Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 24, 2018

Zapatistas 'Consciences for Humanity -- From the Diaries of the Cat-Dog' by SupGaleano


The EZLN’s Sixth Commission at the close of “Consciences for Humanity”: “From the Diaries of the Cat-Dog.” SupGaleano
From the Diaries of the Cat-Dog: the story of how two great detectives met, a fragment of what Elías Contreras and SupGaleano talked about during the now not-so-mysterious case of the missing honeybuns, how Defensa Zapatista left the science of language in shreds, and some idle reflections from the Sup on the above subjects

December 30, 2017

Once again, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night,

First of all, we want to send an embrace to the Mapuche people who are still being attacked by the bad governments of the countries called Chile and Argentina. They have used legal ruses to again bring charges against Machi Francisca Linconao, along with other Mapuche men and women, proving once again that in this system, those who destroy nature are the good guys and those who resist, defending life, are persecuted, murdered, and imprisoned like criminals. Despite this, or precisely because of it, one word is sufficient to describe the struggle of the Mapuche people and all of the originary peoples of this continent: Marichiweu—we will win, ten, a thousand times over and always.

Yesterday, one of the women scientists who spoke here told us about a contest to write the message that will be taken by spaceship to another planet, and that the reward for the winning message is a million dollars. The message that we propose, and which will most surely win, is: “Don’t let us come to your world. If we haven’t resolved the problems that we caused ourselves, we will make the same errors again. And in that case, we won’t come alone; we will bring a criminal system with us. We will be for your world an alien apocalypse, the much-feared eighth passenger that grows and reproduces itself through death and destruction.The motive for learning about other worlds should be the desire for knowledge, the necessity to learn, and respect for what is different, not the search for new markets for war nor for refuge from a murderous system.”

Please deposit the million dollars in the bank account of the organization named “The Time has Come for the Flourishing of the People” that supports the Indigenous Governing Council.

What I am going to read was going to be our contribution to the panel yesterday, but, like Pedrito, I was on the receiving end of a “gender equality” effort (knock on the head included) and “the women that we are” won the space. So here goes:

Doctor John Watson looks worriedly in the mirror. He brushes his hair to one side, then to the other, forward and then backward. He looks at himself straight on, then studies his profile from the right, then from the left, and with a hand mirror from behind. He murmurs throughout this process: “Tortilla hair…why does she call me tortilla hair? Because of the color? The style? Maybe because of the gray that now competes with the brown? Or is it the way I wear it? Tortilla hair, that damned girl…”

He’s still in this process when Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective, suddenly jumps out of the hammock where he had been playing melancholy chords on the violin. Putting his coat on quickly, Sherlock urges the doctor:

“Quickly Watson, we don’t have much time.”

“Where are we going Holmes?” It’s cold already and the Junta [Good Government Council] says it’s going to get worse,” Watson says as he walks out the door of the small hut the autonomous authorities have provided them for their stay in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

Holmes doesn’t even bother to answer. He strides down the main street of the community toward the small building with a sign on the front reading “Vigilance Commission” and a mural behind it with vivid colors that bravely fight the humidity. Inside the building, a young indigenous woman is attentively focused on a computer monitor.

“Te´ oyot Tzeb” (“Greetings, señorita”), Sherlock Holmes says in his best Tzotzil. A few days have been enough for him to master the basics in order to be understood in the Mayan languages of these zones.

Watson is about to mock him when the young woman on the vigilance commission responds to him in perfect English: “Good Afternoon.” Her accent is not so much British as that of a Dubliner, Watson thinks.

Holmes ignores Watson’s sarcastic look and in impeccable Spanish asks,

“How can I find the person I am looking for?”

The young woman, indigenous, short, with long braids and lively black eyes, looks amused as she responds in perfect German:

“Und wie heißt diese Person?“ (“And what is that person’s name?“)

Holmes immediately catches on and asks in the French of an undocumented immigrant,

“Je ne connais pas son nom, mais sa profession est un enquêteur privé” (“I don’t know his name, but he’s a private investigator”)

“Non capisco niente” (“I didn’t get any of that”), says the young indigenous woman in the language of a rough and proud Italian neighborhood.

Doctor John Watson looks amused by Holmes’ predicament, but he is looking worriedly at the street, afraid that little girl is going to show up.

Sherlock Holmes is trying to think how to stay “private investigator” or “detective” in Russian, when Watson’s fears are realized.

