres on the street and on the steps of the stairs.

Police says that that night he went to a lot of bars and he ended up in the red-light bar at the corner of my parent´s home. My mother´s. He invited a whore to a drink. Then he went to the upstairs floor and he paid fifty euros for half an hour of sex. But she saw that he had more money in his wallet and she considered him a sitting duck. She went out to the street and stabbed him to steal two hundred fucking dollars from him. He had already spent the rest of his salary in his bars and remorses route.

And, in sum, my father died like this. Twenty something years later but like his brother did. Just at the other side of the door.

By now I try to erase him from my memory. The bad thing is that I´m so stupid that I took a picture of him with me.

By now his killer is in protective custody.

By now the last whore who suck it to my father is waiting for trial, but released with charges. Like me, more or less. With the difference that she will be judged by a third party.

15
Apr
10

Cholesterol and other greasy stuff

The woman sitting next to me has already seen me here other times. I guess that’s what makes her think she’s entitled to speak with me. Because she orders a 55 cent glass of wine, turns her jawl around to face me, and she uses her vocal cords, which I imagine look like viscous pieces from a pork’s snout, to tell me that nowadays she only stops by twice a week.  

-I’m determined to lose some weight- She adds with a voice that doesn’t really fit in a body that contains ovaries and that makes me think on the possibility that everything is in fact, a nightmare.

But in front of her lie four empty glasses, identical to the one she is holding between her swollen and reddish fingers and that she finishes in one gulp. Identical to the one served after she has immediately ordered the sixth. I take out my note-book and write:

–          Burst veins

–          Internal bleeding

–          Slow suicide. Possible ways (investigate)

 

I perceive the woman approaching me. I stare at my notebook, but I feel how the great volume of her bulky body keeps growing and growing in the left margin of my visual field. I would prefer it if, right now, she was to break the glass against the bar and tried to slit my throat open to having to interact with her in a semi-human manner. I just came to spend some time by myself. That’s why I’m not sitting at table number 8 with the guys from the accounting department. That’s why I don’t want to eat my 6 dollar menu in company. That’s why, even if I were to sit here 1000 days in a row, the waiter would never know my name. And that’s why I don’t want an old fat woman, broken by alcohol, to make me an accomplice of her shitty life. That’s what I’m telling myself when I hear again that sandy voice that gives me the chills.

-¿What are you writing there?

I don’t want to look at her, and talk to her even less. What I feel like doing is to fill my empty stomach with a beer, or two, or three, before heading back to work. In fact, as many as my organism feels are needed to accelerate time and make things blurry. So I’m determined not to look at her and even more to avoid talking to her. I repeat this ten times to myself in a second; but it seems that even my movement escapes my control, because, right when I’m going to repeat it for the eleventh time, my eyes are already fixed in the slices of eyeball that can be seen over her chubby cheeks.

– Nothing. Stuff.

– About me, ¿right?

-No.

I have spoken three words, four syllables. I have been capable of holding her look. That’s what I think while, as stupidly scared as stupidly proud, I wait for her to say what she has to.

-Yes, I want to lose weight, for my husband.

At this point I know with absolute certainty that I mustn’t hear anything else. That I don’t want to hear anything else. But the fact that the human mountain has a husband triggers my curiosity. Astonishment, to be more precise. To top that, I can’t stop looking at her. It’s like if by doing it I could gain control on her influence over me, which I feel powerful. Over my peace, my well-being, my health, my established order of things. My meager balance. Under no circumstance I would want The Voice to catch me by surprise again. So I stare at her, and slightly trembling, I wait for her to go on.

-Yes, you can picture it… look at me, my poor husband has to cut my toe nails. And scrub my back. And everything else.

Fuck… I draw out a bill from my pocket and I waive clumsily at the waiter to get my check.

I pay and I don’t even wait for my change.

I go out to the street. The sky seems bluer than usual. The temperature is ideal to avoid having cold and sweating. But I shiver and sweat. And I can only think that if I slit open my bar partner, I would find in the bottom of her heart lumps of cholesterol and, maybe, of true love and other of those things that stain and kill.

