sábado, 13 de diciembre de 2014


He wasn't stopping, not even to breathe. It was amazing and awful, incredible and horrible. He had entered the church, were members of the Cataclysm Circle had come to take shelter after the Alliance had pushed them from one side to the other of the Arno river.

We were exhausted but he, the Creature some called it, seemed to be unstoppable, never being tired, not thinking his actions more than once. He was driven by anger, despair and grief. Just pain, that was it for him and it showed.

No one really knew how, but he could use all the power of his mind. With only thinking of it, he elevated people from the ground ant threw them across the room, not caring if they broke their necks or their legs. He was merciless and no one tried to stop him, at least not us.

He had been known as Adrian. He was a legend of the war as he and a rather small group of people had died activating a bomb inside the castle were the supreme chief of the Cataclysm Circle lived. They had been able to destroy the core of the organization but that didn't seem to hurt them as much as everyone had thought. Not all members of the Alliance had died back then, some of them knew who he was and that's why some still referred to him as Adrian.

Now, that dead man was throwing people from one side to the other, choking them with his mind and stopping their hearts. In the storming of the Circle's castle, many people he loved had died. His most beloved person in the world among those. He had never wanted for all of them to be there. He had actually told the Council that he had a way to get inside without being detected, nor the bomb, and that he would use that in his advantage to destroy them

But the Council saw it as a way to become a hero and they didn't wanted any of that so they formed a team of six people to penetrate the rebel base and a latter group of thirty to knock out any remaining machines or communications of the Circle's core with the rest of the organization.

Thirty people died that day, high in the Alps, so far away from anything. Including him, or so it seemed. His body was sent to Vaduz, as the Alliance closest base was there. So many bodies, from so many parts of the continent. And there was word of so many more elsewhere.

But Adrian was not a normal human being. A week after his death, he woke up in a huge storage building. No bodies had been buried yet as there was nowhere to do it. Luckily for Adrian, anyhow. He stood up there, in the middle of the place and cried in silence. He knew he was never supposed to come back but he did anyway. Before guards realized he was inside, he saw the familiar faces he had loved so much and his tears were simply not enough for the pain he felt.

And now, he had already finished his raid on the church. Fellow soldiers entered the place and scouted for survivors or men Adrian had maybe missed. But no, that wasn't the case. Everyone there was dead and he knew it.

Without saying a word, he had vanished. No one worried though, because he always came back.

Weeks later, word was that he had meet with the Council. If gossip was to be believed, they were not very happy to hear he had massacred all the Circle's soldiers inside the church. They told him that the Alliance didn't wanted the world to think they would do just about anything to stop their enemies. They told Adrian that they couldn't be linked with a person which such a particular background, so he needed to calm down in order to join them in future missions.

Well, the rest was not gossip as many people heard Adrian himself speak. He exited the room were the meeting was being held and got to the main hall, were many people were working with wounded or preparing strategies. He told everyone he would be leaving the Alliance to work by his own account. He encouraged everyone to defeat the Cataclysm Circle, fast and with little or no casualties.
Adrian told them he had to much hate inside and that no person working to accomplish a goal should be driven by hatred.

What happened after, again, was subject of interpretation and depended on the information people received from few that claimed to have seen Adrian. Some fisherman in Norway, claimed he had travelled by foot to Bergen. There, a fish saleswoman claimed he had worked for her for some time until he decided to leave for the Americas, or so she claimed he told her.

But no one in that side of the world ever said anything about a man with extraordinary powers. Many, even after the war had ended, insisted on finding him. They were sure he couldn't die and possibly not age, either. So he had to be alive somewhere. Those people looking for him desperately, were the ones disappointed with the new government, which had failed to guarantee basic rights and many other things they had fought for. They believed Adrian could bring them that freedom they wanted, so they looked for him.

Years passed until a farmer in eastern Iceland claimed to have been helped by a man that seemed ravaged by war. He claimed the man didn't spoke at all but he volunteered with signs to work for him, helping with the sheep and the pigs. The farmer told papers that he was the best worker he had ever had. When asked what happened with that man, the farmer said he didn't know. He just disappeared on day, after finishing his chores.

Almost a decade after that event, even less people remembered Adrian and his exceptional mind. Only a small group of people insisted on finding him. They would travel around with their own money to look for clues of Adrian's whereabouts.

They finally found an old fisherman that claimed to have been saved by a merman, off the coast of Greenland. The small group of investigators flew to Kangerlussuaq and spoke with the fisherman but they soon believed to have been duped. The story did not make sense and the man was so old he might have been just inventing nonsense.

The fisherman's son told them he always told people that story, and he frankly had no idea why. He even said the merman took care of him for several days but that was ridiculous.

The fisherman's cottage was a little bit far from the main town so the small group stayed there to rest before their journey back home. The fisherman's son prepared a delicious fish stew and they all talked and joked all night long, drinking liquor, having fun without thinking in nothing else.

They left the following morning. After they did so, the fisherman's son went back to his usual duties: caring of the man that had actually saved him before becoming senile. He had saved him from drowning and the man responded by giving him a home and support. Adrian would never forget that.

viernes, 12 de diciembre de 2014

Las líneas de la mano

Se habían rehusado varias veces pero la mujer se veía tan frágil que no quisieron negarse más. Se sentaron los tres en una banca del parque. Allí, la mujer tomó la mano de Alicia y empezó a tocar con las yemas de los dedos la palma de su mano izquierda. La mujer fruncía el ceño y cerraba los ojos como si quisiera entrar en algún tipo de trance.

Alicia y Jorge se miraron el uno al otro. Ninguno de los dos creían mucho en la suerte, la quiromancia o nada por el estilo. Se miraron con complicidad y una sonrisa pícara.

 - Hay mucho, mucho en tu futuro.
 - En serio?

Entonces la mujer, con la misma mirada perdida y haciendo una interpretación bastante increíble, empezó a contarle a Alicia que, según lo que veía, se convertiría pronto en una joven exitosa, ganando mucho dinero. Le dijo que sería reconocido por mucha gente, tanto en su país como por fuera de él. Le dijo que su hogar sería una casa enorme, moderna, con todas las comodidades existentes.

Alicia, por supuesto, preguntó por el amor. Y la mujer le dijo que se casaría con un hombre igual de exitoso e inteligente pero que esto pasaría cuando fuera más madura y hubiera cosechado varias victorias en su vida profesional.

Jorge le sonrió a Alicia y le dijo que todo sonaba genial y que no podía esperar a conocer esa enorme casa que ella tendría. Pero entonces la mujer lo miró detenidamente, sin decir nada. Al cabo de un minuto de no parpadear, abrió la boca:

 - Porque dices eso?

El chico le explicó, aunque no creía que hubiese necesidad, que él era novio de Alicia desde hacía más de una año. La mujer lo miró como si hubiera dicho la tontería más grande que se le hubiera ocurrido.

 - Te leo la tuya?

Jorge dudó un momento, sobre todo por la extraña actitud de la mujer al él presentarse como el novio de Alicia. Pero su novia le sonreía y hacía caras para que aceptara la lectura de mano y eso fue lo que hizo. De nuevo la mujer entró en un trance, que está vez le resultó a Jorge más molesto que gracioso, y al cabo de algunos minutos lo miró con una cara propia de un funeral.

 - Mi niño, que pobre eres. Pobrecito niño.

Los novios se miraron y ya no estaban contentos ni divertidos sino asustados y cansados. Jorge retiró la mano y se puso de pie, igual que Alicia.

La joven sacó un billete de su bolso y se lo dio a la mujer, que parecía no poder moverse o no querer. Ellos se tomaron de la mano y se alejaron del lugar. Sin embargo, cuando estuvieron unos pasos más lejos, la mujer empezó a gritar como loca, atrayendo toda la atención de los transeúntes a si misma.

- Pobre, pobre de él! Dios mío, ayúdalo! Pobre alma, pobre!

La pareja apresuró el paso y pronto estuvieron a varias calles del parque. Alicia miraba de reojo a Jorge que parecía molesto, aunque ello no sabía si era por lo que la mujer había dicho acerca del futuro de la chica o si era por lo que había gritado después de leer la mano de su novio.

Pero Alicia no dijo nada, sabía que era mejor no presionar a Jorge, si sentía molesto o indispuesto.

Tras veinte minutos de caminata, Jorge haló a Alicia hacia un local de jugos y postres. Se sentaron en una mesa y la mesera les indicó que todo lo disponible estaba anotado en un enorme tablero en una de las paredes del local. Como no era grande, cualquiera que entrara podía ver fácilmente el menú.

 - Crees lo que dijo?

Jorge parecía preocupado, casi nervioso. Alicia, que estaba mirando la pared, volteó la cara hacia su novio y le sonrió.

 - Es solo una mujer buscando dinero. Tiene que hacer algo de espectáculo para que otros le sigan el  juego. No lo pienses mucho. 

Cuando la mesera volvió, Alicia pidió una ensalada de frutas con helado y Jorge un simple jugo de naranja. Ella trató de alegrarlo diciendo que estaba muerta de hambre y moría por algo de helado y que no le iba a dar nada del de ella. Sonrió pero él no respondió. Su actitud cambió rápidamente.

 - Jorge, no exageres. O es que tu sí le creíste?
 - No. O bueno, no sé.
 - No deberías.

El tono serio y cortante de Alicia funcionó, haciendo que Jorge se diera cuenta que estaba preocupándose por tonterías. Pero todavía estaba lo otro que había dicho, gritado más bien.

La chica que atendía volvió con lo pedido. Entre ambos, compartieron la bebida y lo de comer, y comenzaron una charla que había comenzado antes de que la mujer en el parque los interrumpiera. Habían comenzado a charla sobre la noticia del día: una clínica de abortos clandestinos había sido descubierta y desmantelada recientemente. Pero no habían podido decir nada por culpa de la gitana.

Alicia empezó a decir que le parecía muy bien que hubiera encontrado un lugar tan horrible como ese, donde que lo único que hacían era aprovecharse de chicas jóvenes para hacer quien sabe que porquerías.

Jorge pensaba diferente. Le preguntó a su novia que haría, por ejemplo, si estuviera embarazada producto de una violación o algo por el estilo. Ella le respondió que lo tendría, ya que las violaciones ocurren por culpa de ambos y, muchas veces, más por culpa de la mujer.

