Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta want. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta want. Mostrar todas las entradas

domingo, 27 de marzo de 2016

Spies

   As Michael arrives, he asks the waiter where he could find the person he’s looking for. Apparently he is on the second floor, in the terrace area. Michael is escorted there by a staff member who points at a man smoking by the railing of the terrace. There are many people around and that is something Michael had not expected but, after all, it is a very popular town amongst tourists and every single day the streets get crowded with them.

 He walks up to the man, who’s younger than he expected and asks: “Is this seat taken?”

 The young man doesn’t turn to him, still taking a look a look at the people on the square below and smoking.

-       Starting with a stupid question doesn’t make much sense.

 Michael sits down. The waiter comes and takes their order: Michael asks for a whisky, straight, and the young man asks for a “screwdriver”. They don’t say a word until the drinks come to the table. In the meantime, they both watch the people and the pigeons come and go into square. The movements are almost hypnotic. When the drinks arrive, the young man throws his cigarette over the railing and takes a sip of his glass.

-       That’s unsafe. – says Michael.
-       I think people have better things to worry about, including you. – answers the young man. - Including whatever it is we are going to talk about now.

 Michael looks straight at him, with disgust.

-       That’s a nice mouthful of crap for a terrorist.

The young man laughs. He also looks at Michael straight in the eye. It’s the look of a mad man.

-       You kill people for sport.
-      Oh, please! You do that too. Besides, it’s not sport. I’m the same as you; I have a salary and everything. The fact that I enjoy it is the only difference.

Michael doesn’t say anything.

-       Oh, so you enjoy it too?
-       What are you talking about?
The young man stops directing his body towards the railing and decides to face directly at Michael and even comes a bit over the table.

-       What do you want?
-       It was you who contacted me.
-       True. But it’s you who wants something. What is it?
-       The truth.

Michael is very serious but the young man slowly pulls back, grinning.

-       There are many truths.
-       You put a bomb on that man’s house. You killed his family.
-       And?

Total silence. Michael’s heartbeat is fast.

-       His children…
-       Yes, they died. And no, I didn’t plan for that to happen, collateral damage.
-       That’s it? - Michael slams the table with his fist. – That’s all who have to say?

 The young man takes his glass and takes a big sip of his drink. He looks around and slowly answers.

-       That’s all I will say, yes. And I bet you don’t have much to say about those drone attacks you commanded while in the army.

Michael’s facial expression changes.

-       What? You didn’t expect me to know that? Please, any decent spy would have dug that out.

Now, it is Michael who pulls back to his seat. He’s reminded of a time he thought everyone had forgotten, that people in his job at the CIA told that was behind him. Apparently a sealed file doesn’t stay sealed forever.

-       Yeah, so that’s done. – says the young man. – So, what are you here, in town? Big party coming?
-       Shut up.
-      Come on, dish. What is it? A cartel, or slaves or what. What is piercing on your brain now?
-       How is it that you are a spy? If you really are, how did you get to be one?

 Again, the young man smiles. He drink some more of the drink and turns his head towards the square.

-       I suspect we have been doing this for the same time, you know. – he smokes as he talks, pausing from time to time. – The thing is you were chosen to be a spy because you were a good soldier. I, obviously, wasn’t that.
-       Obviously.

They both smile.

-       A woman that knew a lot about all of this stuff picked me from an early age. She chose me because, in her words, because “I wasn’t noticeable”. Apparently, I didn’t stand out in a crow.
-       So you stole since you were a boy?
-       Yeah. You didn’t?

 A flock of pigeons passes over them. They both looked at the birds, with so much happening in their minds.

-       So that’s how I started. I have a face that doesn’t stick. I can be in a crowd and you wouldn’t look at me twice.
-       I would.
-       Sweet but I meant normal people. Besides you know who I am now so, it’s pretty obvious you are going to look for me every single day of the rest of your life.
-       You think you’re that important?
-       No, but you do.

 Some children yell and run on the square, scaring more pigeons. People take pictures and talk, a lot.

