by Carlos Capelán
It was very late and dark when the noise awakened them. An army of angels, souls and spectres was creating the world. By the next morning they had already made some big holes from which lava spewed out, they could cross large valleys inhabited by killer animals and they could hear the drunken growls of men who were shaking their fists at the mutes who were eating honey. The seas were frozen and their shores were warm, and the water was clearer than air. One could hear sharp sounds, soundless, thick and shrill sounds. The trees spread far away, and storms were rare. The weight of things depended upon the force one used to lift them. Calm pacing was a way of measuring the passage of time. Keeping the eyelids open and the gaze fixed was another way of measuring space. Intentions became clear only if they had a purpose, and dreams were heavy, brief and intermittent. There were many languages but only one was spoken, and all the rest were equally intelligible. I dreamed of Zik. Zik spoke all the languages (to preserve their differences) and had helped create the fortune of the poet C’hi. We all knew that when the poet C’hi set off from the Fu Mountain, during his 9,086-day march, he drank tea at the bars he found along the way. Once an old dog approached him and stood next to him. The poet looked the dog in the eyes, and for a minute the only sound to be heard was the music of the bar. The poet realised that the dog was the reincarnation of his old mentor, the cowboy Chong, and he emptied a jar of boiling water on the dog’s back and drove him away with slaps. My dreams with Zik were brief. The angels, the souls and the spectres stayed on in the world and were forgotten. They bred children among themselves and created new languages which everyone could understand, even though they were spoken fast. They also wrote texts of a proverbial stiltedness. Over time the world changed, and a new one had to be made. A man once painted a vast landscape, so wonderful that the emperor wanted to visit it together with his entourage. Behind the emperor the artist stood before his work and showed the sky, the pleasant hills, the little boats on the horizon, the beaches, the empty bars and a road that went down to the sea and vanished after a turn. The man stayed there for a long time. When at last he decided to go, he found the city up in flames and the world moribund. He drank his mate, switched off the radio, said goodbye to his neighbour and began to throw stones until he was arrested.