El joven dejó de comer al oír a su novia hablar así. Ahora que lo pensaba, era la primera vez en todo su tiempo de novios que hablaban de algo así. De hecho, ni siquiera habían contemplado la idea de ser padres en un futuro. Le parecía que Alicia era muy dura.

Se lo dijo, lo que causó que ella se enojara y le dijera que si él estaba de parte de asesinos de niños y de mujeres que no se habían hecho respetar. El le decía que no, pero que no podía juzgar a nadie por tomar decisiones personales, que a la larga no afectan a nadie más. Alicia le respondió que las muertes de millones de bebés eran problema de todos y que le parecía que tendría que haber más controles para que la gente no usara su cuerpo como se le diera la gana.

En ese momento, Jorge respondió de la peor manera que pudo: se empezó a reír sin control, tosiendo incluso de la risa que le causaban las palabras de su novia. Era más que todo risa nerviosa, ya que no entendía como una mujer joven del siglo XXI podía pensar así.

Ella se enojó bastante y se levantó para irse. Jorge la siguió al andén frente al local y la cogió de un brazo. Ella se soltó con fuerza y le gritó. Le dijo que obviamente él no podía ser el de la visión que la gitana había tenido de su futuro. Era una persona insensible y cruel y no entendía como nunca se había fijado.

Él le reclamó, diciendo que no entendía su manera de pensar. Parecía que le creía más a una bruja en la calle que a él, que había estado en muchos momentos difíciles y alegres de su vida. Jorge le confesó que estaba decepcionado de ella.

Esto hizo que Alicia se enojara más y le gritara a Jorge, diciéndole que era lo peor que le había pasado. Él, enojado también, la cogió del brazo y ella lo volvió a empujar. Pero esta vez, algo más pasó. Jorge se tropezó con el empujón y calle del andén a la calle. Ninguno de los dos había visto que un camión de mudanza venía a toda velocidad. Nadie había visto nada, la rabia los había cegado.

Momentos después, una ambulancia recogió el cuerpo de Jorge y se llevaron a Alicia porque parecía en shock. La ambulancia se fue y solo quedó el camión detenido por la policía y una mancha roja oscura en el pavimento.

La mesera del lugar de jugos y postres estaba asustada, ya que también lo había visto todo. Un oficial se separaba de ella después de interrogarla. Se pegó un susto de miedo cuando una mujer vieja y vestida con harapos de colores, la tocó en el hombro, preguntando que había pasado. Era la gitana del parque, que venía a confirmar lo que ya sabía.

jueves, 11 de diciembre de 2014

Dear diary

Day 1

Hey book! Well, I'm kinda wasted and you're my birthday present so let's get it rolling !!

God, I'm bored. Is it ok to be bored when you've had like thirty screwdrivers? I mean, I kinda get all horny and crazy when I drink but now I'm just so bored, you know?... No, I mean, how would you know. You're a book. What an idiot.

Well, besides this stupid thing, I only got this cute blouse and some earring and bracelet. And not much more. Oh yeah. My man gave me a surprise. Get ready for it... HE SLEPT WITH SOMEONE ELSE ! What a fucking shocker, isn't it? And you know what is the worst, besides IT ALL, of course? The fact that I found him in bed fucking someone else. The bed we had shared many times. How fun is that?

Do you want even more fun? Cool. He was fucking a dude. Yeah, like you heard it. I so his ass and dick before he hid from me like a fucking weasel, as if I was going to attack him or whatever. Well, no. I'm a lady, dammit! I behave properly in all social events, even in those where my boyfriends, or ex boyfriend to be more precise, is banging a guy. Yeah, I'm a queen of the people.

So yeah, that's my beautiful, awesome, fucking present. Great, right? I can't wait for Christmas. Maybe I'll get vaginal warts or some shit. Or maybe I'll be hit by a truck. From now on, everything goes downhill, right?

Fuck, I'm tired and bored and whatever.  Bye, diary.

Day 2

Hello. Well... it's weird because I feel I have to apologize for what I wrote last week. I was so down in the dumps, so hurt and angry and I wanted to kill with my bare hands. I didn't wanted to write again because, who cares about this in the end. But I realized it may be good for my mental health if I get things out before they start poisoning my brain.

I normally don't curse that much. Only when I'm really pissed or drunk. Last week, I was both. Then again, how do you handle it? I ask myself over and over again: "How are you going to cope with this and move on?". Well, tough luck for me because it ain't easy. That's the truth.

Thank God, and my social skills, I have many good friends and they have all said something different: some think I should forgive him, others that I should have revenge, others that I forget what happen and move on to the next one. But I can't do any of those because it feels unnatural to just do something without really thinking what it means.

I think I should note that Gary and I had been together for a little more than a year. I never noticed anything strange or particular and he never told me he liked guys. I mean, I even asked him once if he would ever have sex with a guy, even in a threesome with one girl, and he said no. That was like a chance for him to tell me the truth but he didn't.

I don't know what to do as he has called me, asking to see me to explain but I don't want that. I'm hurt but I try to understand and it's hard. I'm heartbroken, yes. But, mostly, I'm disappointed by the lie. I felt like he was my friend and the fact that he didn't tell me something hurts much more and the cheating part.

Well, I guess things find their way to correct themselves, and slowly fade away... Let's see what happens.

Day 3

Fucking day... Sorry, wrong way to open a... conversation, of sorts. But I'm so pissed right now. My boss has been asking both my legs and arms and then yells at me like a mad doh in front of everyone because I dare to demand I raise. All the work he claims it's his, it all comes from me. And I've just had it so I was fired. Yeah, so, life's fucking me twice I guess.

Then again, work had always been like this but I guess I confronted my boss in a moment he was specially sensitive and man have i been sensitive too these days. So I guess it was bound to happen, something big like this.

I haven't told anyone yet, though. My parents are going to worry and argue with me and my friends will roll their eyes or give me support that, at the end of the day, is all words but nothing to really to hold on to.

And the other thing I should tell is that... Well, Gary called me while I was picking up my things from work and I just bursted into tears and told him what was happening. I know I said I hadn't told anyone but he just called in my most vulnerable moment. He even showed up, helped me carry a couple of boxes to his car and then invited me lunch.

I hate myself for writing this but... I remembered what it felt to love him, to care for him. And right after I would hate myself for thinking of him as a nice memory after he did what he did. I asked him for the explanations he had wanted me to hear and it was worse. Worse because I couldn't blame him. I had met his parents and they are the most conservative couple I have ever met. They go to church and to conservative rallies and the woman is worried every time of what her husband might say and the guy is the biggest bigot you can think of.

Gary told me he always felt attracted to guys but his family almost made him like girls so he dated girls and had sex with them, from high school until now. But his dad had suffered a heart attack recently and apparently that changed it all for him. He told me he wanted to end with me on better terms and couldn't and then met this guy online and invited him to his house...

I mean, I cannot forgive him for lying. I can't because he had choices. But I understand why he did what he did and it's better now that I know some more about him. I love him still, there's no point in denying it. Maybe I would be able to transform that into a nice friendship but, for now, he's just a nice guy that was there today when I needed a shoulder to cry on.

Day 4

Man, I have written so little in here. Only four times and so much has happened during that time. It's crazy... Well, i was fired a month ago. That's the last time I wrote. After that I told everyone about my job, although I only told my closest friends about my encounter with Gary.

Well, first and most important, I got a new job. A friend directed me to her uncle and I'm working with him on advertising for local brands. It's cool, not really what I was used too but it's cool and I do need the money so, it doesn't hurt at all.

I have seen Gary again and I think we can be friends. You know, it's weird to imagine that with someone you have slept with. It seems strange to treat someone like a friend but knowing their "sex face". I actually said that the other day and Gary laughed and tried to do my "sex face" and they I did his and we had a blast.

What I'm certain of is that I don't want to commit to anything right now, other than my job and my responsibilities as friend, daughter and sister. I don't want another relationship. As I said a month ago, I understand Gary but cannot trust him easily and same goes with other men. I'm just afraid people are going to lie to me again but... I guess it's bound to happen right? We're human after all.

To replace to need for attention and love, I got a cat from a neighbor who was giving away kittens from the couple she owns. I named him Snowcone, because he's all black except for the face. I was thinking of Vanilla but he's a male so it would have been kind of misleading to people. He's always close and cuddles with me... I don't know, I need that now. Here's hoping I don't become a crazy old cat woman.

Well dear diary, you have a been a very nice gift after all. You have prevented me from becoming insane and, after all, don't we all need something like this? We need to speak up, loud and clear sometimes in order to make our voices heard, even if it for ourselves. We need to tell ourselves that we are not freaks. We're just people. Right?

miércoles, 10 de diciembre de 2014

Sobre la montura

Siempre me interesó aprender a montar caballo. No sé porque... Tal vez por la libertad que se siente al estar sobre un animal como ese, o por la amistad extraña que se forja con un ser incapaz de responder verbalmente. En fin...

La equitación es una de esas cosas que dicen que hay que aprender desde niño, como tocar piano o bailar ballet pero yo empecé tarde, en un viaje en el que daban la opción de tomar clases rápidas y vaya si fueron rápidas. Consistían, simplemente, en subirse al animal y halar la rienda con algo de fuerza para no caer y controlar al animal. De resto, era poco lo que decía el instructor, un hombre de bigote espeso que parecía un caballo en que masticaba algo constantemente (nunca supe que era) y su aparente falta de voz.

Después de esas vacaciones, me inscribí en una escuela de verdad y aprendí a cabalgar con propiedad. Lo gracioso, en últimas, era que yo no poseía un caballo ni un lugar para montar pero me tranquilizaba mucho interactuar con los animales y montarlos, fuera a toda velocidad o con calma.

En mi escuela conocí a una campeona mundial. Bueno, campeona junior. Una jovencita de quince años que manejaba cualquier caballo como si todos fueran de su propiedad. Un día la vimos pasar por la pista de obstáculos con agilidad y elegancia. Su pelo casi ni se movía, lo mismo que sus ojos que parecían fijos en un punto lejano, nunca en el obstáculo siguiente.

Todos la felicitamos y nos dio algunos consejos para manejar a los caballos en ciertos momentos, como para saltar una cerca o un muro bajo o para hacer giros cerrados en un campo confinado. Todos los intentamos con el mismo animal y fue increíble ver como cada persona lo hacía tan distinto. Yo pude con el salto pero fracasé con la curva cerrada. Caí como un bulto de papas al suelo y, por suerte, no recibí una patada de Teniente, el caballo.

