titulo

Palabras Errantes Latin American Literature in Translation

Palabras Errantes
Methadone

By Elena Solis. Translated by Ellen Jones.

I am writing without getting out of bed, because when I do Jacinta and Artu go insane. They run circles around me, saying hello and playing. Jacinta thinks she’s a cat and bites and scratches me. But her teeth are too strong and her claws too hard. I’m naked and I’m worried she’ll hurt my vulva. Artu goes between my legs to provoke Jacinta, making her jealous. So I try not to get out of bed to avoid causing chaos in the house.

I want to make the most of this Saturday, be happy this Saturday. I want to flaunt my happiness through the streets of Montevideo, with you. We’re going to buy a lead for Jacinta, because the one she’s got is too much of a light touch, and, as far as we’re concerned, means she pays us no attention when we walk down the street. We’ll take her to the park. We’ve been thinking, an hour every day in the park, more or less. So she can have a good run around, get rid of all her energy.

When we get back we’ll get ready to go to Salto market. I love going to the market with you. With our little blue trolley and our list of things. Coming back and putting everything in its place.

Then we’ll have lunch, using some of the things we brought back from the market.

Then we’ll have a siesta and make love. By the time we wake up it’ll already be time to go out for the evening. We’ll drink wine and walk along Montevideo’s promenade.

We’ll forget you looked at me so seriously yesterday. That your mouth had that expression, almost of disgust. That you smoked cigarette after cigarette. That you told me we couldn’t be together any more. Even went so far as to talk of lawyers. That you left. That I was left with only Jacinta and Artura and Cleo. Was left thinking about Pati and Fede.

How was I going to tell them?

I did everything as normal. You know when things get complicated I set about tidying the house, doing a bit of work. I suppose it makes me feel like everything’s alright. That I can carry on with life. I even opened a can of beer.

The doorbell went. I tried to stay calm. Nobody answered.

I went back to work in front of the computer with my can of beer.

The doorbell went. Nobody answered.

This time I decided to go to the door. I walked down the corridor in our building and went to the front door. I saw you sitting crying on the step. I helped you stand up. I wrapped you around me in an embrace to help you move. You told me about all the pills you’d taken. I judged that you weren’t going to die. I told you, even though you were so tired, that we should go and find some methadone, because you were going to need it. We walked along Durazno Street. Came out on the promenade. A cargo ship was weighing anchor. We went into the Ciudad Vieja, crossed to the other side. You weren’t making sense, irritable, bad-tempered, you said everyone had gone to shit. We always talk about other people, I do too. I say I’m sick of them, I’m not going to any more literary events, any more vernissages, because I don’t like having to deal with their looks, their ‘I don’t get it’ faces when I greet you. You were hard and irritable, the world had gone to shit.

We went back with the methadone and the omeoprazole and the flunitrazepam we keep in the drawers in our bedside tables. I told you you’d sleep, you’d sleep soundly because you’d taken so many pills. That when you woke up we’d salvage the weekend, that when you woke up we were going to be happy.

When you woke up we made love and it was beautiful. I love you, I love you, I love you. You looked at me so differently. I made you some sandwiches, some stuffed olives. We drank wine.

I think we’ve done it.

When you get like that, when you think the world has gone to shit, that everyone’s gone to shit, that none of it’s worth it, when you think all those things, please, look for a splinter of light, a bright splinter of thought, do, to put it more technically, some lateral thinking, and remember that you are, plain and simple, profoundly mistaken.

B0004181 Syringes and tablets - composite artwork Credit: Jim Friedman. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Compostite artwork of tablets and syringes. Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 4.0, see http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/page/Prices.html

Metadona

Estoy escribiendo sin levantarme de la cama, porque cuando lo hago Jacinta y Artu se enloquecen. Me rodean con sus saludos y sus juegos. Jacinta cree que es gata y me muerde y me araña. Pero sus dientes son demasiado fuertes y sus garras demasiado duras. Estoy desnuda y me da miedo que me lastime la vulva. Artu me camina entre las piernas y provoca a Jacinta que se pone celosa. Así que trato de no levantarme de la cama para no armar lío en la casa.