Like a small hurricane, the little girl who calls herself Defensa Zapatista comes running down the street full of puddles and bursts in the door as Watson instinctively pats his hair and Sherlock is trying to decide whether to switch to Mandarin Chinese or Polish.

Defensa Zapatista hugs Sherlock shouting, “Hole-mase! Broomhead!”

Well, hug would be stretching it. The respective heights of Holmes and the little girl mean that he receives her hug around the knees.

The consulting detective looks disconcerted. In London the minimum height of a person with whom he comes into contact is 5’9”, although throughout this time in Zapatista territory he has had to lower that average to 4’11”. His experience with children, apart from distancing himself anytime he sees one and gesturing displeasure anytime he hears one crying, is almost nil. But for some reason, the taller detective likes Defensa Zapatista.

The little girl turns to the respected Doctor and blogger John Watson and throws her arms around his neck with a delighted “Waj-shton! Tortilla hair!” which does not delight the ex-military doctor.

Defensa Zapatista takes them both by the hand and pulls them toward the door: “Hurry, we’re going to be late!”
The young woman of the Vigilance Commission, disappointed by the rather abrupt end of her linguistic internationalism, closes the 7 tabs on her browser that were open to Google Translate and returns to the blog she is reading about the activities of the Indigenous Governing Council spokesperson, María de Jesús Patricio Martínez.
Holmes doesn’t need to hurry; for each one of his strides, the girl has to take several. Sherlock is holding in his right hand the small stick with which he is always poking around in the dirt and between the plants in search of insects. Watson purposely falls behind when he sees the so-called “cat-dog” bite the cuff of Holmes’ pants, probably to make him cut his stride and thus walk at the same pace as the little girl.

The girl stops suddenly and says, relieved, “We’re here.”

They’re at the pasture that serves, in addition to grazing land for the livestock collectives, as a soccer field for the teams that take turns working to widen and deepen the crack in the wall, as well as for festivals, dances, and celebrations, not to mention a training field for Defensa Zapatista’s as-yet incomplete team.

Watson, who still hasn’t learned his way around the small village where they spend the majority of their time, confirms unhappily that they have arrived at a pasture when he feels thick, warm cow shit underfoot.

Defensa Zapatista says, “You guys wait here, I’m going to go get the one-eyed horse,” and she runs off with the cat-dog behind her.

Just then an indigenous man of undefined age comes up to the British pair.

Sherlock Holmes sees him coming and with the precision and speed that he is known for, begins to construct a biographical sketch of the man. But before he can finish, the man says:

“Good morning Mr. Hole-Mase, Mr. Waj-shton. Don’t worry,” he says to Sherlock, “your tailor in London will be able to mend that rip without a problem. And I believe you’ll find some boots in your size in the Zapatista shoe store. You know how it goes here, sometimes it seems like there is nothing to do, but you should try not to smoke that pipe so much, it’s bad for your health. I recommend the violin over the pipe when the day gets long. And I warn you that in these lands they say all kinds of things about the women, it seems they get angry very quickly, especially Defensa Zapatista.”

Sherlock Holmes is speechless, and Watson turns to look at him with curiosity. Apparently the detective has been given a little of his own medicine.

Holmes snaps out of it and applauds with admiration, “Bravo! You’re right about almost everything, although allow me to demur on the question of misogyny.”

Watson, as usual, doesn’t understand anything that is going on.

It is the indigenous man who clarifies, as Holmes nods at each point:

“Elementary, my dear ‘Tortilla Hair’: the gentleman has donned his much-valued raincoat very quickly, and in the process tore slightly the left cuff. Someone who dresses as he does is clearly very careful with his things, so it is to be expected that he is thinking about going to the tailor to get the coat mended. That the tailor is in London is an easy guess, as the coat is half open and one can see the tag.

The nicotine stains at the bottom of his finger and on the palm of his hand reveal that he often smokes a pipe, as these are tracks left by the tobacco. About the boots—well those little ankle boots he’s wearing aren’t going to last long here, and one can assume that you have all thought about getting some boots like the ones we wear, made by insurgent cobblers and which can be purchased in the compas’ store.

Indeed, I forgot to say that Mr. Hole-mase is right-handed; he holds his pipe with his left hand because he uses his right to, for example, play the violin.

The violin, well, the way he is holding that small stick is the same as how Pablito, the Zapatista mariachi, holds the bow when he plays violin at our festivals, and the redness on the left side of his neck is because of the violin, either that or because some insect bit him there… or somebody gave him a hickey. That thing about talking badly about the women was just to see what he would do, but since he has male company, well, either he thinks poorly of women or just prefers men.”