Mis amigos cercanos, los únicos que tenía, así como mi familia, empezaron a darse cuenta de mi interés por los caballos y todo lo que tenía que ver con la equitación. Empecé a leer al respecto, aprendiendo diferencias entre las diferentes razas y los estilos para montarlos. Supe moderar mis comentarios ya que notaba con facilidad cuando hacían mala cara por alguno de mis datos sueltos referentes al mundo de la equitación.

De hecho, solo había una persona más feliz que yo. Era mi amiga Jackie, que trabajaba en un laboratorio farmacéutico. Ella sabía mucho de muchas cosas y, lo más importante, me conocía más que muchos. Ella sabía de mis problemas personales y por eso estaba tan feliz por mi nuevo interés por la equitación. Para ella era un pasatiempo saludable ya que era ejercicio físico y concentración y además implicaba una relación con otro ser vivo, algo que estaba comprobado podía ayudar a quien tuviera problemas sicológicos.

Jackie fue un par de veces a verme al club de equitación. Tengo que admitir que eso me ponía algo nervioso pero rápidamente pude enfocarme en lo que estaba a la mano que era dirigir a mi caballo por la pista y ganar un par de carreras contra los demás jinetes. Fue una tarde bastante divertida, llena de caídas en el barro y risas tontas. Lo pasé tan bien, que pude considerarlo el único día en que no pensé en los problemas de siempre. Todo fue perfecto.

Por supuesto, no todos los días eran así. Había más días difíciles que días fáciles. Eran más los días en los que luchaba contra mí mismo para levantarme que aquellos en que hacía todo espontáneamente y con una vivacidad que no era propia de mi personalidad.

Recuerdo un día en especial. La noche anterior me había acostado sin pensar en nada en particular pero al despertar lo recordé todo y dolió como si se repitiera, como si lo viviera de nuevo en carne viva. Me pregunté a mi mismo "Porque me pasa esto a mi?". No puedo decir que sea una buena persona pero tampoco soy malo. Solo vivo mi vida lo mejor que puedo y ya. Ni me desvivo por ayudar a nadie ni impido que otros se realicen como seres humanos. Entonces porqué a mi, porqué yo?

Ese día me levanté tarde. La cama muchas veces es un refugio inigualable. Tal como la ducha. No me da vergüenza decir que ese día me demoré veinte minutos debajo del agua caliente. A veces giraba la llave un poco para que saliera hirviendo. Necesitaba sentir mi piel, sentir que todavía estaba allí en carne y hueso, no flotando en alguna dimensión lejana como muchas veces parecía. Me forcé a sentir.

Y eso me ayudó, al menos en parte. Desayuné sin ganas, vi alguna película graciosa para que me contagiara de ánimo pero no ayudó en nada. En la tarde me forcé a salir. Tomé los dos buses que tomaba todos los días para llegar al club de equitación porque sabía que si no iba el dolor y los recuerdos tomarían aún más fuerza y eso no era algo que quisiera.

Mi desempeño fue lamentable. Desde el comienzo fue evidente ya que el caballo que normalmente tenía estaba con el veterinario así que me asignaron otro. El pobre animal estaba asustado desde el primer momento. Nunca supe si era yo o su personalidad pero me costó trabajo incluso sentarme sobre su lomo.

En la pista me fue horrible. El caballo simplemente no respondía y pasado un rato era evidente que el problema no era él. Mi instructor me forzó a bajar para verlo a él con el animal: todo fue perfecto, incluso haciendo una ejecución perfecta en la pista de obstáculos.  Me exigió que hiciera lo mismo y seguramente se arrepiente hasta el día de hoy. Todo iba bien hasta el segundo salto. El caballo se tropezó y cayó con fuerza al piso. Yo salí despedido y terminé golpeando el muro que actuaba de cerco.

Me llevaron a la enfermería de inmediato y, luego, al hospital. Según el doctor, estuve cerca de romperme la columna. Además, sufrí un golpe bastante fuerte en la cabeza, que demandó la toma de puntos, cosa que no dolió tanto como pensé.

Cuando Jackie me visitó en casa a los pocos días, lloré como un desconsolado. Le confesé el porqué de mi desempeño ese día y me reprendió pero también me consoló porque ella más que nadie entendía lo que había pasado. 

Para ser sincero, Jackie era más que una amiga. Había sido mi enfermera en mi peor momento y luego casi como una hermana o una madre. Pero lo mejor es que había sido mi ayuda espiritual y económica. Tras mi colapso, no pude seguir trabajando, lo que no fue difícil ya que nunca pude conseguir nada de siento. Ella me dio dinero para sobrevivir y ahora y siempre se lo agradeceré toda la vida. Incluso me pidió que viviera con ella pero no pude. Después de todo, el matrimonio parecía cercano con su novio y no quería meterme en eso.

Ese día en la pista fue el peor pero mejoré. No puedo decir que lo pasado está en el pasado porque no es así. Está muy presente pero ahora lo puedo enfrentar sin miedo, sin perder el control.

Mientras escribo estas palabras, Jackie se pone su vestido de novia y estoy feliz por haber sido elegido como su hombre de honor. Su novio tiene a su hermana como dama de honor, así que se equilibra. Es un día muy feliz y no puedo dejar de pensar lo mucho que amo a Jackie y a estos caballos. Ah sí, es que el matrimonio es en el club! La llevaré al altar en Teniente, con el que ahora doy clases a niños pequeños. Es mi nuevo trabajo, mi nueva vida.

Estoy contento, bastante contento. No sé si seré feliz de nuevo o si de hecho lo fui alguna vez. Pero tengo una prioridad y es estar tranquilo conmigo mismo. Ya veremos que depara el futuro.

martes, 9 de diciembre de 2014

The places in my pain

This is a dream. This is not real. None of this is. Not his smile, not him in any way. Not this place, maybe not even me. I know why I'm here, I remember...

When it started, I found myself laying on a bed, watching the sunrise through a large window, with no blinds or curtains to stop light from entering. It was truly beautiful sight, like no other I had ever seen. But then... Yeah.  I had actually seen something like this before. On a trip with my parents when I was younger. I think we had been camping on a forest and then the sun appeared behind the mountains. My dad had awoken everyone to see it. Why was I dreaming about it?

This dream... It felt strange. I could actually control what I was doing, not merely witnessing things. I stood up from that bed and walked towards the window. It was impossible not to gasp when seeing what was beyond the window: a cliff.

The place were I was, a house I thought, had been built overlooking a deep cliff, with the ocean at the bottom and several pointy rocks. What did that mean? I was sure it meant something. After all, it was a dream.

Then I realized I was wearing a shirt, a blue one. I had never worn one, as office work made me crazy. Then again, no office had considered hiring me so... I was also wearing white socks and that was it. For the first time in the dream, I was scared: what if this was a nightmare? Maybe something I disliked or hated would step in anytime.

I entered the bathroom and realized there was no shower, bath or sink. The door opened to the outside of the house. And I wasn't wearing a shirt and socks anymore, but a sleek black suit with a tie. I had always hated this kind of clothes. How weird...

As I walked on the grass outside, I realized the house slowly fell into the abyss, in silence. It was like seeing someone die or being born, slow paced and beautiful, in a very strange way.

Beyond the grass there was a forest and, somehow, I knew I needed to go there. So I walked. The tie felt looser and so did the shoes as I crossed the grassy fields and neared the forest. When the eucalyptus smell filled the air, I found myself stark naked. I looked for the suit behind me, but there was nothing there, just grass.

"Who cares", I thought. Clothes come and go apparently. What was important now was to keep going and see what all of this was about. As I penetrated the thick forest, stepping on branches and logs, I thought the forest was a very clear memory I had stored for years.

Near my grandparents house there was a park, not that big, but with very tal eucalyptus trees. Those kind of trees were not indigenous to the country and you could feel it in the air and in the soil. They would take me and my sister to that park. And we would play for hours on the benches, on a sand box, and all over the playground someone had put there to make children happy. And it did. We would eat ice cream after that or something sweet and then go back to the house. My grandparents where exceptional people but they never had too much to spare.

That forest in the dream was the park I had played in, replicated thousands of times by my mind. I didn't see them or my sister there, however. The place was silent and there was no one living there except me. Nevertheless, I was still nervous because the dream appeared to be taking a lot of time to end.

After a long walk, I finally arrived to the shores of a lake, that appeared to have the shape of a raindrop. I didn't thought much of it. I just walked towards the water and smiled when realizing it was warm. So nice and cozy, like a bed. So I decided to get all in and dive. My whole body felt warm, so I closed my eyes and let the current take me wherever she wanted.

When I opened my eyes, I was laying again but not on a bed but in a sleeping bag. How odd... After that one time with my family, I had decided never to camp again and there I was again, all cozied up in a sleeping bag. I would have stayed there if it hadn't been for the sound. Finally, my dream had sound. And outside, something or someone was moving so I got up and stepped out.

This time, I was wearing boots, a jacket, thermal pants, gloves and a cap. I only gave a few steps before realizing were I was: a high mountain, another lake very near. There was snow all around and, very far, I could see more mountains and no people. Except one.

There he was. I didn't know this place, or that person, but I ran towards him. He was happy to see me up and starting telling me about the birds he had seen since he had woken up. I heard all of what he had to say, very patiently, calmly. And, to my surprise, I could understand and answer very naturally. We hugged and kissed and laughed and then we had breakfast together. I don't remember having such a good time with anyone, not in a dream or in reality.

This place and that man... I had no idea who he was or where I was but I frankly didn't care. I felt safe. Not like before when I thought that might be a nightmare in disguise. Now I felt nothing could be better and I prayed, in my head, for it not to end soon.

As he put up the fire, I got the cooler where we had brought the eggs and ham, tomatoes and a white onion. And chopped it all as he got the fire started. I found myself looking at him for a long time. He would just smile and keep doing his thing. It felt so strange, so unnatural in a way. I felt great but I knew I had no idea who he really was.

We put it all in a pan, tomatoes, onion and ham and then four eggs and mixed it all. We would share all of it. He told me he was hungry and then kissed me and it felt great. But I couldn't stop thinking: do we really know each other? I s my brain creating this person out of nothing or have I actually met this face?

When we started eating, I didn't care. He just smiled and laughed and made me laugh. He was such a happy person and I felt a bit guilty because I knew the dream would end soon and then we might never see each other again.

