andar por ahí | martin patricio barrios ago. 2012 - Page 103

They are like threads hanging from the unbearable dust, later, they are like a cross made of threads. It is always the same, afterwards you see the cows or you think you see them. They turn their heads hanging from the stick across their shoulders. They look at you over their shoulders. With less interest than if they were seeing a blade of straw and they get lost among the dust. All the same, they all have the same face, the same eyes, the same AK 47 (AK 47, would that be the symbol of hope of the wretches?), the thin legs which end in shoes of different size, a little bundle, the scarf on their heads, their dry skin, their black nails, the back of their rosy hand, a smell that could be useful to measure time. I look at the dust. I try to find the silhouettes in the dust, their long trunks, their knees like knots a little bent, their arms hanging from the rifle. How is it that they dream? About what? How do they fall in love? Who teaches them to caress the body of a woman? Do they moan during their love issues? What will the word hope or wish mean? Will they choose their women for pleasure or necessity, or they get married to whatever is possible? What things will they tell each other in their ears after loving each other? I look at my hands, the ones with which I have dreamt, loved, failed, built hopes, the ones with which I have believed it was possible, the ones with which I have wanted you, my white hands, I look at my hands that are white under the grime, cut nails, my hand white from drawing dreams that might have been, or not. I separate my fingers as if there was an answer to something between my white and dirty fingers and cut nails with which I touched dogs and seas and windows and soft skins of a woman still asleep in my bed in a summer morning, with the silence of the summer morning. With those white hands I drank water and grilled meat, I undressed women and hid reasons, I changed things, that is: I lied; I opened doors in privacy, I touched myself where it hurt, I swatted mosquitoes without feeling guilty about swatting lives. I look at my white and filthy hands, now with a 10 Birr cigarette that smokes and sparks every now and then. They are. There they are. While I get twisted in a sticky maze, hitting my head and ass in prospects and tomorrows or who knows what, there they are, with their AK 47 across their shoulders, like strings, no name, no face, in the dust of the desert that makes fun of the West, of our white skin, in the desert where any reason fails. It is a pity that one doesn’t have a god to say: my god, how far I am from everything! From what they told me I knew about. (p. 59) It goes slowly. It goes slowly and the whores shout things like rubbles that come out from between the huge or yellowish teeth that look like fifteen-year-old girls’ white dresses or letters of route signs, which appear out of nowhere, lit by streetlamps the teeth, huge, under huge eyes, from where non-innocent and non-clear invitations come out, the invitations that shake the Lada 79 that goes so slowly that the whores see the white skin in the front seat of the Lada 79, lost in Bole Avenue, the Lada that goes up and down Bole Avenue looking for the Family Cozy and leaves impossible bug clouds of black smoke and petroleum smell, and it goes so slowly that the whores can see the White sitting in front and the whores from all over the world know that the whiter the meat is, the juicier the prey is, and they shout non-innocent invitations, with legs that cannot keep the balance on high heels and scratched leathers, and I feel fresh air with certain recall of a warm afternoon, the noise from the roller bearings of the Lada 79, the way the leaves move, the whores’ imprudent footsteps, some of that is what the recall of the afternoon heat has, now that it is night, almost morning, and we are lost going up and down Bole Avenue, and out of the corner of my eye I look at the whores that shout out of tradition and without conviction, out of reflection and, almost certainly, without any hopes, they shout at me, one who is white and lost in the front seat of a Lada 79 taxi, looking at them out of the corner of my eye, thinking about the whores in Oliva Street, all sweat, sweating in the shade, poorly shaved, dishevelled, sitting on little chairs ridiculously low, moving the thumbs of their bare feet, next to the greasy thongs, whores of tired tits, of sad and worn-out tits, whores sleepy because of a never-ending standing fan in the excessive heat far beyond Perú Street, whores with eyes similar to cow eyes, so different from the whores of Bole Avenue, who shout obscene words at me, or who knows what they are shouting, or who knows if they are different at all. Or maybe it is just that I flew 16 hours and now I am lost and it’s cold and I’m sure it has been very hot and nobody knows where Cozy Family is, and we go up and down along Bole Avenue as if it were the only street in this planet you can drive along. You must be on the other side of the g