A drop falling into a bucket leaves a full roundish sound in the ear; on the tongue, a metallic
taste, the color of silver, then copper, verdigris. That woke me up tonight.
I’m dreaming that someone is following me, that someone is spying on me from behind
a wall, their head hidden by a balaclava. The pillow is sopping and I turn it over. The back
of my neck is hot, my body burning up. I throw off the covers, I tell myself that it feels
better, but suddenly I’m cold, freezing to death, teeth chattering. Each hair follicle along my
spine stands on end. I‘m arching my back, the hairs on my body bristle.
The drop again. It’s like my lips are around the icy barrel of a gun for a few seconds. My
closed, my mouth forming an “O” with a perfect curve. A brick red aftertaste, of dried
I left my white top on the chair, it’s rock hard but dry. I cover myself up. I can’t sleep, I turn
on my bedside lamp. I left a scratch card next to the ashtray. With a 1 € coin
between my moist fingers, I scratch. The opaque covering comes off, an emerald green
rectangle appears, a tiny monochrome. A personal intimate monochrome, like underwear
you learn to unhook with a flick of the wrist. As easy as snapping your fingers.
G… N… C… Ah! Phantom letters come into view transparently. A secret translucent message
on paper, then a face. I don’t understand. Have I won or have I lost?
A third drop. It’s probably the sleepy state I’m in but the sound seems closer to me, like
it’s threatening to slip inside my auditory system. A snail stripping off its shell, leaving
the viscous line its passage has drawn, in order to reach my hearing.
My gums hurt. My teeth hurt. Night comes and while I sleep I ground my teeth. That sort of
grinding sound that makes you plant your nails into the skin of your hand and contract the
muscles of the phalanges of your fingers. Little half-moons that mark your palm.
To smile is to flash your canines, incisors, and I’d rather a thick beard swallowed up my face.
I’d like to cross-dress.
The girl looks at me with her green eye. She stares at me with her violet eye, sporting her
stupid getup, that bright red suit of hers. Who’d you put that on for?
It puts me in a mood to lash out violently, an urge to kill. If I were a bull, I’d trample that rag
Is someone making fun of me? I get the impression somebody’s looking at me, laughing at
me. In this empty room I hear laughter, I feel all alone and ridiculous. I hide, I get dressed
again. I am the naked king that is laughed at, the flasher that gets pointed at. My cheeks are
beet red, I stop. I’ve overdone it putting on the act.
I shall leave behind me, right on the ground, the shadow of my passage. The outlines of my
grandiose epic – you’ll be able to trace them out in felt-tip pen or brush. I pluck the prettiest
feathers of my plumage. I leave you the blue, the green, and the gold of my peacock’s tail.
Ana Mendoza Aldana