After breakfast, we got in the tent and kissed, a lot. I didn't felt the outside cold anymore. I just felt his warmth and that was all I need. His hands and lips felt so real, as if I was really there with him, feeling his hair and breath near my skin. That smile... I would never forget his smile.

But then, it all vanished and I opened my eyes. As soon as I woke up, the sudden urge for vomiting was uncontrollable so I just did there, in my bed. It wasn't long until some nurse came in and cleaned my face and changed my pillow.

The pain was strong, my throat was sore and it felt as if my head had been use as a rattle. I couldn't get back to sleep so I just cried my heart out waiting for everything to end once and for all. That was the only way I could get him back, him and my peace.

lunes, 8 de diciembre de 2014


Despertó. Y lo primero que hizo fue vomitar. Un poco cayó en su pecho pero casi todo fue a dar al piso. Estuvo varios minutos así, como si hubiera bebido por horas y horas. No tenía cabeza para nada más sino para el dolor físico que estaba sintiendo en ese momento.

Pero cuando terminó de expulsar todo lo que pudo, se dio cuenta de varias cosas. Lo primero era que no tenía nada de ropa puesta, estaba completamente desnudo. Pero no sentía frío.
Lo siguiente fue ver que el lugar donde estaba no era un sitio que él recordara. Parecía un cuarto de sótano, con las ventana pequeñas casi en el techo y las paredes sin pintar. No había nada más sino la cama donde había estado durmiendo. De resto era un espacio desolado, estéril, excepto por el clima.

Era extraño pero él creía recordar que había hecho frío hace poco, pero no sabía cuando. Sus recuerdos se sentían como una masa amorfa que no podía entender. Trataba pero solo hacía que el dolor en su frente fuera cada vez peor.

Decidió sentarse en la cama y respirar, controlar cada inhalación y exhalación como si no hubiera nada más importante que eso. Lo hizo por un tiempo hasta que el dolor desapareció casi por completo. Entonces se fijó en las ventanas, que estaban abiertas y se puso de pie. No era un hombre alto así que no podía ver hacia afuera pero se apoyó en la pared para escuchar. En silencio, se dio cuenta de que no había nadie afuera y que estaba en un lugar remoto.

Mira hacia la puerta y el dolor volvió, aunque suave, como alertando un peligro. Él ignoró el dolor y abrió la puerta. No pensó que se abriera tan fácil y que viera lo vio.

Era una escalera pero no daba a un piso superior sino a una puerta casi paralela al piso. Subió los escalones y forzó la perilla pero esa puerta no abrió fácil como la otra. Tuvo que empujar varias veces con la poca fuerza que tenía hasta que la madera cedió y pudo salir al exterior.

No, no era una casa donde había estado durmiendo. Era un búnker o algo parecido. Y, tal como había pensado, estaba lejos de todo. Era un bosque, no muy denso, pero con árboles altos y muy verdes. El silencio era inquietante.

Volvió al búnker y reviso por todos lados, buscando algo que le pudiera ayudar pero no había nada salvo el colchón de la cama. Salió de nuevo y empezó a caminar, primero lentamente y luego con más ganas. A ratos sentía ganas de vomitar pero las contenía.

Caminó así como estaba por media hora hasta que, para su sorpresa, llega a una cerca. Era más alta que él y no quería lastimarse tontamente, así que siguió la cerca y, mientras tanto, vio lo que había más allá del bosque: una avenida, bastante amplia. Y al otro lado, más árboles. No lo entendió por completo hasta que llegó a un arco metálico en la cerca que dejaba entrar y salir del bosque. Pero no era un bosque...

Al lado de esa salida había un cartel que daba la bienvenida al Parque de los Robles. El bunker estaba entonces en una zona urbana, no tan alejado como el había pensado.

Dio sus primeros pasos sobre el pavimento, siguiendo las líneas dibujadas, y notó por fin los rayos de luz directamente sobre su piel. Era reconfortantes, casi como electricidad recargando todos sus órganos, su cuerpo completo. Se sintió mejor, sin tanta prevención hacia ese mundo del que no tenía ni idea.

De pronto, vinieron recuerdos a su mente, que lo hicieron detenerse y sostener su cabeza:lo primero que hizo fue reír. Había recordado una serie de televisión en la que pasaba lo mismo. Instintivamente miró hacia atrás y sonrió de nuevo al ver que no había zombies cerca. No, esto era algo distinto. Entonces, caminó.

Lo hizo por una hora, casi dos, hasta que llegó al centro de la ciudad o al menos eso parecía: había edificios antiguos al lado de torres de oficinas con ventanas de vidrio. No parecían afectados de ninguna manera. Se dio cuenta que había tiendas en muchos de los edificios y entró a varias pero no había nada útil, nada que fuera absolutamente necesario. Pero que lo era?

Después avistó una mega tienda de aparatos electrónicos. Pero antes de pasar, el dolor de cabeza volvió y amenazó con romper su cabeza. Se sentía horrible, así que salió al sol, que rápidamente lo sanó como una madre preocupada. Algo estaba mal. Pero no sabía que era. Su mente todavía era errática, como un aparato dañado.

Fue allí, sentado en el suelo, cuando una criatura se acercó. Primero de manera tímida, pero luego abiertamente curiosa. Era un pájaro, del tamaño de una cabeza humana y, tal vez, igual de curioso. Se acercó con cuidado y luego se detuvo, mirando detenidamente al hombre que tenía frente a él. Era como si nunca hubiera visto algo igual.

Él miró al animal. Vio como se movía y entonces se dio cuenta. Al instante, se puso de pie y empezó a correr pero el animal voló hábilmente y le cortó el paso. De la nada, empezaron a aparecer varias aves que lo perseguían y no dejaban que caminara más. No parecía querer lastimarlo pero lo miraban como alguien que quisiese intimidarlo.

 - Que quieren? Que me hicieron?

Se dejó caer de rodillas y las aves lo rodearon. El hombre empezó a llorar sin control. Se tapó la cara y se tumbó totalmente en el piso, encogiendo en posición fetal, llorando, confundido.

Un sonido extraño interrumpió su situación y él no tuvo más remedió que ver que sucedía. Un ave más grande que las demás había llegado y las demás cantaban, haciendo un sonido horrible, como el de un violín mal ajustado. El ave grande se acercó al rostro del hombre y lo miró, como si fuera otro ser humano. Entonces el ave abrió las alas y el hombre vio que no era un ave.

Sus alas abiertas formaban una pantalla en la que se podía ver una imagen poco nítida, un símbolo. De pronto, sobre el pecho del animal, aparecía la imagen de una mujer que empezó a hablar.

 - Señor Torres. Nos alegra verlo.

Él miró a la mujer, todavía asustado, y no respondió a su frase.

 - Veo que está confundido, tal vez incluso sufra de amnesia. Eso no importa ahora. Es necesario que  me escuche.

Según la mujer, él había sido voluntario en un experimento. La idea era crear un soldado, un ser humano capaz de soportar cualquier tipo de ataque, de veneno, incapaz de morir. Según la mujer, lo habían conseguido.

 - El aire a su alrededor. No lo nota?

Él inhaló con fuerza, más por la impresión que por lo dicho. Y no sintió nada.

 - La ciudad fue atacada con químicos. El aire es mortal pero usted sigue vivo, incluso mejora con el  paso del tiempo.

El hombre, como pudo, se puso de pie. El ave dirigió sus alas abiertas a su cara. La mujer lo miró sonriendo.

 - Es usted un éxito.
 - No.

La mujer fruncía el ceño.

 - Porque dice eso? Lo es.
 - Quién soy? Que es este lugar? Que me hicieron?

Las lágrimas salían sin control. La mujer parecía pensar y luego, parecía ver a alguien más cerca a ella.

 - Señor Torres, usted está en la Tierra.
 - Y usted? Donde está?

La mujer dudó en hablar pero finalmente lo hizo, sin mirar directamente a su interlocutor.

 - En la Luna, con el resto de la población que queda.

Él respiró con dificultad, mirando de un lado a otro, buscando algo que le dijera que todo era una sueño.

 - Ha estado en hibernación por diez años, señor Torres. Cuando el momento sea correcto,  enviaremos por usted.

Las alas del animal dejaron de brillar y el pájaro las cerró, para luego irse volando, igual que las demás criaturas. Solo una de ellas, la primera en llegar, se quedó con él hombre que ahora gritaba y quería dejar de existir ya que era él no era nada ni nadie. Él, su vida y todo lo demás habían dejado de existir.

domingo, 7 de diciembre de 2014

The bugs

Carmina Wolf was an entomologist, specialized in bees and wasps. She had travelled the world tracing this little creatures and now headed off to her final destination: a UN summit in Geneva where she would be able to present her findings to a panel of experts put together by the FAO.

On the plane from Seoul to Geneva, she just kept thinking of the potential of her discoveries. It was terrible, of course, but it also meant something could be done. Nothing is definite when you realize it on time, or she thought.

The flight was really long but she couldn't sleep so she forced herself to watch some movies, none of which ere very interesting. She took her blanket and tried to sleep with some music on but then people started making noises. It was really annoying to get to Switzerland with no sleep and now people weren't helping. She heard them open their window shades, so she pulled the blanket over her head.

She stopped ignoring them when they started to scream and gasp and talk fast and loud. Suddenly all shades were being pulled up, so Carmina took a look through the window. She certainly wasn't expecting that...

High above the clouds and higher than the plane, a fire ball appeared to be falling down. The plane was very far but the ball could be seen easily as it's light was blinding, all white and powerful. It certainly was a scary moment but, for some reason, people were generally calm.
Short after, the pilot announcing all flights were asked to change course and go south. They haven't been asked to land anywhere close but there was still a possibility to do so.

An hour later, the ball of fire looked smaller but equally as bright. Carmina thought of the people below, and how scared they must have been. She checked her on board computer and realized they were flying over Russia, a country frequently hit by meteorites. A scientist she had met in a conference had told her so. But this meteorite looked massive or maybe that was because she had never seen one.

Suddenly the pilot spoke again and, this time, he said authorities of all the countries in the vicinity had decided to ground the planes. Carmina's one had to land in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The pilot did not know for how long they would have to stay there but authorities were trying to keep the planes down for the minimum amount of time.

It was shortly before landing that the explosion occurred. It felt and sounded awful. The plane was hit by the sound wave and turbulence was really bad. People were screaming, babies crying, food trays hitting the ground and even bags falling from the overhead compartments. Everyone was a nervous wreck so, when the plane landed in Astana, it was not a surprise when everyone applauded and cheered the moment. They were all grateful to be alive.