Holmes applauds again. The indigenous man’s insinuation of homosexuality didn’t bother him a bit. But Watson is very defensive of his heterosexuality and tries to clarify:

“Pardon me, but Holmes and I are not a couple. That is, we are partners but not partners in the hickey-sense, but rather, I mean, that is, we have a….professional relationship.”

The indigenous man interrupts him: “Don’t worry Waj-shton, here we respect everyone’s preferences.”
“I know,” Watson insists, “but this isn’t what it looks like, that is, not that I have anything against those kinds of relationships, I’m just clarifying that…”

Now Holmes interrupts him and nods respectfully, saying: “If I am not mistaken, you sir must be Elías Contreras, Investigation Commission.”

Watson takes off his bowler hat—with which he hopelessly tries to hide his “Tortilla hair,” and also nods in admiration.

Holmes adds: “Only someone like Elías Contreras could make that series of observations, reasoning, and deductions faster than me.”

Instead of accepting the praise, Elías Contreras smiles teasingly and says:

“Nah, the thing is that SupGaleano has some books about you two and they describe you—the pipe, the violin and all—and I saw your names on the visitor’s list in the Vigilance Commission office, and since you’re the only outsiders in the village right now, well..”

Watson puts his hat back on a little resentfully. But Holmes is beaming and happy to have run into the not-at-all-famous detective, the one they call the “eezeeelen investigation commission.”

“You are right, my dear Elías Contreras, or should I call you something else?” he asks extending his hand with affection.

“Elías is fine,” the Zapatista says as he offers them both a rolled cigarette, which both politely refuse. Sherlock speaks again:

“Do you know what? Something similar happened to me with Sir Arthur, who used to give me the drafts of the sorry chronicles of my discoveries, which he inexplicably attributed to doctor Waj-shton, here at my side.”
Watson tries to protest but ends up just pulling his hat down a little further.

“And I saw how Sir Arthur embellished my work, unnecessarily in my opinion. And I say it was unnecessary because all I did was apply science to solve crimes.

And science and its explanation, my dear Elías, are far from the glamour attributed to them by novelists and regular people.

Furthermore, my work was full of errors, continuous and tiring experimentation, and serious and systematic study of the advances that are made in these fields in every corner of the world. Science and its application are difficult.
Scientific rigor makes its implementation unexciting, and differentiates it from the intellectual laziness that is repeated in opinions, comments, and commonplace superstitions. For the same reason, when presented with the opportunity to study, some people opt for the poorly-named social sciences, or the humanities in general, which they think, erroneously, do not require the rigor, thoroughness, and complexity of scientific knowledge.

With regard to the arts, these demand not rigor in the sense of exactitude, but can, in contrast to the natural and hard sciences and the humanities, imagine not only other realities but also awe us with shapes, sounds, and colors that capture that imagination.

Perhaps that is why the arts are closer to the exact and natural sciences, as opposed to the so-called humanities.
The looseness that a novel requires, for example, would be an unforgivable offense in the scientific realm and an outright violation of the ethical code that any scientist should include in their practice.
But the problem that is always confronted sooner or later is that the fact of having adhered to a strict discipline in order to gain solid knowledge often leads those who practice science as a profession to take on a wretchedly pretentious attitude toward everybody else.

They tend to be arrogant and, not uncommonly, justify a certain frivolity and lack of common sense on their part with regard to daily matters. As if real life were a matter for us common folk, and that they [ellos, ellas, elloas], were above all that.

But sometimes despite the scientists themselves, the natural and hard sciences are indispensable, that much is undeniable. Any real and practicable possibility of getting out of the treacherous nightmare that is the current homogenous global system will have to have the natural and hard sciences as its principal foundation. And if it doesn’t, we’ll be stuck comforting ourselves with science fiction.”

Watson looks with surprise at Holmes as he thinks, “Incredible, Sherlock Homes is describing himself in a disapproving tone.”

Holmes notes Watson’s surprise and addresses him to clarify:

“You’re mistaken, Watson, I’m not being self-critical. Obviously that monologue is not my own; it has been assigned to me by SupGaleano. See, the Zapatistas think that recognition and a soft scolding will be better received by the scientific community if it comes from one of the best detectives in world history than if it comes from a masked nose who still uses the Dane Niels Henrik David Bohr’s model of the atom, describing it as “a little ball made of a lot of other little balls stuck together around which other little balls orbit.”

