by Nicolas Rojas Preciado
Arts & Culture Editor
I stand quietly, waiting in forged peace while the laughing grows louder. That strident hypocritical children’s laugh makes me sick. I am cornered by senseless spectators aiming to relieve their stresses and sorrows with a bit of comical entertainment; those ignorant pretenders that have failed in parenthood, the pockets filled with the supper of the servants and the secondhand clothes of the poor. I smile with that pain in the cheeks of forced muscle tension and maintain the posture. I stare at those little children of mercy brought to the promised land of none; if I feel either compassion or simply disgust, I don’t know, I don’t care. The children gather and the maids leave their half-empty plates of leftovers to keep them in order, while real men and women drink their bubbles as I try to put together as many drops of condensed water needed for a sip, from this cheap glass no one bothered to fill. I approach the host, the time has shortened, and I finally receive what I was promised, and, clearly, I keep the change and leave.
I walk out of there at noon under the prominent sun, carrying the weight of this heavy clothing and, under it, my own odor dampening the skin. I reach a fuel pump and buy myself lunch, the hard bread softens with the coffee. My stomach is empty. I take the back door where I find a broken pipe leaking water. I take some water on my hands and wash off this exaggerated makeup covering my face. As my hands pour water, the fingertips feel the broken expression lines, the tired gaze, sadness as a shape of unperfected smiles. My hands are all white with stains of blue and my lips are still tainted red. I feel ashamed of the face that moments ago hid beneath the masks of failure, the shame of being the victim of those that made of my work a joke, those that made me look like a vulgar and coarse clown. They have all disrespected us, their ignorance has condemned us and now my stage is the vague road of amusement. This red of my lips is all that is left, we are cursed with the new world, the forgotten humble souls die here and now, they have turned everything around, these chess players have made of my comedy the final irrevocable tragedy.
I look back whilst I drive my body along the streets; it goes with difficulty, there is too much to lug, but I don’t understand its way of moving, the rigidity of the limbs. I remember sitting on the ground and letting the air consume my manners, my words. I used to wonder in fear if that was all, if I had to let go of these two attempts of authenticity of a simple shape, of a simple weight. My abrupt and troubled man’s narrative simplified when the other self would come upon me and resurrect the degraded body. That theatrical smile, I remember, never felt this fake, this unnatural, this uncomfortable.
I get to my room, that little hole in nobody’s land; second room of the right wing on the third floor, the warehouse just down the road of desperation. I exhibit my naked body, only these four walls are allowed to watch. I see myself in the long floor mirror, the duality of two faces, two souls in one body. So much disgust, time and space trap me in a hateful elongated moment of despair, nothing matters because all that once existed is now gone; my heart has cut through my chest, torn matter in the cavity of passionate floods that darken. I look at myself in such a rhetorical manner, I seem funny, I never left but I am gone, as time passed by I faded out; I laugh at my misery, I laugh at my tragedy, I laugh at me, I am a joke, a bad taste joke by the ignorant conquerors of misplaced modernity. I laugh so loud in disgust, so loud that this is nothing but a clown’s ultimate laugh.