They were evacuated through the inflatable slides on each door, to make it faster. Then, the pilot stayed with the airport authorities to assess any damage to the plane as the rest of the crew helped the passengers to a bus, which took them to the terminal.

Carmina was tired, from all that had happened and because she hadn't slept for a single minute but when they entered the building she realized it would take even more time to rest. The place was filled with people, both incoming passengers and people who had not been able to board their flights. Her group stayed in a corner, to have better control over everyone according to a stewardess.

Everyone fell silent when every single TV set on the terminal started broadcasting images of the meteorite and how it had it the ground with violence. Although the news station was in Russian, every passenger could understand that the meteorite was big but, thankfully, not the kind of fire balls that cause extinction. However, it had fallen near Omsk, a fairly large city in Russia. Imaged of destroyed windows, trees on fire and a houses destroyed was broadcasted for the remaining hours and, against all odds, Carmina was finally able to get some sleep.

When she woke up, it was dark outside. She went to the bathroom where she met a woman crying with her daughter sitting by the sink. The woman tried to clean her tears fast so Carmina wouldn't see her but it was to no use. In her stall, the entomologist heard the woman speak in Russian to her daughter, again crying unconsolably. It was heart breaking, even without having a clue about what was going on.

When Carmina came out of her stall, the woman was not there. She washed her hands, her face and tried to comb her hair with her fingers but the result was not very good. She came out of the bathroom and walked around, watching hundreds, maybe thousands sleeping on the floor. All the screen were turned off and only security agents roamed the place, gently smiling when she stumbled upon any of them.

She arrived at the food court and realized how hungry she was. But every store was closed, which was obvious because of the time of day and the current situation. The tables and chairs that were normally for eating were now occupied by people trying to get some sleep.

Carmina decided to step outside, to a little balcony the terminal had for plane enthusiasts. It was very cold but that didn't bother her. She looked and counted the planes on the tarmac. There were at least twenty and suspected there were more on other places of the airport. Suddenly the door of the balcony opened and an older woman came out. She looked at Carmina and smiled and contemplated the place.

After some time, the woman spoke:

- It will keep happening, you know?

Carmina did not understand.

 - What?
 - It will keep happening, more and more frequently.
 - The meteorites, you mean?

She nodded. Carmina started to feel colder but was mesmerized by the odd look and mysterious attitude of the older woman.

 - This world... We just live here. It isn't ours and it certainly isn't living forever.
 - You think were all going to...?
 - Die?... Maybe. Not necessarily but it's no secret we are heading in that direction.

It was so strange. It was if... She knew more. As if she knew the same thing Carmina had suspected months before.

 - Sorry... Are you an expert of sorts?

The woman laughed and looked at her.

 - Not really, child. I'm just aware of things around me.

The woman looked one last time towards the tarmac, smiled at Carmina and entered the building. The young woman did the same, as she was feeling too cold. The words of that woman were all around her mind but it was silly to worry now. She had to sleep as the following day was a hard one.

All planes were allowed to take off so she got to Geneva in time for her speech. She wasn't able to change clothes and excused herself for her looks but told the audience it was worth the speech. Everyone laughed of course. Then the presentation began.

Carmina had been working on this for five years now, since she had finished her studies. And the findings of her research could not be contested. She announced to the audience that the bee population around the world was decreasing due to various reasons, primarily climate change but also human interference. She declared that the decline was so representative, that in some places many flowers and plants that were abundant were now almost extinct. And she announced the same was happening with crops, although no one realized it because of the amount of cereals being planted.

In short, Carmina had discovered that food, was going to be more and more scarce due the disappearance of certain insects. Without them, hunger could strike anywhere. She closed her presentation by saying that recent events had made her realize how fragile the world was but that we had time to make things right, to find our true place in the universe. And she did believe it, more than ever before.

sábado, 6 de diciembre de 2014


En 2157, terminó la represión contra quienes habían nacido en laboratorios. Los niños producidos en esos lugares era los preferidos por todos los padres de familia, ya que con la ayuda de la ciencia podían ser seres sin ninguna enfermedad ni defecto físico alguno e incluso algunas deficiencias mentales podían ser solucionadas con un simple programa para predecir cualquier anomalía.

Pero eso había terminado cuando muchos de esos niños, ya adultos, habían probado ser algo más que humanos. La manipulación genética los había convertido en hombres y mujeres excepcionales, capaces de cosas que ningún ser humano podía hacer, hasta ese momento.

Habían sido ideales para el viaje espacial, que había avanzado sorprendentemente en los últimos años, ya que podían resistir por más tiempo las duras condiciones a las que debían estar sometidos los astronautas. Ellos aguantaban más, eran más hábiles con sus manos, más rápidos y, sin duda, más inteligentes.

De hecho, esa fue la razón para su casi extinción. Surgieron rápidamente grupos extremistas que buscaban destruir todos los laboratorios y a todos quienes habían sido creados allí. Incluso fueron asesinados muchos de los padres que habían solicitado el servicio, que solo buscaban hijas e hijas y resultaron, sin saberlo, creando criaturas que se podrían salir fácilmente de sus manos.

En 2150, tras la celebración de los cuarenta años del programa de diseño genético, fue cuando todo explotó. Asesinatos, atentados terroristas, secuestros,... crímenes horribles una y otra vez. Todavía había guerras en el mundo, por supuesto, pero todas pararon por unos días dada la barbarie de aquellos que estaban en contra de la ciencia. Y entonces las guerras se rediseñaron y todas contemplaban, de una manera u otra, la extinción de aquellos seres fabricados.

Siete años después, se daba por terminada la búsqueda de los seres superiores. Los gobiernos habían convenido que aún si todavía existían seres especiales vivos, los dejarían para que murieran en paz si no se metían con la humanidad.

Por supuesto, esta humanidad de un alto en muchos aspectos. Las colonias en otros planetas dejaron de existir. Solo en la Luna seguían viviendo terrestres. El viaje espacial solo se usaba para lo útil, como la minería, y ya no para buscar respuestas a preguntas que la mayoría no hacían.

Uno de los seres especiales que quedaban era Croma. Ese nombre venía de "cromosoma", estructura esencial en el manejo del ADN. Sus padres habían acudido a los mejores médicos genetistas ya que querían que su primer hijo fuera un ejemplo de todo lo que consideraban ideal. Ellos eran gente de mucho dinero, que podía costear el proceso y que no temían a lo que la gente dijera. Sobra decir que la pareja podía tener hijos de manera natural pero no lo deseaban así, al menos no para el primero, ya que él sería quien tendría todo el control en un futuro y lo querían perfecto.

Esa palabra sonaba varias veces en los corredores de laboratorios todos los días. Era lo que querían los padres: "perfección". Claro que esta perfección, era diferente para cada persona, incluso el concepto difería entre una misma pareja de esposos. Pero los científicos les daban tiempo y consejo y, al final, siempre llegaban a acuerdos.

Croma tenía los ojos de color azul eléctrico, para infundir temor. Había sido diseñado para tener un cuerpo ideal, de 1,85 de estatura, masa corporal ideal, músculos desarrollados e incluso un órgano sexual atractivo en tamaño y aspecto para cuando tuviera que procrear, si se decidía por el modo biológico cuando fuera mayor.
En cuanto a su mente, sería hábil con los números y todo tipo de organización. Sería pulcro, serio, elegante, encantador y severo.

Y así nació Croma. Pero los resultados siempre diferían ligeramente del diseño original. Siempre había exactamente una cosa que fallaba. En el caso de Croma fue su esperma. Era estéril desde que nació y no había nada que pudiese solucionarlo. Sus padres nunca lo supieron. Murieron en un atentado terrorista del grupo Amigos de la Naturaleza. Secuestraron un avión donde solo viajaban millonarios y lo hicieron estrellar contra el mar, con todo el mundo viendo. Era su manera de imponer su visión del mundo y ciertamente caló hondo en la gente común y corriente.

Desde ese momento, Croma quiso vengarse pero no hubo tiempo para ello ya que la guerra contra los seres especiales estalló y tuvo que escapar.

Algunos de ellos lucharon en grupos o se ayudaron para escapar de la muerte pero otros eligieron encontrar su propio camino. Croma fue de los últimos. Con su inteligencia, vivió la guerra aislado y disfrazado en un desierto remoto. La gente del poblado más cercano lo llamaba "El espíritu de la montaña" ya que no estaban seguros de si era real o no. Él construyó una casita allí y vivió alejado hasta que la amnistía llegó. Ese día Croma tenía casi treinta años de edad y sabía cual era el siguiente paso.

Se infiltró en el programa de minería en la Luna y trató, con mucho éxito, de ser un humano igual que los demás, promedio. Era bueno pero no demasiado. Ocultaba sus ojos con lentes y su belleza la atribuía a su madre, de la que no hablaba más sino eso. Y nadie preguntaba ni decía nada. Muchos sospecharon, eso está claro. Pero nadie lo detuvo nunca ni lo expulsaron del programa.

En 2160 llevaba tres años trabajando en las minas de titanio de la Luna cuando escuchó rumores en la base en la que trabajaba: algunos mineros decían que en la Tierra, había estallado una revolución. El chisme no era más que eso, pero era intrigante. La comunicación con el planeta no era permanente por razones de seguridad y presupuesto pero siempre había televisión el primer día del mes. Pero nada fue anunciado. Hablaban de escasez de agua en un país y de maíz en otro, pero nada más.

Siguieron trabajando como siempre, en las minas y con trajes especiales incomodos. Croma a veces pensaba en el futuro que sus padres habían diseñado para él y sonría sin que nadie lo viera. Su presente no podía ser más distinto de aquello y la verdad era que no le molestaba. De adolescente, había tenido problemas aceptando quien era pero ya no había más remedio sino existir.

Pasados cuatro meses, todos en la base se reunían para ver las noticias del mes. Nadie esperaba nada y nada fue lo que recibieron. Notas tontas de celebraciones por la Navidad y poco más. Pero a la mitad del reportaje en vivo desde la Tierra, la emisión fue suspendida y la señal claramente intervenida. En la gran pantalla en la que veían las noticias, estaba la cara de una joven guapa, como modelo de revista. Tenía el pelo sucio y desordenado y se veía detrás de ella un cohete.