Sherlock Holmes shudders, in part due to the scandalous description of the atom, and in part because it seems that he has finally released the discourse imposed on him by Zapatismo and backed by “poetic license.”
Elías Contreras, investigation commission for the eezeeelen, only spoke up with a “hmm.”

We know what happened next because Doctor John Watson took notes of what was said there—not with the intention of publishing it, but rather because it sparked his interest. Holmes would later be pleased at this, because what Elías Contreras said is still keeping him awake.

Sherlock Holmes took Elías aside, as Doctor Watson followed from a prudent distance. The little girl, accompanied by the the bark-meowing of the cat-dog, was busy trying to convince the one-eyed horse to get into position at the goal.

“Now we’re going to practice free kicks,” Watson heard her say, and he saw a little boy position himself, jokingly, under the bar that was supposed to be the goal.

Sherlock Holmes spoke in a murmur:

“My esteemed Elías, I come to you to see if you might have a case that requires the aid of my detective abilities. Of course, I promise to be discreet and claim no credit for myself should we be successful.”

Elías Contreras stopped and said in the same confidential tone:

“Well, in fact, yes. However, the problem that we are looking at is quite large and all we have is our minds in order to try to understand and address it. And then, well, what comes into my head I can talk about later with the compañeros and compañeras of the comité [Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee].”

“Excellent!” exclaimed Sherlock Holmes. “Abstract reflection requires extra effort that forces the brain to sublimate. Pay attention Watson, because now, I believe, we are about to encounter the biggest challenge for any detective: to solve a crime with only the tools of logic and scientific knowledge.”

Holmes looked as excited as could be. Watson couldn’t remember seeing him so excited since the case of “A Study in Scarlett,” which brought him fame and global prestige as a consulting detective.

Sherlock Holmes didn’t rush Elías Contreras. He lit his pipe, yes, but more in order to accompany Elías, who was rolling a cigarette, than out of a desire for the sharp taste of tobacco smoke in his mouth.

Elías Contreras began:

“All right: the problem is big but simple. We know the murderer, the victim, the weapon used, the timing, and the location of the so-called “scene of the crime”, that is, where the fuckery was carried out. So like the Sup says, we have the calendar and the geography.

The problem is big, though, because it’s all mixed up. And that’s where I don’t know if it’s all mixed up in reality or if it’s my thinking that’s confused.

So in this case, the crime was already committed, but it’s also being carried out and will be further carried out. That is, it’s not just some fuckery that already happened and that’s it, or that is happening now, but also something that is coming.”

Holmes looks even more interested, but he doesn’t interrupt Elías Contreras, who continues:

“So we have to find out what happened, what is happening, and what has yet to happen so we can to stop it from happening, because if it does, it’s going to be a tragedy so great you can’t imagine it.”

Sherlock Holmes waits for the the investigation commission to pause before venturing:

“I believe I understand: we have to understand the crime committed in order to understand the crime underway and thus be able to avoid another crime taking place: the greatest crime in the history of humanity.”

Elías Contreras nods and continues:

“The criminal doesn’t hide; on the contrary, it shows itself outright and brags about what it has done. It says that its crime of killing, destroying, and stealing was a good thing to bring itself into being. I think it is there, where it was born as a criminal, the point at which it developed its way of doing things, that we can learn how it carries out its fuckery and how it intends to do so in the future.”

“Of course,” interrupts Holmes, “we must reconstruct the genealogy of the crime which in this case, and if I understand correctly, is the genealogy of the criminal. But go on.”

“Okay,” Elías continues, “from there we see that the criminal became modernized, that is, it became a better criminal and is careful that no one finds out that it is a criminal; rather, it dresses itself up like a good guy, like it’s not plotting anything at all, just hanging around.

So it has partners in crime, and those partners in crime are responsible for being the pretty face for the criminal. But since what’s happening is so fucked up, these partners in crime have to come up with someone responsible. That is, their work is to blame somebody else.

So they go look for someone to blame for the tragedy. Sometimes it’s women who are guilty for not obeying, it is said, because they go around with skimpy clothing, or because they study and work, or even because they want to have “self-rule” over their own bodies and their path, to be autonomous, or maybe it’s because they think, and begin to act like they’re an autonomous municipality in rebellion.