Quiero aprovechar este sábado, ser feliz este sábado. Quiero lucir mi felicidad por las calles de Montevideo, con vos. Vamos a comprarle una correa a Jacinta, porque esa que tiene es como una caricia y, y según nos parece, eso hace que no nos dé bola al caminar por la calle. Vamos a llevarla al parque. Nos tenemos pensado, cada día una hora de parque más o menos. Que corra mucho, que haga su despliegue de energías.

Al volver nos prepararemos para ir a la feria de Salto. Me encanta ir a la feria con vos. Con nuestro carrito azul y la lista de cosas. Volver y poner todo en su lugar.

Luego vamos a almorzar usando algunas de las cosas que trajimos de la feria.

Luego vamos a dormir la siesta y vamos a hacer el amor. Cuando nos despertemos ya será la hora de salir de noche. Beberemos vino y caminaremos por la rambla de Montevideo.

Nos olvidaremos que ayer me miraste muy seria. Que tu boca tenía una expresión de algo de asco. Que fumabas un cigarrillo atrás de otro. Que me dijiste que ya no podíamos seguir juntas. Llegaste a hablarme de abogados. Que te fuiste. Que yo me quedé sola con Jacinta y Artura y Cleo. Me quedé pensando en Paula y en Felipe.

¿Cómo iba a decírselo?

Hice todo lo normal. Sabés que cuando las cosas se complican, yo me pongo a ordenar la casa, y a trabajar un poco. Supongo que así siento que las cosas están bien. Que puedo seguir con la vida. Hasta me serví un tarro de cerveza.

Sonó el timbre. Traté de no emocionarme. Nadie respondió.

Volví a trabajar frente a la computadora con mi tarro de cerveza.

Sonó el timbre. Nadie respondió.

 

Esa vez decidí ir a la puerta. Caminé por el corredor de nuestro edificio y fui hacia la puerta delantera. Te vi sentada llorando en el escalón. Te ayudé a pararte. Calcé mi cuerpo con el tuyo en un abrazo para ayudarte a trasladarte. Me dijiste todas las pastillas que habías tomado. Evalué que no ibas a morirte. Te dije que, por muy cansada que estuviera debíamos ir a buscar metadona, porque ibas a necesitarla. Caminamos por la calle Durazno. Desembocamos en la rambla. Un barco de carga estaba zarpando. Entramos en la Ciudad Vieja, cruzamos al otro lado. Vos estabas atontada e iracunda, malhumorada, decías que la gente es una mierda. Siempre hablamos de la gente, yo también. Digo que me tienen harta, no voy más a los encuentros literarios, ni a las vernisages, porque no me gusta tener que lidiar con sus miradas, Su cara de no sé si te saludo. Estabas dura e iracunda, el mundo era una mierda.

Volvimos con la Metadona y el Omeoprazol y el Inervon que guardamos en nuestros cajones de las mesas de luz. Yo te dije que durmieras, que durmieras tranquila porque te habías tomado muchas pastillas. Que cuando te despertaras íbamos a remontar este fin de semana, que cuando te despertaras íbamos a ser felices.

Cuando te despertaste hicimos el amor y fue hermoso. Te amo, te amo, te amo. Tu mirada cambió mucho. Me preparaste unos sándwiches, unas aceitunas rellenas. Bebimos vino.

Creo que lo hemos conseguido.

Cuando estés así, cuando pienses que el mundo es una mierda, que la gente es una mierda, que nada vale la pena, que todo eso, por favor buscá un hilito de luz, un hilito de pensamiento luminoso, hacé, por decirlo de una forma más técnica, un pensamiento lateral, acordáte que, lisa y llanamente, estás profundamente equivocada.

 

Elena Solís (Montevideo, 1968) is a Uruguayan writer and activist. She has published three collections of short stories, *Babosas y fósforos* (2004), *Entre las mantas* (2012) and *Yo quería ser Elena Solis* (2015) and a novel, *Neuronina*. http://elenasolisescritora.blogspot.com.co/

Ellen Jones has a B.A. in English literature and Spanish, and an M.St. in English language from the University of Oxford. She is now a Ph.D. candidate at Queen Mary University of London, researching English-Spanish code-switching in contemporary prose, and the particular challenges associated with reading, publishing, and translating this kind of writing. She edits the criticism section of Asymptote, and has translated work by Enrique Winter, Susana Chávez-Silverman, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, and Cecilia Eudave, among others.

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