27
Mar
10

The crisis

People go on and on about the crisis but I don´t mind ‘cos I´ve got a gorgeous dog. He’s called Bad Boy. That’s what I was told by the guy who sold it to me. I suppose he was the kind of moron who uses his pet to frighten old people in the neighbourhood. The kind of guy who pats it on the neck firmly and says “Calm down” or “Good boy” each time the animal sits down or pricks up its ears. Anyway, the thing is that I saw an ad on the internet. I think it was this morning. Someone was selling a husky for an affordable price. I called the number and the voice assured me that the dog was the same as the one on the picture. Certified first-class pedigree. Three years old. Forty-two point nine pounds. One point eighty-seven feet between the floor and the nape of the neck. His coat in perfect condition. Just a light greyish streak along his back. Eye heterochromia. Brown and sky blue. Well, the guy tells me from wherever he’s speaking, it’s an authentic domestic wolf. I have to see it. Whenever you want. And a little bit later I´m ringing the bell of a house in a residential area on the outskirts. As soon as it goes ding-dong, I can hear the dog barking at the other side of the door. Actually, it sounded more like a howl. Maybe the fool had been sincere with the picture and with the description on the phone. But when the wrought-iron gate opens, the guy who meets me is not a ruffian with a tight t-shirt and highlights on his hair. I always have a picture in my mind before I meet someone, sometimes I’m wrong. He’s a normal guy. At least, he seems as normal/ordinary/inoffensive as anyone in the neighbourhood. We shake hands and I don’t notice any calluses or scars from work or anything like that, which sticks to my mind, I don’t know why. We go into the garden and he calls him by his name. It’s the first time I hear him and I wonder why he has this name. And why he’s selling him. I don´t get time to ask about it, because Bad Boy appears from one side of the house, ambling quietly. With a presence. He gleams like a compact snowball in the light of the mediterranean morning. He gets closer and I squat and the current owner of the husky says, “Come on,” with no fear. I pet the animal on the back of his ears and I caress his face and the creature sticks out his tongue and covers my fingers with his warm saliva. I had never been interested in dogs. In fact, a last echo of the absurdity of the situation crosses my mind: what the hell am I doing here? But for some reason the only thing which escapes my vocal cords is, Ok, how much? Thirteen hundred dollars. As I told you, I’ll give you the pedigree certificate and I’ll throw in the collar and muzzle. This sounds good because among other things I have no fucking idea of the price of a Siberian husky. So, I pay him the cash – almost all my last pay packet and I drive away with Bad Boy sitting on the back seat. He pants serenely next to my head. I can feel the cloud of his pure canine breath, without toxins, or artificial colourings. No words. And I say to myself that I’ve just made the best investment in companionship ever. I drive and think that when we get to the city I’ll buy some ham and salmon and other select items. I think that I’ll take care of him and he will instinctively love me and defend me if someone attacks me simply because his stomach is full and his coat groomed and clean. I think that for once things will be easy at home. We pass by a recreational area that could be equally a park or garden or a tiny piece of forest. I don´t care what it’s called by the warden on duty; it’s a good place to use the dog for the first time. So I park at the verge and open the back door and Bad Boy goes running towards the open and sunny part. Then he stops, turns his head towards me and barks dryly. Then restarts running until he disappears among the half bare trees that surround a small set of deserted swings. It’s so quiet that I can hear his quick footsteps going back and forth on the dry leaves, on the other side of the bushes, through the branches and hedge. I sit on the swing and swing for a while. Just for the sake of doing something, just because I´ve never been the owner of anything in my life and I don´t know if I should go after him, call him, shout to show my authority or wait for him to appear again and ask me to throw a stick for him. And, obviously, the easiest thing is to swing. Feeling the warm heat of the sun, squinting my eyes because of the brightness, breathing in the new season and emptying my mind, until the thought strikes me that maybe my life is not perfect but it could be much worse. Like the life of that cashier of the local supermarket who in two weeks time went from being beautiful to being buried due to a massive brain tumour. Yep, it’s easier to try and forget what happened some months ago, swinging and trying to be happy compared with the unfortunates of this world. I continue until the noise that can be heard from the vegetation stops sounding like just an animal running around. It’s changed to stifled growling and whining or maybe both things at once. I get up and go into the vegetation and can imagine that I will find my dog chewing on a hare or a bird. Or maybe that he’s hurt a leg and he is waiting for me to rescue him. Something like that. I imagine these things but what comes into view is the muscular body of Bad Boy clawing on the chest of something so similar to a small boy’s body on the ground that it can’t be anything else. But I’m wrong, because when I get closer I see that the thing actually is a little girl. A couple of braids are shaking the earthy soil raising small clouds of dust each time that my husky licks her face. And the worst thing is that, from twenty yards away, I´d say that the child has no face, it’s just some scraps of skin and a pulpy red mass. Then something inside me breaks and denies the evidence of my eyes and my only logical thought is that of running and running towards Bad Boy and the child. I keep some slivers of hope till I get there and I pull Bad Boy’s lead and I see it all from a distance of one and a half feet. I can see that no, there is no face. What the girl has on her neck is hardly distinguishable on its left side. I can make out a scratched or bit cheek, I don´t know, and bits of eyelid hanging off, sliced in two by a thick and deep cut. But I just can only imagine the rest. There is neither a nose nor a mouth nor right eye; holes full of blood and mucus and milk teeth and glassy liquid take their place. The remainder is no more than a viscous soft lump that shines demonically in the sunbeams which slip in easily among the stunted branches of the deciduous trees. A repulsive thing in which some life is still beating, because I can hear the whistling that the air makes on the way towards her tiny lungs through all the dangling bits. The most terrifying noise I’ve ever heard. But there’s no time to stand paralysed from fear as a voice calls from nearby, calling out to a child. And I drag the dog away and run and get into the car and I drive at top speed, with that thing breathing noisily and licking its nose repeatedly, like a polar bear after hunting a seal. Covering the upholstery in red. And we arrive at a piece of waste ground where there is an incinerator which never closes. Now we simply keep waiting until it gets dark. From time to time Bad Boy barks because he is bored, I suppose, and I throw a stone and a piece of wood and entertain ourselves for some minutes. But, shortly, when nobody can see us, I’ll take that stake over there and I will beat my splendid and gorgeous dog to a pulp with it. And I guess that later I will see it burning little by little among the embers of rubbish while I´m asking myself if anyone will have seen my license plate, if the police will be looking for me, or if the small girl will survive. If she manages to do it, my life will be transformed. Plastic surgery has improved a lot, but no one, not even God, could repair the tears in that face. So, if the police don´t come to my home tomorrow to arrest me, I’ll read in the paper my victim’s name and will devote the rest of my days to break the wing mirrors of the cars parked on her street. To smash the mirror in her elevator. To throw stones at the weak reflection of the nearby bus shelter. And, obviously, due to all this I couldn´t care less about the crisis. Or anything else, too.