Sometimes I think that I am not capable of putting my shoes on, that I won’t be able to tie the shoelaces in a bow. Sometimes I get upset about encounters and ‘misencounters’, about out-of-times and out-of-focuses. 13 years ago I used to buy white flowers. I would have given you even my walking around alone. Once I was asked what my favourite pet was and I answered: a long, long shadow. I would have given you my shadow too. I’m a survivor. There are two kinds of survivors: the ones who ran away from everything because they think that by doing that they take care of themselves; and the ones who face up to everything, even if they are scared to death, because with that they take care of themselves. But if after all, after so much shit, I see you and I start stammering, and it hurts here, and I have a voice which is not mine, and I let myself be beaten by two eyes like oceans, and I narrow my eyes so there is no time or anything but only seeing your eyes, just seeing your eyes because that is similar to being in peace, I will need a miracle to help me with that but, who cares? That, little girl, means not having lost. That’s the soul shouting itself hoarse: nobody gives up here, damn it! It won’t be enough either if they tear me apart, erase the tons of words that I’ve said, sweep the floors I’ve stepped on, the airs I’ve flown through, if they erase the drawings I’ve drawn, or anything, because, even if there’s nothing left of myself, my loving heart will be there, just loving. Sometimes I get distracted and I forget. Some people, you for example, remind me. There might be those who believe it is just a game because Martinito plays with everything there is in life. There might be those who believe that it is just because it is impossible and in Mr Barrios’ tradition the impossible comes first. And that might be true, although what is more certain is that I will always prefer violins at dawn. (p. 62) It might be that all of this is certain, but that doesn’t mean that it is true. After all, I hate the warmth of idiots. It also happened that at the west door of the Taj Mahal, I was run over by a cart full of dung. (p. 63) They are too big for him. For the waiter in jacket, the black leather shoes are too big. The Marabou makes cart noises and the waiter in jacket wearing big size shoes walks with his knees bent, and at every step he beats the floor making a little red cloud rise from it. He makes a gesture with his nose and raises and lowers his head like a stork. They have a hard sole, the shoes. He has flat feet because: 1 / the sole is hard? 2 / he doesn’t straighten his legs? The shorter waiter is not wearing a jacket, he is wearing a kind of waistcoat. He is not wearing shoes, he is wearing Chinese canvas shoes like boats and steps on the instep of his feet. He told me: yes, madam when I asked him what he was eating (a sort of huge greenish pancake with little chunks of some meat and long bones that I ate with my hands and with suspicion because of all kinds of reasons, while I thought that the bones were there to account for the veracity of the meat). Yes, madam, ok, madam, and he wiped his nose with his shirt sleeve tinged in part with the red dust, in part with who knows what. I asked him for the bill, he took out a pen and put his tongue out to help himself do the sum or write the numbers correctly, he looked carefully at the table, pointing with the pen at the plate and glass, he nodded with his head, one water: 10,45, one injira with goat meat: 27,05....48,90 Birr, he told me with bright eyes and breathing in snots. -¿Perdón...?! 9 -Ok, sorry, twenty is enough, enough. And he ran off in his canvas shoes like boats and the twenty in his little notebook. (p. 71) I was listening to Carolin Widmann, some violin sonatas by Schumann, I was listening to Schumann as I could have been listening to anything else, while I was hoping that my shadow would not follow me anymore on dry millet fiber. I was looking at the millet and thinking about the monstrosity of the bière de mil10 hangover that with impunity I had drunk from the pumpkin with that little crazy Mossi bloke that wore his cap down to his eyes and would not stop talking and calling me brother. We got drunk like mules in the shade with that warm beer he used to drink making a noise like a kid sipping his soup; when he licked it, the marks on his face drew a gesture that I didn’t know whether to laugh at it or be afraid of it. I was listening to Schumann making millet canes creak in the Dogon country, on lands of little men that ran from the Falaise, that step in the world, to Cameroon and Zambia, when the big men who worshiped Sirius’ satellite made them come down from the steep rock, from their strange country of baobabs and sky and they pushed them away to the humid and dark jungles, where they still were little men but played their huge flute which thundered the voice of gods, they cheated and set 8 categories of death so as not to be afraid, the way I had to cheat so as not to be afraid when giants arrived, when your eyes arrived, far from the millet that I step on while I listen to Schumman, and there is a void in my hands, in my eyes, in my ears peeled because of the sun. I also listen to the violins and my shadow insists, everything insists on being there. (p. 73) 9 Pardon? 10 Millet beer.