But other times they blame those who have skin of a different color, or who have another way of being, like Magdalena who died fighting against the bad and those who carry it out, and who was a woman but like they say, God messed up and gave her the body of a man and Magdalena, well she didn’t hide it or accept it. She just didn’t give a fuck what other people thought; she was different, and since she had that other body she was other [otroa]. And she, or he, or s/he [elloa], fought to be what she was.

Brave, that Magdalena, she never gave in, never ever,” says Elías, his eyes filling up upon remembering the person who, in his own way, he loved and still loves.

Holmes and Watson maintain a respectful silence.

Elías composes himself and continues: “Well, they also blame us as indigenous people, saying that things are bad because we are not civilized and that we don’t allow progress, and so they put mines where there should be forests and lakes. And the thing is that we as peoples live where they pushed us to, because they stole everything and ran us off from where we were before. They also imprisoned and killed us, but here we are, still resisting. Before, the criminal didn’t want these lands, but now it does because now these lands are commodities too, they say; water can be bought and sold, as well as land, air, sunshine, trees, and animals, even the smallest ones; even what we use to make pozol is a commodity.

That’s what this criminal does, it makes everything into a commodity, even people, women, children, men, their dignity; and if something can’t be commodified, then the criminal isn’t interested because it can’t be bought or sold. But the problem isn’t exactly that, but rather that the criminal can carry out all this fuckery because it has a weapon called private property of the mode of production with which it runs its whole plan. So the problem isn’t that things are produced, but rather that there are some who have property which is used for that production and you only have your own labor for which they pay you, and badly, as a commodity. So the criminal destroys and kills thanks to its weapon of private property, and at the same time carries out all this fuckery so that that weapon can’t be taken away.

I don’t know how to explain it all exactly, even though I understand it perfectly well. I just don’t know the words in Spanish to explain it, or in the languages you use. But it’s more or less like I said: you have the criminal, you have the victim who is blamed for the crime in order to steal from them and fool others, and you have the weapon. And the crime scene is the whole world. That’s why I say everything is mixed up, because the world capitalist system provides everything: it creates the victim and then murders them, it provides the weapon that kills and destroys, and it provides the crime scene.

I talked about this all with SupGaleano when he committed the honeybun crime, and they punished him but now he’ll be charged with another crime because he took SupMoy’s phone. You think SupMoy isn’t going to realize that? But anyway, let’s get back to the problem because if we don’t stop the criminal, then the whole world will become its victim; not just people but everything—animals, plants, rocks, water, everything.

The other problem is that there is nowhere to lock up the criminal, so the only way to stop the crime is by destroying the capitalist system.

Of course, I’m not telling you everything we talked about. I mean, this isn’t the whole talk, but if I tell you everything then those who are listening and reading and watching this story are going to start nodding off or thinking about what they’re going to wear to dance at the festivities tomorrow because one year is ending and another starting, and maybe they think that the change in calendar will be enough to change things, but it’s not; in order to change things we have to struggle, a lot, everywhere and all the time, without rest.”
Holmes and Watson remained quiet until Elías bid them farewell saying, “I have to go, take care and don’t be ashamed of other loves, if there is a tomorrow it will also be for, with, and because of them [elloas].”
Elías looked at Watson and added, “If there’s no key to open the closet, break down the door. One has to come out without fear, like Magdalena. Or fearful but controlling it.”

Watson wanted to clarify again that he and Sherlock were not what it looked like they were, but Elías Contreras, eezeeelen investigation commission had already taken off down the road and the afternoon was drifting off to sleep, covered by the shadows of night that already promised to be cold.

There were a few days, not many moons ago, when the little girl Defensa Zapatista decided to express herself verbally only in colors. And not with expressions like, “this is blue,” or, “I felt orange” or things like that, but only by actually naming colors. All theories of language and discourse were threatened by the impertinence of a Zapatista indigenous girl.

One day she came to SupGaleano’s hut and said, “yellow.”

The Sup didn’t even take his eyes off the computer screen, he just said: “in my jacket, right pocket.”

Defensa Zapatista went over to where the jacket was hanging and pulled a package of honeybuns out of the right pocket and ran out the door happily chirping, “purple.”

Despite what you might think, each color didn’t have a precise meaning. In order to understand Defensa Zapatista you’d have to take into account her tone, the context in which she spoke, where she was looking, the expression on her face, her gestures and even her body language.

One time she also said “yellow” while she was walking to school, as if she were on her way to the gallows. The Sup said that’s when he knew that Defensa Zapatista was a normal kid and not a cybernetic organism created by SupMarcos’ perverse mind to pester us all. The cursed inheritance of a Moriarty with an impertinent nose, the continuous and frustrating questioning packaged in the apparent innocence of a little girl barely a few feet high, a robot whose energy source was neither solar nor atomic but based in honeybuns.

