« on: April 15, 2014, 09:27:13 pm »
It was easy it seemed so easy. The guy spoke English, great English. I felt like I hadnít spoken in years. I canít remember what was in the shop. I bought something. I bought something and I understood what it was, and what it cost, and I paid for it. I forked over a few ten thousand peso notes and the man shook his head. He started talking and I understood him, understood perfectly, felt like a fucking economist at the end of the exchange.
I woke up in Cali. A week ago, a ten hour drive ago, a tricky few hundred kilometers ago. I was on the pull out bed in our hostsí fine apartment. Across the cold marble floor the huge sliding doors were open to the balcony and the curtains, great sweeping translucent white things billowed lazily inward. My father was in his favorite spot, leaning on the balcony railing overlooking the twisting city sprawling out onto the mountainsides.
He was young again, the huge man, young like I remember him before the trip. I knew it from a dozen paces away that he was young, his legs less worn from carrying out the giant frame for sixty long, long years. I knew without seeing his hands that all ten fingers were curled around the railing, that last digit Iíve never known him to have, recovered from his Air Force days, recovered from the roadside in Germany after the truck rollover. He was well rested and slept like he used to before the barracks fire and the charred men made him a light sleeper. Dad.
And with one step closer to the balcony the hallway and the living room and the dining room and the balcony sped past, a blur of speed. Cali shone in the sun and then sparkled with the million lights of a city night and then I was in the finca again.
The finca, that little sliver of classic Antioquia carved into the mountains above Medellin. The dozen photos of Christ and the Virgin Mary adorning every room and passage were turned around backwards, brown and grey and white canvases displayed in the frames with two holes just where the eyes of the portrait would be and nothing behind them. In the back room Maria and Josefina, our hosts, were each peering into holes oblivious to my presence. Their bodies were slack, as though every muscle limp, like they were hooked to the backwards portraits by their eyes, hanging as fish on a line. In the little garden by the bathroom that read Caballeros the statue of the Virgin was gone but her shape was there in nothing. The sky held a brilliant, huge, white hot sun that hung in blackness and shed no light. I walked up to the next portrait of Jesus and I peered through the nothing eyes and I saw a place Iíve never seen.
It was a spotless and meticulously decorated tenth floor apartment on the north side of Bogota. I was on one of the sofas, fine printed floral pattern rising out of dark wood trimming. My step mother was there and talking to her sister that I briefly met in the States years ago and a man I never met. When the opened their mouths to speak, their jaws and lips and tongues merely hung loose a moment forming no words. The sound coming out sounded like radio stations just missing their frequency. I still do not understand their Spanish.
I pulled my head away from the portrait eye window and the head of my Bogota self moved back. I tried to push myself away from the wall and I could see my arms rising. I was my own puppet. I could picture myself hanging like the other two, a fish dead and drying and staring.
This is what death is. One day I stopped controlling myself directly and became the puppet of a previous me that hung against two eye windows who had himself one day lost control to a previous him hanging from a portrait without eyes.
When I screamed I watched myself in Bogota open wide and wail the only real sound, so much louder and so much clearer than my company. It hurt my ears in Medellin and it burned my throat in Bogota.
My wail subsided and it turned to a painful cough. I checked my pockets. They were empty, but my hand still came out with a Necronomicoin.
It shivered and stretched and I gripped it harder, hard enough to shred the flesh of my palm. I lost control of it and it burst, spilling a dozen more Necronomicoins from my hand, then a dozen more and a hundred and a flood. They clanged to the floor and they never made the same sound twice. They piled up to our knees and they melted through the floor and they rolled ten floors down to the streets of Bogota, more money in this little world of money.
What was it I bought in that shop.