-       They say you don’t only kill your targets.
-       Who is “they”?
-       You fuck them too.

 The young man laughs so hard that he snorts a bit.

-       Only the men.
-       And the women?
-       I don’t kill women. I thought you would know that.
-       Why?
-       Because.
 He looks at his watch. Michael notices this.

-       Somewhere to be?
-       Nope. I’m just where I need to be. You?
-       Same.
-       Awesome. Why did you become a spy? Childhood dreams?

 Michael moves in his seat. He has never liked to talk about the subject, it makes him uneasy because it is private and he doesn’t handle private very well.

-       Sorry, too personal?
-       No.
-       I don’t care, Mike.
-       Don’t call me Mike.
-       Fuck you Mike.

There’s a silence between them. They drink the last of their drinks and the young man turns his body against towards Michael. He looks at every single feature of his face. He smiles.

-       You’re handsome, beneath that shell.

Michael exhales, annoyed.

-       You are. And I guess there’s a nice little brain inside of there. You knew I was here and no one knew that.
-       No one?
-       Nope. You are the only one that knows and that makes for a nice little relationship, don’t you think?

 He leans over the table and grabs Michael hand. He pulls back but the young man is much stronger than anticipated. The young man caresses his hand and finally says:

-       I came here to do my job, Mike. And that’s what’s I’m doing. No psychological shit today, ok?
-       What?

He leans over even more and says, in a whisper, “enjoy the ride”.

 Then, an explosion occurs in the square below. Every person in the balcony looks below but Michael cannot. The young man grabbed his arm, making him unable to move, and then punched him hard in the stomach. Then threw him on the ground and ran. Michael chases him downstairs, barely breathing. He sees his jeans running down the street and turning left but then, a second explosion happens just a few meters away. Michael is thrown to the floor again and remains there for a while.


 Later, in the hospital, he receives a big bouquet of roses that only have one white card with one symbol on it: the imprint of his lips in blue lipstick.

sábado, 27 de junio de 2015

The Land of Always Sun

   The tribe of the Jaqqaras had one principal concept, one that governed their entire idea of religion, society and politics. It was a simple notion that, against all odds, had helped them survive wars, harsh weather and even almost total extinction. The tribe believed that a land nicknamed by them the Land of Always Sun, laid beyond the horizon and that it was a perfect place, where everything was just and possible. They had adored this place for centuries and would honor it at least once a day. It was the cornerstone of their belief system and many viewed it more important than their god, who was very similar to all the other gods of all other religions. The place was the one who got all the temples and all praising and the one people thought before going to bed.

 The Jaqqaras lived in a steep valley, not far from the ocean where they sailed to catch fish for the community. The thing was that the Jaqqaras where very territorial, even between themselves. Envy was always present and no one could give someone else a gift without upsetting someone in the village. This sounds like a very dire, even dangerous situation, but it was exactly like that. The tribe was not confrontational but rather passive, choosing the words before actually hurting someone physically. They just thought their world was flawed and that there was no point in trying to fix it because that proved impossible. They rather lived as they could and at night they would praise the Land of Always Sun, often by prayer but also with drawings and cultural demonstrations.

 People would gather once a week, often on Sundays, to celebrate what was traditionally called the Forever festival. It wasn’t a big thing because the Jaqqaras were not many and lacked manual skills but they would all gather in their main town’s square and would perform different pieces in honor of the Land of Always Sun. There were dances and poetry and reading of beautiful literature. The children showed their drawings and the elderly shared their experiences, often-incredible tales about how when they were young they thought they had seen the Promised Land. The elderly were actually very respected as it was thought that when a Jaqqara died, his soul would travel across the sea to the Land of Always Sun and live free and happy for the rest of Time.

 The Festival was actually the only happy time or uniting time in the life of the Jaqqara people. Nothing else made them feel fulfilled as human beings, not even love or any other feeling. If a person from another part of the world would visit them, they would think that the Jaqqara were just lazy people who would rather believe in a perfect world than make their own And there had been some that had tried to change their community for the better but all those attempts failed because they were seen as disrespectful towards the Land of Always Sun and that was practically heresy.