One afternoon SupGaleano explained to Elías Contreras:

“She’s a child, no doubt about it. It’s totally normal that a little girl goes to school with all the weight, anxiety and desperation of someone marching into the slavery of letters, numbers, names, and dates. No one can say better than she can what it means to go to school, and I think the fact that she takes the cat-dog with her, albeit hidden in her bookbag, is her way of clinging onto the world in which Defensa Zapatista is what she is—and I don’t have any idea what or who that is—but she is happy in that world and happy in her efforts to complete the team which, perhaps, is her way of saying “change the world.”

Because you can see that she does not dream of being a superhero, someone with superpowers or a Katana to cut down her enemies who, if you pay attention, are always masculine. You can see that she never talks about the goal she made with surprising technique and which has been passed off with other explanations. On the other hand, the late SupMarcos never stopped reminding everyone, usually in irrelevant contexts, that he had once made a goal in middle school. He never mentioned of course that he was always on the bench and that just once he was put in the game, when the coach was down a player, and he slipped and accidentally, as they say, “pushed the ball to the back of the net.”

Neither does Defensa Zapatista take on the role of defenseless princess waiting to be saved by masculinity astride a white horse. In fact, I think her relationship with Pedrito is just the inverse: she helps, orients, and rescues Pedrito, even if her method of knocks upside the head is not ideal.

No, Defensa Zapatista takes on her objective as something to carry out collectively and does not conceive of herself as a leader or a boss; in fact she has selected the position that shines the least—defense—and she does it in order to support the one-eyed horse playing goalie. Her job is to seek out and find who wants to join, who will play as a team and be not only a member of the team but also a bridge for others to join it. And when she values as equally important positions such as ballboy or the little dog or the cat-dog who run crooked and makes the only requirement the desire to play, that is her way of saying, “to want to struggle.”

In Defensa Zapatista we find not a new world, that’s true, but perhaps something even more terrible and marvelous: its possibility.

And when she talks in colors, perhaps she is trying out new forms of communication for that world that we can’t even imagine but that she already accepts as coming—not without the necessary and urgent struggle to bring it into being, from wherever it can be found, here into this reality that we are suffering through now.
I can think of nothing more Zapatista than what this little girl’s efforts symbolize.

SupGaleano was commenting all this to a silent and attentive Elías Contreras when Defensa Zapatista appeared in the doorway of the hut with a ball in one hand and the cat-dog in the other and asked, “Pink?”

“We’re coming, we’ll catch up with you,” the Sup answered her. Defensa Zapatista just nodded and said “Black” as she ran out the door.

Elías Contreras asked the Sup: “What did she say?”

“Beats me,” answered the Sup as he debated whether to put on his Inter Milan jersey (which apparently the Chinese have bought), the Atlanta one (which is not in that player market called UEFA ), or his Jaguars of Chiapas jersey (who knows where they are), all of which he found in the trunk left by the late SupMarcos. Finally he put on his EZLN t-shirt, the one worn in 1999 when a team of Zapatista support bases debuted at the “Palillo Martínex” stadium at the Sports Complex in Mexico City, a game in which they made only a single goal and which the late SupMarcos summarized thus: “We didn’t lose; what happened was that we didn’t have time to win. So, what’s missing is yet to come.”

“The truth is I just guess what she’s trying to say. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. That is, I apply the scientific method of trial and error. Let’s go Elías, I think we have to go to the pasture because there’s a team to fill out. It can take a while, yes, but someday there will be more of us,” SupGaleano added as a kind of apology.

The one-eyed horse was already in the pasture stubbornly munching that same plastic bottle. Pedrito was arguing about something with the little girl, the cat-dog was trying in vain to bite the flashy ball that good ole Vlady had given to Defensa Zapatista, and two absurd figures lingered off to one side of the supposed soccer field.
Nobody noticed, but a complicit smile passed between Broom Head, Tortilla Hair, Elías Contreras, and SupGaleano, as well as a slight nod of greeting.

Defensa Zapatista laughed as the cat-dog jumped up and down trying to take the ball away from her.
The cold had lifted and the afternoon turned warm.

And everything that I narrated here occurred on whatever calendar, but in an exact geography: the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

I testify:
The cat-dog
Thank you.
From CIDECI-UniTierra,
Mexico, December 2017

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