The Writer: Chapter 2

Octavio Paz once said that solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Sometimes I think this is how Hell is supposed to be. A dark, empty room. Or a huge city with no one but yourself for company.

I know that you’re here just because you want to find out what really happened to Oscar, but I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. I am going to read you one of my stories instead.

Why? Because every writer wants to be read, every storyteller wants to be heard.

 

Crossroads

 

“El sueño de la razón produce monstruos.”

Francisco Goya

His chest felt heavy, his legs tired. Dead leaves rustled under his feet. Nailed to the sky, the moon’s sardonic smile quivered among a cluster of cold stars. His body just a coffin for his soul, Robert seemed to take every footstep with infinite precaution, as if fearing that the dirt road would swallow his feet.

On each side, pine trees stood tall. Ancient guardians.

“Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of-” he tried to recite, but was interrupted by hounds barking somewhere in the distance. Long, reverberating shivers of sounds that seemed to had spawned from hell itself bashed against his ears. His black skin glistened with sweat; droplets shuddered down from his hairline to his eyebrows, down his temples. The skin of his neck burned, hot. His eyes glimmered in the dark void, hopelessly trying to peer through that endless ocean of fear and agony. He pressed the guitar to his chest, his long arms forming a desperate embrace around the black wood. The sharp smell of lacquer flooded his nose. Continue reading

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The Writer: Chapter 1

The only thing that is worth remembering, and worth remembering over and over again, is that in this world, under all and any circumstance, nothing ever happens.

My name is Jonathan Fisher and I can stare at the sun longer than anyone else on this planet. Longer than you. And I am afraid you are not going to like me.

Most of the time I’m just a ghost, a shadow riding in the back seat of a bus, a whisper travelling across a Universe only ten miles wide. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the first event I can recall with an almost morbid precision took place on my twenty third birthday. That was the day we buried my father. Continue reading

The Labyrinth

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The labyrinth is a web of corridors going nowhere. A structure so elaborate it inspires fear and chaos in the minds of those trapped.

The labyrinth is, also, indifferent. It exists. What happens inside is ruled by different forces.

There must be a way out. A secret passage. A shortcut.

Those who ask why will get only one answer.

What if there isn’t one? What if the light at the end of the tunnel is an illusion?

This labyrinth has no sense of humor, even though many of its captives will laugh through clenched teeth, trying to free themselves from rage.

From desolation. From fear. From anger. From the dark silence that surrounds them.

It’s so quiet inside this maze that the only noise is created by your mind, by your eager heartbeats, by your footsteps.

You are alone.

Utterly and inconsolably so.

The rules that were used to build this maze cannot be used against it.

In a way, there are no rules. Continue reading

Saudade

All you can picture inside your head, over and over again, is you closing the door behind you. It felt… irremediable. Your own version of passing the Rubicon. That was the moment when the nostalgia of all that could no longer be began.

It is said that when two people break up, one feels relieved, free. It is over. It is time to move on. And the other one is left with the broken pieces of their heart, not knowing what to do.

Saudade. The love that remains, the love that no amount of poison could ever kill. The love that will eventually alter itself to become what is left when nothing can be done anymore.

It was beautiful… Continue reading

Paradise

Johnny Cash was once asked for his definition of paradise. He used six simple words to answer what often proves to be a difficult question to most people.

“This morning, with her, having coffee.”

Who is her? I have often asked myself. Where does one find her? How? When?

Of course, I have found her. And lost her. And found her again. And again. And every time my heart broke, it would heal itself through some sort of long forgotten magic, but it would no longer be the same. It would beat less and less for her…

In a perfect world, we could give our heart to someone, and they’d cherish this gift enough to keep it safe. But this is a wicked, wicked world, and people always leave, and soulmates fall out of love, and nothing lasts forever, because forever is just a made-up word. And people always, and I mean always, will drop your heart to the ground. They’ll always drop it.

I became afraid that I’d never find my way to a paradise that would last for the rest of my life. My happily ever after. The ending that I have always felt the story of my life deserved.

When there was no her to wake up next to, it felt like hell. A strange hell, one that was so quiet, so desolate, so destitute, that it felt like being blind, numb, and deaf.

Sartre was wrong. Hell is never other people. Hell is loneliness. Hell is dreaming of her all night long, only to wake up all alone in the morning…

***

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Lucky You

The odds of being born on any given day are about 0,27%. Of course, certain days are different than others, due to religious, cultural, or practical reasons. That’s why the odds of being born on Christmas Day are 0.0022%.

I was born on Christmas Day.

***

You ever hear the expression: “Karma’s a bitch?”

I know, I know. Such a terrible cliche. But it’s kind of true. I never met her, but I can tell you that “bitch” is the best possible definition of karma.

Fate. Destiny.

Fate fortunes the bold, the Romans would say.

It does. But she also screws them over, in ways no one could ever possibly imagine.

Like the ancient gods of Greece.

Like the way Zeus screwed mortal men and especially women for centuries.

You know, in that witty and cruel manner that makes you wonder if gods were ever on our side. Continue reading

Love at first sight

He enters the waiting room, sees all the other patients eagerly waiting to be called into the doctor’s office. They all nod in that peculiar manner; they are here because of necessity, rather than choice. He sits on the only available chair and takes out his cell phone. It’s so warm inside that he has to struggle not to yawn.

But then he looks up and sees her.

It’s always such a shock to see someone beautiful in places you wouldn’t expect to see anything of importance. Continue reading