Era la Resistencia Superior, o así se hacían llamar. Anunciaban la toma de instalaciones militares estratégicas en América del Sur y con ellas, de un cohete y un modulo espacial con capacidad para llegar a la Luna, donde planeaban establecer una colonia exclusiva para seres superiores. Invitaron entonces a todos los que habían escapado de la masacre a estar a la expectativa, ya que demandarían una nación para ellos en el satélite terrestre.

La comunicación se cortó y volvió a aparecer la imagen del presentador de siempre, muy confundido, pero retomando la aburrida información de antes.

Cuando terminó la sesión, todos fueron a trabajar pero sabían lo que venía hacia ellos. Dudaban que los terrestres hicieran algo en contra de los superiores, si estos en verdad querían solo estar alejados y en paz. Pero nunca se sabía.

Croma pensó en ello todo el tiempo en la mina. Se quedaría con la vida que había hecho para si mismo o iría con gente como él donde podría ser, tal vez, quien siempre debió haber sido?

viernes, 5 de diciembre de 2014


In his dreams, he had a perfect life, every night going to bed with the one he loved and doing what he wanted in life. The thing was that dreams left out the problem of financial instability, which was the biggest problem every person had in their lives. Not the relationships with others or the achievement or some dream or yearning, but plain and simple money.

He knew that every time he woke up and realized how it was not all that beautiful and calm, as in his dreams. In the real world, he still lived with his parents, had no prospect of finding anyone soon to have a love life or anything similar and, of course, money was not there.

He was prepared, meaning he had a career and further studies to say "I know a couple of things". But that was it. And apparently no one really cared. Every so often he would enter web pages to find a job, sent his CV to every single production company or creative group he read of and then waited. He couldn't do much more than that.

He had even sent his CV to major fast-food chains and retail stores, as he wanted money at least to buy himself a coffee every so often or for being able to pay a movie ticket at least once a month. But nothing. He thought he may have been overqualified for some jobs and under qualified for others. 

Besides, one had to remember how the creative world works: creativity is the least important aspect, ironically. There are no companies that hire someone for being creative. They hire people, anywhere, if they see they can use them some how. That's it. And most creative people don't let themselves be caught by that elegant form of oppression, so here you go. People then have to do things themselves and that takes much more effort and time.

Time... Something that seems to pass so fast. The boy we talk about has his school yearbook. One day, he decided to browse it after years of gathering dust on a shelf. He saw pictures of people he hadn't seen for a long time and then he saw his face on some of them and, for a moment, he wasn't able to recognize himself. It looked as he had age so much, although he had aged the same as every other person on that yearbook.

He then thought of the many faces he stopped seeing and wasn't surprised. He let it happen knowingly, as he didn't have the best memories of school. He had the yearbook as a memento his parents had bought for him but he wasn't keen of reading things people had written to him back them, knowing now how the friendships had fractured and, eventually, ripped apart. He knew he was to blame too, but that was the past.

He went for a walk after that to try to clear his head. He was thinking of useless things, such as the school and what hadn't happened. It was pointless. He walked for eight miles until his legs hurt and decided to sit down in a small park, away from any loud streets or sidewalks filled with pedestrians coming and going.

There he started daydreaming once again, believing there was something better out there. He knew that. But the problem was that many others wanted exactly the same as him: live a life doing the things they liked or knew how to do.

He wasn't a brilliant writer or anything but it came easy to him so that's what he wanted to do. He had no idea of real drawing, he hated numbers as he was incapable of understanding them and sports were not really one of his interests. So he only had writing to keep going. If someone took that away from him, well, he didn't wanted to know what would happen.

The young man checked his pants and realized he had some money so he walked a bit more to a mall. He got a coffee and something to eat with it. As he did, he looked at the many faces around and wished he could hear all of their thoughts. Was everyone as worried and hopeless he sometimes felt? Or were they really happy with everything, even when bad things happened?

That was his real need, his hobby if you will: just thinking on what people did and thought. Human beings were just amazing in horrible and excellent ways. People were capable of amazing deeds and also of such horror. And besides that, they have a large array of feelings and not everyone experience them exactly the same. That was what fascinated him and made his days go by a little bit smoothly.

He wrote every single day, no matter if he was inspired or not. He thought that even in a bad day, he could be able to write something great and even if it wasn't, an awful piece of writing could be the base of something much bigger and better.

The 26 year old man went back home and took off his shoes. He wrote about the people he had seen that day and what he thought of them, what he thought they might be keeping secret or the worries they had every day. Some were shallow and not very interesting but others were just a planet of opportunities and wonder.

It was not every day, but sometimes his parents would interrupt those thinking moments with a question like "Are you still looking?" or "You should be doing something". Of course he understood their worries, he was worried too every single day. But it hurt a bit to think they thought he was careless and only wanted to be a bum or something.

They wanted him to keep studying but he was done with that. He didn't feel he had any more to learn or at least not anything that was been taught anywhere. He had investigated schools and courses all around but they were all about what he had already learned and seen and he knew that so why pay big money to study the same thing again?

Of course he had interests beside writing but they thought of them as hobbies or just things he liked. Cooking was relaxing to him and photography had been extremely important to him at one time, but he didn't see those things as life choices. It would be a joke, he thought, to study cooking as he knew he didn't have many qualities needed to be a proper cook.
Same went for photography, with which he had a relationship that was now on a standby. He had used it before to overcome problems he had and to make him believe his world could be wider than he thought. But that was the past and now he felt a bit more mature and took things as they were. Evading himself from life wasn't the answer.

As he laid down in bed for one more night of sleep, he remembered he had had problems with himself, his self-esteem to be exact. It wasn't like he was done with that but he them now under control as his views had changed a bit but, of course, a problem like that doesn't just disappear. To be realistic, it never does. You learn to live with it and, after having a couple of breakdowns, he realized he needed to change the way he saw some things or he would get worse in a short time.

He finally thought of the love thing. That was a rather annoying subject he liked to avoid. In that moment of his life, he had no need or place for love. maybe for his family and friends but no place for that one person that is supposed to make you feel special. He couldn't afford, even if he believed in actual love, to have that right now. It would be the worst timing and it could only lead to unnecessary pain and he wasn't a masochist so why look for something like that?

Of course, he thought his life might improve and then he would be more open to love, if it were to happen. His self-esteem problems and thoughts on the world didn't really give him much hope to find someone that like him and no one else. It sounded a bit like an utopia.

To him, it was funny too how people thought doing things every second made them better, more prepared or prone to better things. It just meant they were active. And there are many ways to be active. People tend to forget there is more than one way to do something, even love.

But then again, like they said on a movie, tomorrow will be another day and no one knows what the future holds for anyone. It's a box full of awful and great surprises and even if we sit down and do nothing, the world will keep moving forward.

jueves, 4 de diciembre de 2014

Café en Júpiter

Lira trabajaba en una plantación de café. Era el trabajo que hacían sus padres y que sus abuelos habían iniciado en la región, así que era una tradición seguir con el mismo trabajo que por tres generaciones le había dado de comer a su familia.

A ella le encantaba recoger café ya que sentía que no era un trabajo duro sino todo lo contrario. Aunque obviamente había un esfuerzo físico e incluso mental, trabajar al aire libre le brindaba una paz especial que nada más le podía brindar. Sin embargo, las ambiciones de Lira iban mucho más allá de la plantación.

Desde que era pequeña, le encantaba quedarse afuera antes de acostarse, mirando el cielo. Al vivir en una región poco urbanizada, la noche siempre era estrellada. Un día que había acompañado a su padre a hacer algunas compras en la ciudad, le había pedido dinero para comprar un libro sobre constelaciones y demás temas de astronomía. Ese libro lo tenía consigo todas las noches al mirar el cielo, para identificar cualquier cosa que le llamara la atención.

Sin embargo, lo que más le gustaba era soñar. Y de mayor, este seguía siendo su mayor entretención. Había terminado la escuela hacía poco, sin honores pero tampoco desastrosamente, y había tomado la decisión de dejar la vida del café. Su familia, al comienzo, no compartió su entusiasmo. Sus hermanos le riñeron, argumentando que si ella tenía derecho a más ellos también, a lo que ella les preguntó porque nunca habían hecho lo que querían, si es que en verdad tenían otros deseos, alejados de los cafetales.

El dinero fue la razón con la que sus padres se negaron a pagar una educación superior que no involucrara su modo de vida actual. Ellos le proponían estudiar biología o agronomía, que en algunas universidades de la capital departamental podían resultar carreras más económicas. El sueño de Lira involucraba no solo un monto mucho mayor a pagar, sino también dejar el país y ellos no querían eso porque la temporada hacía que necesitasen de todas las manos que pudiesen conseguir.

Lira no se dio por vencida. Cada cierto tiempo le hablaba a sus padres de lo buena que era la carrera, lo prometedora que podría ser su vida si dejara el país para estudiar pero sus padres siempre volvían al tema del cultivo y cerraban el tema.

La chica empezó entonces a buscar y buscar opciones. Pero su familia pedía de ella más tiempo y casi no podía ni pensar. El trabajo había pasado de ser una distracción y un momento de tranquilidad a ser su mayor pesadilla al despertarse. Los pocos momentos que tenía para ella sola, los pasaba investigando.

Un fin de semana en el que su familia decidió dejarla tranquila, Lira subió en un bus y fue a la capital departamental. Allí pasó horas leyendo en la biblioteca y se llevó uno de ellos cuando sus ojos ya estaban demasiado cansados para seguir. Después de comprar un helado, pasó cerca a la universidad en la que sus padres querían que estudiara para seguir trabajando con café.

Aunque su subconsciente le pedía que entrara y echara un vistazo, su cuerpo se negó y siguió caminando. En un parque cercano se sentó y, mientras comía el helado, retomó su lectura. Era un libro dedicado al planeta Júpiter y sus lunas.

De nuevo empezó a imaginar, algo que no había hecho hacía mucho. Imaginaba que era una científica reconocida y que descubría el primer rastro de vida fuera de nuestro mundo. Soñaba despierta que era famosa e inteligente y que sus padres estaban orgullosos de ella.

De repente, un balón de fútbol la golpeó en la espalda y sus sueños desaparecieron. El dolor la hizo lanzar lo que quedaba del helado al suelo y cerrar su libro con fuerza. Cogió el balón, se puso de pie y lo pateó lejos, exactamente del lado opuesto al que estaban algunos estudiantes jugando. Muchos le gritaron cosas pero ella solo les hizo un gesto insultante con la mano y se fue de allí con su libro.

