Archive for September, 2013

La Fase Funesta

Posted: September 9, 2013 in fragmentos
© Ernesto G., 2013

© Ernesto G., 2013

En el siglo XYZ de la Fase Funesta, los emiraldos se reunieron para establecer las nuevas rutas que nos conducirían finalmente al deseado Bien Común. Habían pasado miles de años desde el comienzo de la Primera Fase, aquella gloriosa etapa en la que los Facinerosos del Antifuturo habían sido fusilados o enviados a campos de concentración o convencidos de que el Bien Individual era incompatible con el Bien Común. Había sido un camino largo, lleno de penurias y violencia, hasta que finalmente se logró la Paz Adormecida. El Bien Común, sin embargo, era aún un sueño no realizado, una quimera; aunque ya nadie empleaba vocablos como ése por anticuados. Además, el Gran Censor había racionado el número de palabras que se podían usar anualmente y a nadie le interesaba emplear vocablos tan sofisticados cuando había que concentrarse en los esenciales para la supervivencia.

Los emiraldos tenían ante sí una misión fácil, a la que estaban acostumbrados porque el Gran Gran, jefe supremo, líder indiscutible e inapelable, señor de las artes y de las ciencias, les había solicitado que pensaran todos a la vez y pensaran lo mismo y estuvieran de acuerdo. Era algo que habían hecho por años, una cualidad que habían heredado de sus antepasados, a la cual el Gran Censor había asignado un nombre perfecto: el unipensare. El Gran Censor creaba y retiraba palabras del vocabulario oficial que se publicaba todos los años. Como la vida se había simplificado mucho, no era necesario utilizar tantas palabras y a la gente le resultaba muy cómodo no verse obligados a aprenderse un vocabulario extenso. A los únicos a los que les permitían utilizar palabras anticuadas era a los Poetas Oficiales, que cantaban loas al Gran Gran y al futuro luminoso que llegaría con el Bien Común.

El señor ha escrito un texto olvidable

Posted: September 7, 2013 in corto

© Ernesto G., 2013

El señor ha escrito un texto olvidable. Llueve afuera. Siempre llueve. Lleva años lloviendo. Tanto tiempo que ya pareciera que no se podría estar sin la presencia constante del agua. El señor abre una botella de vino español. Se sienta en el portal a mirar la lluvia. Busca ideas en las gotas, en su caída, recuerda un texto de Cortázar y desecha la idea de escribir sobre la lluvia. Ya lo hizo él y tan bien. Ya todo está hecho, se dice y entra de nuevo a la casa. Se sienta en el piso frío, se da un trago, no le gusta este vino, no le gusta tener que depender del alcohol para escribir. Es una dependencia horrible. “El alcohol me está matando y aún no escribo nada que valga la pena,” se dice mientras se sirve más vino. Lo sirve lentamente, observa con atención la caída del liquido en la copa. Cierra los ojos. Escucha el sonido que ahora se confunde con la caída de las gotas afuera. Ha empezado a llover dentro.

Guilty of strange desires (excerpt)

Posted: September 7, 2013 in fragmentos
© Ernesto G., 2013

© Ernesto G., 2013

She was guilty, yes, guilty of strange desires that kept her up at night and diluted her sense of reality. She should have suppressed them, they all keep saying. She should have talked to someone about it. Her dad, maybe. He would have understood. He was a strange man himself and had seen all sorts of atrocities when he enlisted in the army and was sent overseas to kill other men whose language he did not even understand. How can you kill a man and not understand his last words? How can you put a bullet in his heart and not know what his last thoughts were? Because that’s why we have language, to tell the world what we feel, what we think. She should have done it. She should have talked to him.

The desire to kill was one of them. She wanted kill people slowly, watching their agonizing last moments with pleasure, seeing them cry for help and gasp for air; yes, she wanted to suffocate them, take every bit of oxygen out of their bodies with a special machine that she had created in her mind. The idea to invent the peculiar contraption came to her one day when she saw her mother deflate one of these inflatable mattresses. She enjoyed every minute of it and wondered what it would be like to invent a something similar to deflate humans. No, it was not a metaphor. It wasn´t their souls she was after. She wanted to suck life out of them. She wasn’t the artistic type. It wasn’t literature. It wasn’t art that motivated her. She had no artistic inclinations. It was pure evil. But it was evil that was never realized. It stayed locked up in her mind. It didn’t fight to get out. It enjoyed being there.

