La Carta y el Recuerdo

Esperanza Lopez Mateos - 1943

 

Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Went to the library in Hamburg today. The library that it is in is a special collection that is only open for 3 hours a day. Some German guy had all these books in Mexico, then he donated them back to Hamburg, so it was like a Spanish/German library. I dont know, I kind of tuned out when the guy was telling me the history of the library.

I asked the guy working there for the book. He went back to check and said it the cover of it was being repaired. He spoke pretty good English (most educated Europeans do), and he said he would check with his colleague to see if a copy could be emailed to me or something some other time since it is only 23 pages. While I was waiting, there was a guy and a girl talking in front of me in German. I heard them say Esperanza Lopez Mateos so it caught my attention. After the conversation, the lady in the conversation came up to me and asked if I was looking for that book. She told me something about it being a coincidence that I was looking for that book, because that man she was talking to was preparing to speak at a conference about Esperanza and B. Traven. I told her yes, I know she is the translator, and her friend, Henry Schnautz, was my neighbor when I was younger and that was why I was there. So when I told her that, her eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger and she introduced me to the guy, and I told him that Henry used to be my neighbor.

He started telling me about how he was doing research on Esperanza and had found on the internet about Henry. Told him that was my fathers website. Then he started talking to me about all kinds of stuff pertaining to the website and things that he has read on there, I cant remember all of the vivid details, but he knew more than I did about it, so hes definitely spent some time on your website. He said he was studying B. Travens translations into Spanish, and since they were done by Esperanza, that is how he came across the website and he read lots of it because he thought it was very interesting. He said he knows a professor from Germany that teaches at Harvard, and he also said he knows some people at a Traven museum or collection somewhere in California, Riverside maybe. Anyways he says they all know about a relationship between Esperanza and Schnautz, but they all say it is a mystery. Anyways we talked for a while and he was talking about how nobody knows how Esperanza and Traven met, and Esperanzas relationship with Figuero. It was like the guy memorized your website or something. Anyways he asked when it is going to be updated with more things. Should work on that.

I dont know how to make apostrophes with this keyboard. After our conversation, the woman came back with the book. I guess she went and put a cover on it or something. But three people at this tiny tiny section of the library all knew the story. They were telling me it is like a jigsaw puzzle and all that.

The book is attached. The camera doesnt save photos in the exact right order. Ill send another email with the rest of the photos cause there is a limit. If theres a problem with a photo, I took two photos of every page so just tell me.

 

 

you can read the entire text on this page with English translation, or you can get the original photos (no translation)
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The letter and the memory

Esperanza López Mateos

For the teacher Orozco Muñoz, respectfully

Ediciones Tempestad
México 1943

This printing finished August 15, 1943, in the shop "FABULA". Illuminated letters and little pictures by Esperanza López Mateos.

La carta y el recuerdo

Esperanza Lopez Mateos

Para el maestro Orozco Muñoz, respetuosamente

Ediciones Tempestad
México 1943

SE TERMINO DE IMPRIMIR ESTA PLAQUETA EL 15 DE AGOSTO DE 1943, EN LOS TALLERES "FABULA". MARQUETA Y VIÑETAS DE ESPERANZA LÓPEZ MATEOS.

   

The Letter

We have the words of Sun-Yat-Sen and the memory of dry eyes, without hope, without tears, without recrimination. Children's eyes, open in the deafening darkness of the hellish port (beginning of the hellish undertaking). Hands spread in the sandy desert where it is not even possible to eat mud, because the rain, now accomplice of the pain, has fled.

We have in mind the image of starving bodies, covered with sores, stinking, still shaken by lust, strongly oppressed by the reproduction instinct. But this brings some relief, the father of the small ones will be able to gnaw, next to the mother's body, the jellied arm of the dead fetus; this way they will have the strength to walk some more kilometers until their thirst is calmed by the rain of fire thrown at them from the clouds.

We are in the bowels of Asia, our numb members crawl through the depths of the earth; to our underground prison never comes a ray of light and we don't hear more than our own moans. Strange insects low in the zoological order cohabit with us and they feed with us. I believe that Billy has died, cannot be sure, the body of Cheng has saturated the stench into the heavy boiling atmosphere of our well. Perhaps only it is young Cheng, but the inhuman sound that Billy made, is no longer heard. The old one is still next to me, I believed that he would die, that he could not bear it and yet he lives, not sobbing and thinking. He is part of the heart of Asia.

I wish it were possible to crawl to the end where Billy is, but the pain in the knee keeps me from all movement.

Billy is a reflection of you, as you he is almost a boy and as you he has also rebelled with all the force of his youth, he has followed me and perhaps his pure eyes don't see the blue sky, the plains and the forest of your America again, where it has still not arrived the fire of western civilization and the devastating plundering of our vultures.

