I’m on a modest soccer team that practices at night. So modest that we’ve spent the past few months with half the field in complete darkness.
On more than one occasion we’ve witnessed how they fix the spotlights, but something else always breaks down inevitably covering that chunk of ground in shadows.
We had no choice but to get used to practicing on the side that was lit up.
The problem was when missed balls ended up on the dark side and a few players had go to look for them beyond the line traced by the light. We never saw them ever again: they simply disappeared, as if the blackness swallowed them.
We lost almost all the replacement balls the same way -the easiest to swindle-, so we demanded that the club buy more balls so that, at least, we could finish practices and convince the equipment manager to collect the balls that had gone past the line and bring them back each morning.
One night, we quickly ran out of balls. Aware that none of us were that naïve, we decided that practice was over and, downcast, we started to walk off the field, when something unexpected happened: someone threw us a ball from the other side. Confused, one of the guys kicked it back into the darkness. A few seconds later it came back.
It didn’t take us long to organize scrimmages with our missing teammates. We threw them red and blue jerseys so they could divide themselves up, the same as we did on this side, and we made two teams.
From here, we just pass the ball to the other side where we know they’re following our plays and wait, straining our ears, for it to appear again so we can continue with theirs.
When we hear them yell goal, the defense on this side celebrates, lifting up their shirts and doing the airplane. We’re convinced that the forwards on the other side are doing the same thing.
Sometimes, with the intoxication of everything, we feel like crossing the line and celebrating together, but we don’t trust them: why don’t they do it?
Mis padres no se entienden: mi padre habla chino y mi madre habla sueco. Nos dimos cuenta mi hermana y yo esta mañana en el desayuno, cuando ninguno de los dos comprendíamos lo que estaban diciendo. Laura se dirigió a mí en suajili, nuestra lengua secreta, para hacerme partícipe de esta observación. Yo no tardé en comentárselo a mi madre en francés, la lengua que uso exclusivamente con ella porque sé que nadie más nos entiende, ganándome ipso facto una patada por debajo de la mesa de mi hermana. Acto seguido, creo, se ha chivado a mi padre en alemán, a sabiendas de que mi madre y yo sabemos decir guten morgen y poco más.
Al llegar al colegio les he contado todo esto a mis amigos en arameo –el idioma del patio–, y también que anoche pillé a mi madre en el rellano susurrando polaco con el vecino a espaldas de mi padre. Dicen que esto no pinta bien.
Ha salido el número 3 de la revista argentina Casquivana. Nicolás Hochman, como siempre tan amable desde Buenos Aires, me ha invitado a participar en esta iniciativa. En la página 24 mi microrrelato. Espero que os guste.
Carlos Autieri – Martín León Barreto – Belén Echeverría – Muriel Frega – Felipe Giménez – Fernando Halcón Ruiz – Carolina Marcús – Pablo Martín – Joaquín Paolantonio – Virginia Piñón – Mauricio Planel – Laura Sereno – Pablo Tambuscio – Omar Turcios – Hernán Zaccaría
Ariel Arbiser – Ariel Bermani -Débora Blanca -Carlos Chernov – Manuel Crespo – Ginés Cutillas -Marisa Do Brito Barrote – Carina Fernández -María Ferreyra -Jorge Fondebrider – Fernanda García Lao – Pablo Fernando Gasparini – Conrado Geiger – Florencia Goldsman – Juan Guinot – Noé Jitrik – Patricia Lagomarsino – María Rosa Lojo – Alejandro López – Yair Magrino – Luis Mey – Sergio Olguín – Sebastián Pandolfelli – Verónica Pérez Arango – Hugo Salas – Federico Simonetti – Patricia Suárez -Lía Tade – Valeria Tentoni – Pablo Toledo – Luisa Valenzuela
Segunda traducción de Heather Elizabeth Higle. Esta vez: 502.
After working in the city where I’d been sent for my job, I went back to the hotel. They gave me Key 502 at the reception desk and I went up to the fifth floor looking for my room. When I opened the door, I was surprised that the light was on and there was noise inside. I poked my head in and there was a couple, he was getting dressed, s …he was watching television lying on the bed. I apologized thinking I had made a mistake, although I thought it was odd that the key opened the door. I figured it wasn’t a big deal considering it would be easy for there to be repeated keys in such a large hotel.
I walked down the long, lonely hallway again looking for my room just to end up in front of the same door. I hesitated for a moment and then put the key in the lock. This time an obese, naked man appeared, lying on the bed with a young woman on top of him. I apologized again and closed the door. I attributed my blunder to the exhaustion of the last few weeks of work. But how was it possible for the key to open every door?
Again, I looked for my room and ended up in the same place. I opened without looking and found a mother playing with her small child on the bed and the father talking on the phone. I slammed the door shut, this time without apologizing. Something crossed my mind but I had to open the door again to check. So I did and this time there was a melancholy businessman eating a sandwich. My theory was correct: every time I opened the door it was a different room.
So far I’ve opened 105 rooms and all of them have been different. I’m really tired. I hope they don’t go up to 502.
Heather Elizabeth Higle, traductora de Stamford, ha realizado la traducción al inglés de La desesperación de las letras y amenaza con seguir con el resto de microrrelatos para el mundo anglosajón. Yo, agradecido.
The desperation of letters
I was watching television when I heard a loud crash behind me, just in the library. I got up, surprised, and went to check on what it was. An inconsistent mass of paper was dying at the foot of the bookshelf. I took it in my hands and dismembering its parts I could tell that it had been a book, Crime and Punishment, …to be exact. I didn’t know how to find a logical explanation for such a strange incident.
The next night, in front of the television, the disturbing noise. This time, ironically, it was Ana Karenina who had become a heap of deformed paper lying at her peers’ feet.
A few nights later I realized what was happening: the books were committing suicide. At first it was the classics. The more classic, the more probable it would crash to the floor. Afterwards, the philosophy books started, one day Plato died and the next day Socrates. They were later followed by contemporary authors such as Hemingway, Dos Passos, Nabokov…
My library was disappearing in leaps and bounds. There were nights of mass suicides and I, as much as I tried, couldn’t find a common characteristic between the kamikaze books that would allow me to figure out which one was going to be the next. One night I decided not to turn on the television in order to closely watch the books. That night none of them committed suicide.