I can never go to sleep when I say I will.
I just spent probably an hour trying to find this old story I wrote in high school for class and later submitted for a final paper in my senior year of college. It was for a class called Consciousness and Free Will. We read a lot of Borges in that class and now he is one of my favorite authors (and an Argentinean ;))
I remember speaking to my professor after I submitted my paper and he showed me this video about a guy that created a computer inside of Minecraft. A story within a story, a computer within a computer, consciousness within consciousness. Ah, life is interesting.
This seems so long ago. I miss sitting in lectures and reading (like actually reading, not like today where I cannot focus) interesting studies, learning and writing and making stuff. Life was slower, there was no Instagram, or at least it wasn't at it's now all-consuming level that it is now.
Anyways, here is the story. It's better in Spanish, it doesn't have the same ring to it in English. And here is the link to the Minecraft computer video: https://kotaku.com/5650027/man-builds-computer-inside-computer-game
I opened the door.
Standing in the hallway cold and soaking from the melted snow, I took off my shoes and hung up my coat. My hands were numbed red. I went to start a fire and, as always, sleeping on the couch was the old terrier, Charlie, who was just as blind as he was deaf. I turned on the television and without much going through my head I put water in the kettle and left it on the stove to boil. Leaning against the sink I stared out the window. It was dark but the snow lit up everything. The pond was iced over and covered by a light blanket of snow, only peaking through Charlie’s footprints. Suddenly I heard the front door open and someone enter the house. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up and my heart began to race. Charlie was still sleeping as I slowly tip-toed my way over to see who it was, quickly trying to figure out what I was going to do if it was a thief. I stopped at the corner barely breathing and not making any noise. I decided to grab something to defend me—a green ceramic lamp on the table in the hallway.
I jumped from the corner with my eyes closed swinging the lamp back and forth in an attempt to hit whoever was there. When I felt it was safe I opened my eyes. In front of the door sitting on the rug was a present, a box wrapped in gold leaf paper topped with an oversized red velvet bow. I set the lamp down and picked up the box. It’s so bright. Where did it come from? I waited a few seconds trying to decide whether to open it or not. It came with no card or tag but written right on the paper with what looked like permanent marker was my name: Sam. I sat on the stairs with the present on my lap, sliding the velvet between my fingers, thinking. In the kitchen the kettle whistled, telling me it was ready. I ignored it and without fear opened the present. I stuck my hand inside the darkness of the box but my hand felt nothing. I peered inside. The darkness swallowed me whole, I left.
Again I was looking out the window. Outside the wind blew the snow in all directions. On the television the weatherman announced more snow. I heard an ornament fall from the Christmas tree in the living room. I went to clean it up and when I bent down I noticed a glimmer from something that wasn’t an ornament. I squinted and realized it was a gift wrapped in gold paper with a big red velvet bow. I pulled it out from under the tree and put it on the coffee table. It’s beautiful, but where did this come from? With one swift tug I undid the bow, opened the lid and looked inside. There was nothing. I looked closer. The darkness took me in.
I opened the door.
Standing in the hallway cold and soaking from the melted snow, I took off my shoes and hung up my coat...
Entré. Empapado y frío, me saqué los zapatos y colgué el abrigo. Me fui directamente a prender
la tele. Al lado del fuego, come siempre, estaba Charlie, mi perro, durmiendo.
Pensando en no se que, puse agua en la pava y la dejé sobre la estufa para que hirviera.
Apoyado en la pileta, mire para afuera. Estaba oscuro pero la nieve iluminaba todo. De repente
oí abrirse la puerta y sentí alguien entrar. Se me pusieron los pelos de punta y el corazón empezó
a latir rápidamente.
Charlie seguía durmiendo. Caminé despacito para ver quien era. Casi no respiraba y no hacia
ningún ruido. Imaginando lo que podría hacer si el recién llegado fuera un ladrón, decidí
agarrar algo para defenderme—una lampara verde que estaba en la mesa del pasillo. Me paré
justo antes de llegar a la esquina.
Salté de la esquina con los ojos cerrados, tirando la lampara esperando que le pegara al ladrón.
Cuando sentí que no había nadie, abrí los ojos. Delante de la puerta en el piso había un regalo,
una caja envuelta en papel dorado con un moño de seda roja. Dejé la lampara y levanté el
paquete. !Que brillante! ?Pero, de donde salió? Esperé unos segundo decidiendo que hacer. No
tenía ninguna tarjeta o etiqueta pero sobre el papel, escrito con marcador, estaba mi nombre:
Sam. Me senté en la escalera con el regalo, tocando el moño, pensando.
En la cocina la pava silbaba diciendo que estaba lista. No le di importancia y sin miedo abrí el
regalo y metí la mano en la oscuridad del paquete. La oscuridad me trago, me fui.
De vuelta estaba mirando por la ventana. Afuera el viento soplaba la nieve en cada dirección. En
la tele anunciaban mas nieve. De repente oí un adorno caerse del árbol de Navidad. Fui a
limpiarlo y cuando me agaché vi algo brillante debajo del árbol que no era un adorno. Miré de
vuelta y me di cuenta que era un regalo envuelto en papel dorado con un moño de seda roja. Lo
saqué y lo puse en la mesa. De donde salió? Saqué el moño, abrí el paquete y mire. No había
nada. Me acerqué mas y la oscuridad me tragó.
Entré. Empapado y frío, me saqué los zapatos y colgué el abrigo...
It began with what was supposed to be just a cup of coffee then back to the apartment. A bitter café au lait, hot, on a summer day. The sun hadn't felt that good in a while so I decided to walk to the old neighborhood. Northeast Kingdom has become Artichoke Pizza, the rest seemed the same. I finished my coffee and got on the L, the first time since I've left.
- a glimpse from Sunday
Josef Hoffmann, 1910
I sat on the subway, someone on either side of me. A man was standing in front of me holding onto the pole. I tried a math problem. What has to be true if a/b>c/d? I scribbled my thoughts and checked my answer. Wrong. I leaned my head back against the window so I was watching the skyline pass over me upside down. The spokes from Williamsburg bridge ran by and I closed my eyes to think about nothing.
- a glimpse from Friday
Vaticano Piazza San Pietro, 2016
Bust of male Hellenic youth