Work, sow, prepare. You have thoughts and words and all your words and your thoughts reflect the purity of your heart. Fight, you will find the way. Do not confuse courage with audacity, don't put your heart in front of their machine guns unless with him you have the security of rescuing another. Speak, give your words the force of your spirit. It prints in the brain of American youth the image of great Asia in agony, of hysterical Europe relying on the African celestinaje (procuring - allusion to Tragicomedia de Calixto y Melibea) of all these millions of broken beings, bloodstained, hungry. It screams in the ear that here, in the moraine and burning Saigón perfumed with cinnamon and transformed into the most vile of the harlots in the service of the old and rotten statesmen that become cancerous to the stomach of France, in this Saigón that goes to bed with all the scoundrels of the occident, there is young that run to the encounter of death to rescue the dignity of the life. It screams in the center of their hearts that they don't leave that there, to the American youth, arrive neither of inside of neither of it was, scoundrel that convert it in harlot. (very difficult word for word translation)

Billy, Billy!... He screamed, and he does not respond even with a sigh.

You and Billy, you live, you cannot die. The pure men and the weak children will always find your strong arms, your sweet smile, your hearts.

Billy, Billy, millions of Billies that breathe the pure air of America, listen to me!

Some day maybe they will arrive to you these letters written in the darkness, next to the panting heart of Asia, close to the body of this Billy that will not return to look with his pure eyes the blue skies, the prairies, the forests of America. They will arrive to you with my faith intact. Don't stop!

Saigón, 1931

La Carta

Tenemos las palabras de Sun-Yat-Sen y el recuerdo de los ojos resecos, sin esperanzas, sin llanto, sin reproches. Ojos de niños, abiertos en las tinieblas estruendosas del puerto infernal. Manos tendidas en el arenoso desierto donde no queda ni el recurso de alimentarse con barro, porque la lluvia, ahora cómplice del dolor, ha huido.

Tenemos en la mente la imagen de los cuerpos hambrientos, llagados, fétidos, sacudidos aún por la lujuria, oprimidos reciamente por el instinto de reproducción. Pero esto trae algún alivio, el padre de los pequeños podrán roer, junto al cadáver de la madre, el brazo gelatinoso del feto muerto; así tendrán fuerzas para caminar algunos kilómetros más hasta que su sed sea calmada por la lluvia de fuego que les arrojarán desde las nubes.

Estamos en las entrañas de Asia, nuestros miembros entumecidos se arrastran por las profundidades de la tierra; a nuestra prisión subterránea jamás llega un rayo de luz y no escuchamos mas que nuestros propios lamentos. Raros insectos inferiores en la escala zoológica conviven con nosotros y se alimentan de nosotros. Creo que Billy ha muerto, no podría asegurarlo, el cadáver de Cheng ha saturado de fetidez la pesada atmósfera hirviente de nuestro pozo. Tal vez sólo sea el joven Cheng, pero el sonido inhumano que Billy producía, ha dejado de escucharse. El viejo aún está junto a mí, creí que moriría, que no podría soportar esto y sin embargo vive, no solloza y piensa. El es parte del corazón de Asia.

Quisiera poderme arrastrar hasta el extremo en el que Billy se encuentra, pero el dolor de la rodilla me priva de todo movimiento.

Billy es un reflejo tuyo, como tú es casi un niño y como tú también se ha rebelado con toda la fuerza de su juventud, me ha seguido y tal vez sus ojos puros no volverán a ver el cielo azul, la llanura y la selva de tu América, a donde aún no ha llegado el fuego de la civilización occidental y la devastadora rapiña de nuestros buitres.

Trabajen, siembren, prevengan. Tú tienes pensamientos y palabras y todas tus palabras y tus pensamientos reflejan la pureza de tu corazón. Lucha, tú encontrarás la forma. No confundas el valor con la audacia, no pongas tu corazón frente a sus ametralladoras a menos que con él tengas la seguridad de rescatar otro. Habla, da a tus palabras la fuerza de tu espíritu. Imprime en el cerebro de la juventud americana la imagen de la gran Asia en agonía, de la Europa histérica apoyándose en el celestinaje africano, de todos estos millones de seres despedazados, ensangrentados, hambrientos. Grita en sus oídos que aquí, en la morena y ardiente Saigón perfumada con canela y convertida en la más ruin de las rameras al servicio de los viejos y podridos estadistas que canceran el vientre de Francia, en esta Saigón que se acuesta con todos los truhanes de occidente, hay jóvenes que corren al encuentro de la muerte para rescatar la dignidad de la vida. Grita en el centro de sus corazones que no dejen que allá, a la joven América, lleguen ni de dentro ni de fuera, truhanes que la conviertan en ramera.