 Those who believed that perfect world could be achieved in their actual lifetimes were often expelled from the community, thrown out of the main valley and every possession linking them to the tribe would be taken away from them. It hadn’t been unheard of that someone had been expelled and it was always the worst for their families, because they had to stay behind with the shame of having someone in their family that did not believe in the most essential piece of their beliefs. It was always hard for them at first, both the family and the expelled, but the wounds always healed fast. The person outside would find what they were looking for and the family would forget about said person.

 It had to be noted that the Jaqqara people were practical and never complicated themselves with nonsense. They didn’t like their lives to be disturbed because they preferred to be thinking about how perfect to World Beyond was. Most of them believed every person had a chance there. They all had beautiful grand houses and beauty was the norm. In the Land of Always Sun, everyone always had enough food for the day and they didn’t have to struggle with fishing or hunting. Food would just be there for the taking. They would also have money to trade stuff and stuff to trade and every single thing they could ever want would be just there, waiting for them to grab them.

 Beauty was actually a big deal in the tribe and people who were considered beautiful were the ones who often had more power than the rest. As in any other tribe, there were chieftains but the Jaqqara didn’t think their god chose them or anything like that. They actually chose them in a voting based on their looks. Of course, not everyone had the same criteria when choosing who was the most beautiful man or woman but they were always happy with the results and no one had ever contested any of the winners. They chose a man and a woman that would rule together. They would have to marry and would have to end any prior marriages to rule the tribe. People viewed this as an honor and if someone had to separate because of it, they would do it gladly and without resentment.

 Another big belief of the Jaqqara was that there was no use in doing any big things in the world, meaning that exploring of their region or of the sea was pointless. They would build houses in the place they needed and that was it. Some were healers and learned that trade but there was not other thing people could actually decide to learn or to pursue. They were all villagers who went fishing in the morning and that took care of some crops in the afternoon. They had reserves in land to eat when the fish was bad or to accompany fish when the Festival came, when they would eat more and make a little less boring.

 That was all their life and most of them were happy about it. But one thing that always happened was suicide. Seeing their belief system, it came as no surprise that many people just killed themselves in order to get to the Land of Always Sun faster. They would do it because they thought it was just stupid to live this silly life if they could be having a grandiose one with all the food they could have and beauty and all the fun and happiness in the world. For those who did it, often in the woods or in a boat in the middle of the water, it made perfect sense and it felt to them that that was the real meaning of their belief. And the rest of the tribe had nothing to say about it because, for them, suicide was not something bad at all.

 Most agreed that it was a natural means of control of the population, so they didn’t really say much about it. What they did say was that people who killed themselves to get to the Land of Always Sun, were just taking a shortcut and that their god, and this was the only real function he had, would most likely decide to put them in a special part of the land where they would be less happy than other. Actually, a full life of living in this flawed world would give a person all validity to have every single thing they wanted in the other life. In few words, they had earned it. A person that committed suicide hadn’t earned it yet so they wouldn’t really get the same treatment. Nevertheless, it kept happening.

 The Jaqqara lived in such a remote region that hey were never discovered by anyone else and that also meant that no other person had contaminated their conception of the world. Although some believed the first people of the tribe had come in canoes from the southern part of the world, no one knew for sure and that most have been at least a thousand years ago so it didn’t make any difference to them. They had decided to believe in that land and many even thought it was all a lie. But it was their lie and it kept them going, it kept them from destroying everyone else and everything in their sight. Those beliefs made them feel less alone and less small in a word that seemed enormous, especially when they were fishing.


 They were not pacifists or warmongers. They had just decided to live together and do what was necessary to survive and just live like that, with no other worries or problems. They thought it was unnecessary to complicate things because the best life one could live was one that could be honored when they died and their god decided what kind of life they would have in the Land of Always Sun. Because that was their beacon, that was the lighthouse that lit their lives and made them who they were. The thought of a place where they could be with whoever they wanted, where they could eat as much and whatever they wanted and where they could be who they were, was just to powerful and too beautiful to ignore.