Thursday, July 22, 2010

Suboficiales de Mecánica de la Armada

Tromsø sleeps in a dorm in the Navy Petty-Officers School of Mechanics (Suboficiales de Mecánica de la Armada) where he is studying to become a machinist. On the first day of his studies he falls ill and is sent to the infirmary. The second day he is removed from the school and relocated to the Waldau Sanatorium where he is treated for a corrupt soul. On the third day he asks the orderly if he can visit a friend in the Overnight Asylum across the street from the Waldau Sanatorium. Shaking his head the orderly says ‘okay, but make sure your back before lights out’. They call him Tromsø because he has a face like a reindeer. The man in the hat met Tromsø at the Feast of the Annunciation; Tromsø carrying with him a broadsheet on which was printed the following: “La literatura es mentir bien la verdad” (Juan Carlos Onetti). After making each other’s acquaintance they go their separate ways, the whistle on the clocktower of the Navy Petty-Officers School of Mechanics signaling the end of school.

Over the door to the mess on a plaque typically reserved for mounting angled fish, a fish which would have ruined many an appetite, bone-rotten as an indecently mounted fish tends to be, or at least one not mounted with prudence, was the following epitaph, “I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance” (Friedrich Nietzsche) and below that, yet seeming to exist on a different plain altogether,

"When I sat down to die, my soul prayed for me to get up and drag on with my life, as if it still expected some miracle to cleanse me of my sins. I didn't even try. 'This is the end of the road,' I told it. 'I don't have the strength to go on.' And I opened my mouth to let it escape. And it went. I knew when I felt the little thread of blood that bound it to my heart drip into my hands."
(Juan Rulfo, Pedro Paramo)

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"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

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