El dolor había despertado su rabia. Pero no era solo con los idiotas que le habían pegado sino con todo lo que sucedía a su alrededor: estaba amarrada una maldita plantación de café y no podría nunca salir de allí a menos que escapara y esa no era una opción sensata. Tendría que aguantar el resto de su vida el olor del café, que para ella ya era algo desagradable.

De pronto alguien le puso una mano en el hombre y ella gritó y se dio vuelta. Era uno de los chicos que jugaban fútbol en el parque. Ella lo miró con rabia e iba a seguir caminando cuando el se disculpó y preguntó si todavía le dolía la espalda. El chico mencionó que estudiaba medicina y podría llevarla a una revisión a la universidad, si no tenía algo que hacer.

Ella le respondió, en voz bastante alta, que no le interesaba ninguna ayuda de alguien que obviamente no tenía el más mínimo interés en la seguridad de nadie. Además, le dijo que ojalá nunca llegara a ser médica ya que temería por sus pacientes.

Lira se alejó pero el chico la siguió y le pidió disculpas por lo que había pasado.

 - Déjame invitarte algo de tomar. Solo eso.

Ella lo miró con rabia pero aceptó. No había podido terminar su helado en paz y la verdad era que hacía bastante calor.

Caminaron un poco hasta llegar a una cafetería pero ella se negó, diciendo que no quería nada con café. Entonces el chico se dio cuenta que al otro lado de la calle había una tienda de jugos y la invitó allí. El lugar era pequeño pero muy bonito y con varios sabores de jugos y batidos. Lira pidió uno de fresa con banano y él uno de lulo.

 - Mi nombre es Felipe.
 - Lira.

El asintió y tomó un poco de jugo. Miró el libro que la joven había puesto sobre la mesa y sonrió.

 - Estudias física o química?

Lira, que estaba bebiendo algo de jugo, lo miró directo a los ojos, pero ya no con rabia sino con sorpresa, como si Felipe le hubiera dado una idea.

 - Porque lo preguntas?

Él le explicó que la mayoría de jóvenes de la universidad que leían esos libros era porque estudiaban alguna de esas dos carreras o incluso ambas. Le contó de un chico en especial, uno de esos "niños genios", que tenía 15 años y estudiaba allí. Decía que su sueño era trabajar en un telescopio de los que había en Chile o Hawai.

Entonces Felipe le preguntó a ella que si le gustaba lo mismo o era solo por leer que tenía el libro. Ella le respondió hablando por varios minutos, en los que él puso atención a cada una de las palabras que ella decía, palabras apasionadas referentes a su sueño de ser una científica famosa, descubridora de mundos y secretos universales.

Cuando terminó, el chico tenía una tonta sonrisa en la cara y su jugo estaba terminado. Entonces Lira empezó a bombardearlo con preguntas sobre la universidad y Felipe las contestó como pudo. Al final, parecía que la chica estaba complacida. intercambiaron correos electrónicos y prometieron seguir en contacto, cada uno por razones distintas pero sin revelarlas al otro.

Camino a casa en el bus, Lira se dio cuenta de que había encontrado a la respuesta a sus problemas. Y, en efecto, sus padres finalmente aceptaron sus estudios fuera de la rama de lo agrícola para dedicarse a una doble carrera de física y química en la universidad donde estudiaba Felipe.
De allí se graduó de ambas carreras con honores, siempre estando dedicado al 100% a sus estudios y ayudando en casa cuando podía.

Lira se convirtió en una reconocida figura del mundo científico pero, a pesar de los años, nunca pudo retomar su relación con el café, que no podía oler sin que lo relacionara con sus deseos fallidos del pasado.

miércoles, 3 de diciembre de 2014

The day of discoveries

Sandra Kazan had been working for years just to get a vague answer, a response that may give hope to future humans. She was 24 years old when she entered SETI as an intern and now she had the responsibility to process data from every single home computer that helped SETI process their information.

She was now almost forty and felt her life had amounted to nothing. Every single day looking at screens with numbers and numbers and, at the end of the day, they meant nothing. Her outlet was her teaching, the only place where she felt she was of use. When the classes where over, she felt useless, bored.

The woman went to her mother's home for the holidays. Seeing her mom felt great and weird at the same time. She had always wanted Sandra to be more an active scientist and not just a teacher. It wasn't that she disapproved of her but she felt her daughter was made of a stronger material. She had even encouraged her, years before, to submit her application to NASA in order to become an astronaut. She said it would make her very proud if her daughter became one of the few black women in space, as she would represent all the efforts made by her ascendants.

But that didn't happen. Sandra was captivated by the search for extraterrestrial life and that was her passion. Although going to space was a dream, she would rather be the one that announced the discovery of life in other planets to the rest of the world.

In her mother's home, she stayed in a small room. It wasn't the room of her childhood but the only other room in the small apartment. Her father had died five years ago, so her mom had bought a new place with her savings and money her husband had left.

The first day, they behave like strangers. The truth was that Sandra didn't visit her mother as much and, now that her brother had left the country for work, she had the task of checking on her mother's needs and the state of her life. She was an older woman, but she was strong still and much more active than others. She loved dancing so she visited a senior center often to dance with various partners that always enjoyed her presence.

Sadly for Sandra, she had not inherited that from her mother, that candor, her charm. She had always been more private, trying to keep things serious and grounded. She was like her father, a man that rarely laughed or encouraged jokes. But Sandra would have loved to be more like her mother, a bit careless but ultimately happy.

Days after getting home, the two women had a fight. The mother had reminded her daughter of her short lived marriage and Sandra just exploded, yelling and telling her mother not to mess with things she didn't know about.
It was no use to try to talk as there was no real confidence. Her parents had not raised her to trust them but to respect them, so she had no need or urge to explain anything to her mother.

She had married Matt Jackson around the time she turned thirty. At first, everything was perfect, ideal even. They got a house and she left her job at SETI. She was dedicated to make it work so she only kept her work as a teacher as it had flexible hours.

But things turned bad fast. Matt was violent and absent frequently. He never hit Sandra but could be even more violent with his mouth, saying what he said. It hurt bad. And then he left for work and acted as if nothing had happened. He was a scientist too and traveled often to Europe and Asia for conferences. He was a respected man in the community.

Just after the first year of marriage, he was selected to go to space, with a team of other scientist to test theories and make experiments in zero gravity. The Soyuz craft that transported him to the ISS exploded over Asia. She was officially a widow and was handed a flag and given money. But the truth was Sandra was relieved. She had never loved him for real and feared him every time he was close. She wasn't happy but not sad either.

It was still a hard subject to deal with, however. And she knew her mother blamed her for the bad relationship and for not being able to give her the grandson that her brother finally gave her. Sandra never remarried and was not interested in men any more, at least not as husbands.

On Christmas day, she tried to make it up to her mother by doing all the cooking. She loved to cook as it relaxed her, so she did some turkey with a delicious gravy and a meat pie, and two desserts and even a tasty lemonade. She also made corn bread, her mother's favorite, hoping to mend things after their argument.

It appeared to have worked as they enjoyed a very nice meal for the two of them. She gave her mother presents she had brought with her like clothes and a music CD she knew she would love. Her mother thanked her and told her she was happy to have her around for such a sensible time for her. Sandra's father had died days after Christmas day, so her mother was very sensitive.

The following week, they visited the cemetery, put flowers on Sandra's father grave and went into the church for mass. It had been years since Sandra had entered a church and she felt a bit guilty as she had been raised a catholic but faith had never really been something she had. It didn't mattered is she believed in God or not, the concept of faith for her was hard as she was rather blunt with her decisions and opinions.

Suddenly her phone rang and she had to excuse herself in order to answer the call outside the church. something amazing had happened at SETI and she was asked to come back and process some information to confirm a possible signal they had detected.

Sandra waited outside for her mother. When the woman got out, she told her the news but the older woman didn't really understand what was going on. On the way home, Sandra explained what her work was about and how urgent it was for them to decipher the data. But her mother was more sad than interested in her reasons for leaving.

As Sandra packed, she realized her mother had faded a bit, as a plant that begins to lose color, life. She asked her how she felt and the woman answered she was "fine". Sandra told her mom how sorry she was to leave but that it was necessary, as they needed her. The mother then told her she needed her too, as she felt alone and sad after visiting her husband's grave. She felt she had been left alone in the world and now she had nothing.

Of course, Sandra felt guilty and decided to take her mother home with her, at least for the remainder of the holidays. It took a lot of convincing but the older woman finally accepted. They got there that same night and Sandra drove directly to work. She settled her mother in her office with a big sofa, blankets and a TV, as she worked in a desk nearby, in silence.

When she saw her daughter's dedication, the mother realized she had never really known her daughter and that maybe it was time to really get to know each other.

In the morning, the woman was woken up by Sandra's cheering. She was really happy, throwing papers around and cheering loudly. Some people had already arrived and she finally explained she had gotten through the data and that the announcement could be made.

The woman was present when her daughter announced, on national television, the discovery of an extraterrestrial signal that repeated itself, like a beacon. They had proved it wasn't from a natural source and that it seemed almost like a call of some sorts.

But the mother didn't really understood all of that. She shed a tear because, after years of years of her own neglect, she realized her daughter was a brilliant woman, capable and exemplary. And Sandra saw her tears and smiled.

martes, 2 de diciembre de 2014

Fado de Lisboa

Era como estar en un sueño. Casi no había ruido, el clima era tibio y solo había un par de nubes paseándose por el cielo. Era el día perfecto para caminar, tomar fotos y conocer mejor la ciudad. Y eso era precisamente lo que Gabriela estaba haciendo.

Lisboa había sido una opción de última hora para sus vacaciones de semana santa. Había muchas opciones pero algunas más costosas que otras y al final de cuentas Lisboa era un destino no tan lejano y relativamente barato. Se estaba quedando en un pequeño hotel cerca del centro con todas las comodidades. Ella esperaba llegar a un lugar oscuro y feo pero resultó siendo un hotel con todo lo necesario y, lo mejor, limpio.

Era su primer día en la ciudad así que se había puesto sus zapatos más cómodos y ropa ligera. Hacía varias horas que caminaba y ya había tomado varias fotos y, ahora que estaba en un mirador, sentía un gran dolor de pies. Buscó entonces un restaurante y se sentó en la terraza, para así seguir viendo a la gente pasar y la calle antigua en la que estaba.