Looking back now, I realize that maybe she should have acted on some of these thoughts. Knowing what I now know, it seems like this would have been preferable. I am not suggesting she should have killed someone. No. What I am saying is she should have asked her dad to help her make the machine. This would have helped. I’m not a psychologist but I believe that spending time to actually put the parts together (it would have probably taken her months to finish it) would have prevented what happened later.

But this wasn’t her only desire.

The Philadelphia Chronicles

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Crónicas



Cuban coffee. We need Cuban coffee. We have to find a Cuban restaurant in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia of all places! We find two, Alma de Cuba and Cuba Libre. Cuba Libre sounds better. Isn’t this what we all want? Cuba Libre, at least in Philadelphia they understand. It is in a fancy part of town. We pay 20 dollars for parking, for just an hour! We are welcome by this question: “Do you have a reservation?” We didn’t know we needed one. “It’s not required but it is highly recommended.” Cuba Libre, I think as we wait for a table.


As we are walking back to the car on a beautiful Saturday morning in Olde City in Philadelphia, my oldest daughter starts complaining about a stomachache. She turns pale and starts vomiting. Then out of nowhere comes this man with dreadlocks and dressed in white. He buys a lemon soda at a hotdog stand and gives it to her, “This is what she needs,” he says. He also gives her a white towel and says, “You can keep it. It’s clean.” When I try to give him money, he looks at me and says, “No need.” And he walks away.

On the flight back to Miami, he sits a couple of seats away from us.


As I am getting ready to return the rental car at Philadelphia International Airport, the attendant, a black man with an accent, probably from Africa, asks me for my last name: “Gonzalez,” I reply.  “Gonzalez? You don’t look like a Gonzalez? Gonzalezes are supposed to be darker.” I look at him, give him a tip and walk away thinking how we all go around trying to fit people into stereotypes.


After we check our luggage in, I realize my camera is missing. All I can think of are the pictures of my daughter who we have just dropped off at the University of Pennsylvania for her first year in college, all the photographic memories gone. The rental car! I left the bag with the camera in the rental car. I look at my watch. I have half an hour before boarding the plane. I tell my wife. I have to get back to the rental car and retrieve the camera. I see a shuttle bus. I run after it. It keeps going. The driver doesn’t see me or doesn’t want to stop. A total stranger sees me and asks me to get in his car. He will take me to the shuttle bus so that I can return to the car rental place. I make it to the bus. I tell the driver. He radios the manager. She says she needs to know what kind of car it is. It’s a Chevy Impala. She says we have hundreds of them. It’s gray. We have hundreds that are gray, she says. You need to get here so we can locate it on the computer. I get there and I give her the information she needs. She says, “Wait for me here in the office. I will go to the car and see if it’s the camera is still there.” But I can’t wait in the office. I’m too anxious. Then I see her walking towards me, but she is drowned in a sea of cars and I can’t see if she is actually bringing the camera. When she finally comes out, she sees me and smiles. She has the camera.


We have just gone through security. Now we are ready to sit and wait until we are told to start boarding the plane. We are walking towards the gate. We make a wrong turn and my wife and daughter cross the security line. Two steps. Only two. The TSA officer looks at them and says: “You crossed the line. You have to go through security again.” “But it was two steps only. They didn’t go far,” I say. “The sign says if you cross the line, you need to go through security again,” she says. Two steps, two steps only.


There’s a story everywhere, waiting to be written. Sometimes I wish I didn’t see them. Because if I do, I won’t stop thinking about them until I write them. This is how I neutralize these thoughts, by fictionalizing them. Take, for example, the story of the German couple sitting next to me on the flight back to Miami from Philadelphia. She is obviously terrified of flying and the minute the plane hits some turbulence, she starts hyperventilating. Her husband looks at her and says nothing. He just holds her hand tight and keeps staring at her. I ask him, “Should I get her some ice?” “Yes, please,” he replies.  When things calm down a bit, I go to the back of plane and ask the stewardess for some ice. I ask her, “It got a little bumpy, didn’t it?” “It was ok,” she says. “I was just trying to finish eating,” she says and as she hands me the ice.