¡Billy, Billy!... Gritó, y él no responde ni con un suspiro.

Tú y Billy, ustedes viven, ustedes no pueden morir. Los hombres puros y los niños débiles hallarán siempre vuestros brazos fuertes, vuestra sonrisa dulce, vuestros corazones.

¡Billy, Billy, millones de Billies que respiran el aire puro de América, escuchadme!

Algún día quizá llegarán a ti estas letras escritas en las tinieblas, junto al corazón palpitante de Asia, cerca del cadáver de este Billy que no volverá a mirar con sus ojos puros los cielos azules, las praderas, las selvas de América. Llegarán a ti con mi fe intacta. ¡No te detengas!

Saigón, 1931

 


 

 


 

The Memory

Its been many hours of our time that he is not, that he ceased to be, but in solitude and in silence, when walking through the night with arms outstretched, he is in our heart.

The images, the voices, the sounds, are how then. The friend who was his destiny and the women who were his hope and his soul, walk with us.

Here he is, with his extreme paleness and his sharp hands.

Now we hear the voices.

- Oscar, how do I look, do you see me better?
- Yes, I believe that you are already well.
- So says the doctor and you do not know how happy I am, I thought that this would be long.
- When will we return to the plantations?
- In two weeks more I will be well. Meantime, I will have Mildred fix an endless number of details that will be essential so she can settle without nuisances.
- But it is that you think seriously in...
- Yes, after so many years of going through hell I have reached what I so much wanted: peace and love.
- You have not guessed right.
- I want to live with a woman of my race, that speaks my own language, to treat me with her white skin and blue eyes. I want peace, quiet...
- ... Some camel hair slippers, a fireplace and a cup of tea, that is judged as heaven by those of your race.
- That is exactly what I want.
- You will never stand the inaction you want to undergo. When you wrote something good it was after those awful days, it was in China...
- Shut up, I said I want to forget, I want to erase from my life all the horror that has been in it.
- I guess you now devote yourself to writing rose-colored novels.
- I will write no more. So far I have only terrible trials, bitterness and resentment poured into the paper.
- Major trials.
- Well, I have told you that I do not want to go back.
- You will travel all the footpaths but you will return to the road.
- Well if you are a part of it, this will be our last encounter.

Now comes María, the serious one.
- I have come to bring you the notebook that you left forgotten in my father's house.
- Please come in.
- I will only enter a moment. And you, Oscar, are you going?
- Not by my will. It is cold and Allan has good tea, but he is expecting a visit.
- Then, let's go.
- No, stay, please.


Now his eyes are sweet because Mildred arrives, the luminous one.
- How late you are!
- María and Oscar, how are you?
- Well, lovely.
- Give us a cup of tea, the street is very cold.
- Sit down here, beside the fireplace, I have requested cherries for you.
- Thank you. Does María know the plantations?
- Some weeks ago I arrived there.
- They should be beautiful.
- Yes, but the weather is bad.
- Allan will take me with him. Only wait to recover to work again.
- And Oscar, will he also return?
- Yes, in one week. I just want to give one more concert.
- Do you want to play something now?
- If Allan permits it, because he dislikes my music.
- Please, be something sweet, not that terrible music.
- Do you refer to that symphony?
- Yes, but in short, don't pay me attention, play what you want, you already see that I am a little cranky.
The friend begins to play but he requests with the altered voice that doesn't make it.
- I feel a little bad, and that music... I have already before said it to Oscar.
- María, I think we should go.
- Excuse the scene, I beg.
- Don't grieve, we will come soon to know about your health.


When Mildred is alone with him, the atmosphere seems less upset, the voices are intimate and the looks are soft.
- How are you, Mildred?
- They have been so inappropriate. Oscar knows that he makes me suffer with his music and María, why has she come? Why does she look at you in that way? She has given me fear.
- It is I who makes you suffer with these nerves, but soon I will be well, we will live in that place that I have spoken to you, you will always take white suits and you will put flowers in your hair.
- It will be so beautiful!
- Now tell me you have done something these days?
-Yes, I bought the mats and an endless number of porcelain treasures.
- And the chest?
- Also, in it I will keep your hands so they don't steal them from me (not sure), give them to me, how much I like! Hunter of stars (cazadores de estrellas)!
- Hunter of stars?
- Allan...
-Tell me?
- I don't want them to visit us.
- That has no importance. It is necessary that you are less sensitive and more reasonable.
- They cause me such a strange impression!
- Forget them and tell me, at what time will the doctor come?

The doctor didn't go that afternoon, already Mildred took the sentence on the lips (this may be an idiom like, the writing on the wall). It was necessary an operation more. He said it with simplicity, but something very fragile broke in her interior.