Para comer, pidió algo típico del país: la entrada fue un rico caldo verde, que aunque caliente, ayudaba a calmar el hambre que ahora sentía. Su estomago había empezado a hacer ruidos hace poco y el caldo ayudaba a calmarlo.

Entonces escucho música y miró adonde estaban tocando pero no lograba ubicarlos. El mesero le puso el siguiente plato, pastel de bacalao con ensalada y se dio cuenta de que ella escuchaba con atención la melancólica música que se escuchaba a lo lejos.

Con una mano, y al parecer dándose cuenta de que Gabriela no sabía portugués, le señaló una ventana en un edificio diagonal al restaurante. Desde allí podía ver solo a una mujer que estaba sentada y cantaba apasionadamente.

Gabriela le agradeció al señor y comenzó a comer lentamente, a la vez que escuchaba el canto del grupo musical que estaba en ese apartamento, seguramente ensayando. La verdad era que no necesitaban hacerlo ya que, para ella, se oían excelente. La música era melancólica pero apasionada y sensible al mismo tiempo.

Mientras comía el delicioso bacalao, trató de entender las palabras y, por lo que entendía, la canción iba sobre la ciudad, sus esquinas y rincones y sus historia rica en leyendas y mitos espectaculares. Parecía una postal perfecta escuchar la música, comer la comida y estar sentada allí.

Gabriela se había sentido sola desde hacía mucho tiempo. Hace unos meses había terminado una relación de un año y, sin su familia, había sido difícil seguir adelante normalmente. A veces se encontraba a si misma llorando desconsolada sin razón aparente. Ella lo explicaba diciéndose a si misma que no había hecho bien el proceso de dejar ir a la persona. A decir verdad ella solo había estado enamorada unos meses pero una infidelidad siempre duele aunque no lo culpaba por eso sino por la mentira.

En todo caso era algo del pasado y ahora debía enfrentarse a estar sin compañía permanente. No era buena haciendo amigos así que no tenía muchas personas con quienes pasar el rato. La mayoría vivían ocupados, incluso ya estaban casadas y con hijos, y ella comprendía que eso no dejaba mucho margen para salir con las amigas.

Este viaje era también uno más de sus intentos de adquirir otros intereses fuera del trabajo. Y de hecho también pensaba estudiar o de alguna forma cambiar su vida porque su trabajo la aburría de sobre manera y pensaba que esa no era forma de vivir, así la mayoría de gente viviera así.

Al terminar el bacalao, también terminó la banda su ensayo. El mesero vino con un pastel de Belém y la cuenta. Ella le agradeció y comió medio pastel de una vez porque ya era tarde y quería visitar al menos dos lugares más antes de volver al hotel.

En ese momento salieron del edificio los miembros de la banda. Algunos tomaron hacia el lado opuesto de la calle mientras la cantante y otros dos hombres caminaban hacia el restaurante. Gabriela los miró y la joven cantante le sonrió. Esto la animó a hablar.

 - Me gustó mucho su música.

No tenía ni idea si ellos habían entendido, porque por un momento solo la miraron, así como hizo una pareja que comía a un par de mesas de ella. Se sonrojó, sonrió a forma de saludo y le dio otro mordisco al pastel.

La cantante entonces habló con sus compañeros, quienes se fueron. Ella se acercó a Gabriela y habló en español, bastante acentuado:

 - Puedo? - dijo, señalando una silla.

Gabriela asintió y, lo primero que dijo, fue que le había encantado la última canción que habían practicado. No entendía toda la letra pero creía que sin duda era una muy buena melodía y transmitía muchos sentimientos.

La joven cantante, llamada Raquel, le contó que esa era su canción favorita y por eso la cantaba siempre al final. Le parecía que decía todo lo que había que decir de la ciudad. Ella había viajado por el mundo estudiando y cantando pero siempre volvía a su ciudad porque creía que había algo atractivo y escondido allí, muy especial.

Gabriela le confío que solo había estado allí un día pero que ya sentía lo que Raquel mencionaba. Entonces la joven cantante la invitó a su hogar para que conociese a su familia y prometió hacer de guía el resto de días.

Las dos se hicieron amigas con rapidez y Raquel resultó esencial para que Gabriela tomara una decisión que cambiaría toda su vida: sin pensarlo mucho, regresó a su hogar tras una semana de vacaciones, renunció a su empleo, tomó todas sus posesiones (que no eran muchas) y se mudó a Lisboa. Allí empezó a estudiar cocina, algo que siempre le había gustado pero no había tenido la valentía de asumir. Y Teresa fue su ayuda durante todo el proceso.

Meses después, relajándose en una playa, pensó en como habían sucedido las cosas. Todo había sido muy apresurado pero era evidente que había sido para lo mejor. Por primera vez en mucho tiempo era feliz, se sentía completa. Y eso era más importante que nada.

lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2014

No dreams, as usual

This time, it had been too much for him. It wasn't the first time a client got rough, many of them liked it that way and he had no other way than accepting it, as it generally meant a better pay.

But this time, it had been too much. Even just after he left, he already felt sick to his stomach, not being able to eat or drink anything. Despite having another appointment, Micky went straight to his house and lay in his bed. He fell asleep fast and had a horrible nightmare, filled with shadowy creatures and an endless labyrinth.

When he woke up, he thought had wet the bed as he felt the covers very wet. He felt ashamed and sat down to see the damage and then almost screamed but he contained it: it wasn't pee but blood. He was bleeding profusely and the blankets were all covered.

He decided to put the blankets on a plastic bag. He would decide to throw them or to clean them later. After that he decided to shower and clean the blood off his body. He felt awful. Micky's job was difficult and had always had that hard part on one side. He try to stay clear off that, being a nice person, trying to please every costumer and make them do as he wanted and not as they wanted.

But that obviously did not work always. Many wanted to take control, to feel they had the upper hand of the situation. And Micky complied because he didn't want more trouble.

In the shower, the water was tainted by blood for a long while. He finally decided, against every fiber in his body, to go to the hospital. He had always sought to avoid any help or going to places where they would ask too many questions.

But this time it appeared to be different. The blood stopped for a while and then came back. He put on two pieces of underwear and an tore apart an old scarf to put in there, as a diaper. He grabbed his bus card and went out.

He was there in under an hour. He didn't live to close from things, having to save all the money he had. He calculated every single expense and gain, even keeping his accounting in a book. It had to be done, with this kind of life.

In the hospital, he told the nurse in a very low register, what was happening. She told him to go over Emergencies and wait there to be greeted by a doctor. Luckily, not many people were waiting there although most appeared to have wounds related to street fights or domestic violence. After all, it was only 4 AM.

A young female doctor said his name out loud and Micky followed her to one of the many stretchers in a big room. It looked more crowded in there, some patients still there, sleeping or waiting for their meds to work.

The lady doctor was young. Micky thought she may have been younger than him. She greeted him with a smile and asked for his problem. He told her of the hemorrhage he had and she asked him to strip down. He complied and lied down on his stomach, as she threw away the piece of old scarf and took a look at the injuries.

 - What happened? - she asked. She sounded a bit alarmed.

Micky decided not to lie. That would only make her ask more questions that he didn't want to answer right now. He told her about his job and how that happened.

 - Well, you have to get stitches and... - she stopped. Apparently not being able to go on.
 - What?

The woman doubted for a moment but finally asked:

 - Was it consensual?

Micky did not answer right away but he finally said "Yes". She then said that was ok, but that the hospital rules obligated her to test him and see if he had any infections, diseases and internal injuries, for it to be deemed rape or not.

 - No, it wasn't that.
 - I have to. Sorry, it's procedure.

He was too exhausted. She gave him a shoot in order to get him to sleep while she did the stitches but then he felt something weird and heard a scream but far, as if it had happened far away. His sight was blurry. He closed his eyes but didn't open them for hours.

When he woke up, he was in proper hospital bedroom. He shared it with two more patients but it was an improvement on that stretcher. He heard things close and far, his head was spinning and finally the pain kicked it, hard.

All his genital region, everything between waist and thighs felt as if it was on fire and burning fast. The pain was unbearable and he started to scream. One of the other patients woke up and a nurse came running in, injecting something into a bag that was connected to him. He suddenly calm down, the pain going away. And he fell asleep again.

He woke up again and it was already dark outside. He could hear his neighbor snoring and the other bed was already empty. His doctor, the young woman, came in and stood there by him.

 - How do you feel?
 - Like shit.

 She laughed. Micky smiled, it was the best he could do.

 - You started bleeding when I injected you the first time. It was way worse that I initially thought so  we had to get you to the operation room. It was an hour or so. You were damaged, a lot. The rape kit  wasn't necessary.

When Micky heard that, he instantly sat on the bed but that proved to be a stupid idea. The pain kicked in again and he went back to his lying position.

 - What do you mean?
 - We found internal injuries, big ones. We had to give you some morphine, that's why you are now  drowsy, I presume.

He nodded. He did feel strange, as if floating or something.

 - It wasn't consensual, was it?

He looked at her eyes but had no urge to answer the question.

 - When can I leave?
 - Not yet. We have some exams we need.
 - I have no money.
 - Let's cross that bridge when we have to. Just rest.

And he did. He fell asleep fast and his sleep was dreamless, which suited him fine.

He was in the hospital for three more days until they finally decided he was good to go. But before he could leave, he had to meet the lady doctor again, for a small check up.

It was weird to have a woman looking at his ass but he didn't care now, after al of this. She asked him to pull up his pants and sit down. She said the results of the exams were good: they had not found infections or diseases. No AIDS, no gonorrhea. Nothing.

She then started speaking about paying the bill. Of course, Micky had no money to do that but then she told him she had being able to put him on a program payed by the city, which sought to help sex workers when being attacked. The city would pay the bill but she needed an arm and a leg.

 - I need you to sign a paper saying it was a rape. And you have to denounce this person to the police.  Otherwise, I cannot help you with the bill.

Micky shed a tear, and then two and so on. He did not know what to do. He just grabbed his bill and ran out of the doctor's office. He had some money saved, to buy a small apartment. He had been working for years and he had been careful with his finances. But this hospital thing was going to take his dreams, the few he had, away from him.

He did pay, however. He had to. He never heard from the lady doctor again and, when he was in good health, he started working again.

When getting home from the first job after his stay at the hospital, Micky remembered the conversation he had with the doctor. He felt her eyes on him again. He could hear all the questions as if she was there but this time his answer was "No".

He hugged his pillow and cried in silence until he fell asleep. Again, no dreams, as was usual.