domingo, 2 de enero de 2011

Message in a Bottle

By Marcelo Damiani

       I am writing the story of this raft –which its captain keeps calling “ship”– and of its eternal veering towards starboard. The obvious incoherence of our course prevents me from talking about the subject. I am an insignificant part of the crew. I don’t speak, I don’t move, I don’t do anything at all. I just try to emphasise the differences between the captain and me. Ambivalent, voluble, mediocre, the captain, my enemy, doesn’t know about my existence – I am well hidden in the large crowded raft. He doesn’t even suspect what I am planning to do because he has a lot of troubles – even though he calls them “hobbies”. His favourite one, no doubt, is feeding the sharks. His method, supported by the stupid crew, is to kick the idlers and the loafers out of the raft, in order to offer them to Neptune. That is, he says, a necessary sacrifice. That is, I say, simple murder. (Besides, he also likes killing people’s ideas, and if that doesn’t work, he kills people that have ideas. Maybe it is not stretching the truth too far to say that he vindicates criminals.) Stealing a bow and a couple of arrows, practising for a while, becoming an expert and looking for the opportunity to fill his mouth with something solid, is one of my best ideas for killing him. But I am not sure, and it is not because I am afraid of him. There is a real danger that the ignorant masses will end up transforming him into a martyr. This way, instead, I am sure he will win an historical, sempiternal hate for his own merit. And I, meanwhile, can keep insulting him, writing, imagining his death in vain. Because I have nothing else to do as we sail in circles on the open sea.

       The original short story in Spanish is here.