by Javier Gómez 

The trip was short, but there was a completeness that I loved in those five blocks that were almost a microcosmic city, a self-contained cycle of humanity. Once you broke the enthralling spell of the current and got far enough away to cross the street, the hospital welcomed you into the first line of city blocks. White walls towering over the fragrant jacaranda trees, swallowing broken beings and regurgitating them fixed or out of service forever. Fate had a sense of humor, and a funeral parlor had been there half a block away since the dawn of time, perhaps before the hospital. A halfway house for worn-out husks, empty sculptures of flesh that were already rotting, oblivious of the trail of tears they left behind. Of course, there was a florist up the street, though I had never fathomed why a dying plant was considered an oblation. Why would the departed want a scented diorama of the miracle of death?

My doomy musings stopped when I reached the green gate of my building. There was still natural light outside, so I made some mate and sat on the balcony. Pondering, remembering the moment time and again while looking at the hotel across the street and the carousel of cars and colors. Weighing the random talk, her wit, and her mighty details. Then it came back. I knew there was something else. I had seen her with someone in one of those shows, a tall punk guy. Didn’t quite remember his face, so I made him up an unpleasant one, somewhere between Tom Cruise and Matthew Fox but meaner. I started obsessing about it: the “see you Friday,” the “is it a date or not?”, the contempt for the guy who I’d never even met. I saw a her that was not her about 4 times between Tuesday and Thursday on the streets. I walked past the bookstore once, but she wasn’t there and I moved on.

The anxiety bomb detonated on Friday evening, a couple of hours before the show. Changed my T-shirt thrice, settling for one with the Carcass’ Heartwork logo. Cult enough to be cool, but not too obscure. Tried to imagine what she would wear. Got to Teatro Mueca too early, went to the bar in the corner for a beer and drank only half of it. I had avoided my friends with surgical precision, even discouraged Quique, telling him that we could see Cúmulo next time. We had already seen the new material live. I went in before the support band finished their sound check – they were good but average. Stood on a corner, vantage point won. She got there minutes before Cúmulo went on stage. By herself, no despicable man in sight. The show was flawless as usual, their talent had always been off the charts. When they finished, she approached the stage to say hi. I went outside and lit a cigarette that died after two puffs, ember turning paper and leaves into aerial debris. When she came out, I stood like a statue across the street. Nadia walked towards me, with no hesitation.

To be continued…


In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Sarah Leah Pimentel

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling up the Road of Life – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Javier Gómez

The Canyon Inside Us – transposing emblem by Javier Gómez

Uncharted Bliss – transposing emblem by Javier Gómez

The Way of No Way – transposing emblem by Javier Gómez

Emblems and stories on Argentina

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from Armenia and other countries


Cover photo: Buenos Aires – Headed down – Camila Flores Uccello (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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