Translation by John Pluecker

miércoles, junio 15, 2011


What Fences Us In






Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Waiting room at the gastroenterologist's office.
Facts: Two female patients talk about the nervous indigestion they're suffering from. One of them, the older woman, tells the younger one about her day-to-day concerns (the kids, money, health), and now the additional issue of avoiding getting hit by a bullet. The younger one tells her that the other night she felt sick and had to go to the hospital at dawn, that she lives with her mother, she didn't want to wake her up so she wouldn't insist on going with her, not only because of the inherent risk involved, but also because if her mother went, she wouldn't have anyone to leave her son with. The older woman says, you were really lucky, because if you'd run into the bad people they could've cared less you were feeling bad. The younger woman shook her head, yeah, I was really lucky, I didn't run into anyone and they took care of me at the hospital.




Time: 6:20 p.m.
Location: Waiting room at the gastroenterologist's office.
Facts: The younger woman goes in to see the doctor, and the older woman talks to the receptionist. The older woman asks her if she's received any phone calls, like extorsion attempts to get money. She tells her the story of her neighbors, a couple of elderly people who were kidnapped by phone. On the phone, they gave instructions for them to leave their house and they went to a hotel and there, under threat of death, didn't answer any calls from their children. The kidnappers called their children and got a large sum of money from them. The elderly couple was later found at the hotel. Next, the receptionist tells her that a few moments before she received a strange call from an educated man asking her for the doctor, which seemed strange to her and she said he wasn't in, and that that same man then started asking her what kind of work she did there and other strange things. The receptionist was so scared she hung up on him.

Time: 6:50 p.m.
Location: Inside the gastroenterologist's office.
Facts: I go in and sit down on one of the seats in front of the desk, I listen to the doctor talking on his cell phone, it's clear he's talking with some family member, since he's tell them them about how he's been receiving strange phone calls. He asks them to tell his siblings to be on the lookout.

Time: 7:25 p.m.
Location: My house.
Facts: As soon as I get home from the doctor's office, I start to hear sirens. I run to check Twitter. Apparently a man's body is sprawled out on the street. On the same street I just came from, which is about two blocks away and where the doctor's office is. At an intersection close by. That all this had just taken place and that the police were showing up.

And I'm left thinking to myself: all this happened as I was walking around that area. Minutes before. Minutes after. A body in the street.

The metal fence. The tension. All of this that fences us in. And some of us insisting on jumping all the damned barriers.


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