El Recuerdo

Hace ya muchas horas de nuestro tiempo que él no es, que él dejó de ser, pero en la soledad y en el silencio, cuando se camina a través de la noche con los brazos tendidos, él es en nuestro corazón.

Las imágenes, las voces, los sonidos, son cómo entonces. El amigo que era su destino y las mujeres que fueron su esperanza y su alma, caminan con nosotros.

Aquí está él, con su extrema palidez y sus manos afiladas.

Ahora oímos las voces.

- Oscar, ¿qué semblante tengo, me ves mejor?
- Sí, creo que ya estás bien.
- Eso dice el doctor y no sabes cuánto me alegro, creí que esto sería largo.
- ¿Cuándo volveremos a los plantíos?
- En dos semanas más estaré bien. Entretanto, haré que Mildred arregle un sinfín de detalles que nos serán indispensables para que ella pueda instalarse sin molestias.
- Pero es que piensas seriamente en...
- Sí, después de tantos años de atravesar por un infierno he alcanzado lo que tanto deseara: paz y amor.
- No has acertado.
- Quiero vivir con una mujer de mi raza, que hable mi propia lengua, que me regale con su piel blanca y sus ojos azules. Quiero paz, quietud...
- ... Unas pantuflas de pelo de camello, una chimenea y una taza de té, eso que es juzgado como el cielo por los de tu raza.
- Eso es justamente lo que deseo.
- Nunca soportarás la inacción a que quieres someterte. Cuando escribiste algo bueno fue después de una de esas jornadas espantosas, fue in China...
- Calla, te he dicho que quiero olvidar, que quiero borrar de mi vida todo el horror que ha habido en ella.
- Supongo que ahora te dedicarás a escribir novelas color de rosa.
- No escribiré más. Hasta ahora no hice sino ensayos pésimos, amargura y rencor volcados en el papel.
- Grandes ensayos.
- Bien, te he dicho que no quiero volver atrás.
- Recorrerás todas las veredas pero volverás al camino.
- Pues si tú formas parte de él, éste será nuestro último encuentro.

Ahora llega María, la grave.
- He venido a traerte la cartera que dejaste olvidada en casa de mi padre.
- Te ruego que pases.
- Entraré sólo un momento. Y tú, Oscar, ¿te vas?
- No por mi voluntad. Hace frío y Allan tiene buen té, pero espera visita.
- Entonces, vámonos.
- No, quédense, por favor.


Ahora los ojos de él son dulces porque llega Mildred, la luminosa.
- ¡Cuánto has tardado!
- Maria y Oscar, ¿cómo están?
- Bien, encantadora.
- Danos una taza de té, en la calle hace mucho frío.
- Siéntate aquí, junto a la chimenea, he pedido cerezas para ti.
- Gracias. ¿Conoce María los plantíos?
- Hace algunas semanas que llegué de allá.
- Deben ser hermosos.
- Sí, pero el clima es malo.
- Allan me llevará con él. Sólo espera restablecerse para volver a trabajar.
- Y Oscar, ¿volverá también?
- Sí, dentro de una semana. Solamente quiero dar un concierto más.
- ¿Quiere usted tocar algo ahora?
- Sí Allan lo permite, porque mi música le desagrada.
- Por favor, que sea algo dulces, no esa música terrible.
- Te refieres a aquella sinfonía?
- Sí, pero en fin, no me hagas caso, toca lo que quieras, ya ves que soy un poco maniática.
El amigo empieza a tocar pero él pide con la voz alterada que no lo haga.
- Me siento un poco mal, y esa música... ya antes se lo he dicho a Oscar.
- María, creo que debemos irnos.
- Excusen la escena, se los ruego.
- No te apenes, vendremos pronto a saber de tu salud.


Cuando Mildred queda sola con él, el ambiente parece menos agitado, las voces son íntimas y las miradas suaves.
- ¿Qué tienes, Mildred?
- Han sido tan inoportunos. Oscar sabe que me hace sufrir con su música y María, ¿por qué ha venido? ¿por qué te ha mirado de esa manera? Me ha dado miedo.
- Soy yo quien te hace sufrir con estos nervios, pero pronto estaré bien, viviremos en aquel lugar de que te he hablado, tú llevarás siempre trajes blancos y pondrás flores en tus cabellos.
- ¡Será tan hermoso!
- Ahora dime ¿has hecho algo en estos días?
-Sí, compré las esteras y un sinfín de preciosidades de porcelana.
- Y el cofrecito?
- También, en él guardaré tus manos para que no me las roben, dámelas, ¡cuánto me gustan! ¡cazadoras de estrellas!
- ¿Cazadoras de estrellas?
- Allan...
-¿Dime?
- No quiero que ellos nos visiten.
- Eso no tiene importancia. Es necesario que seas menos sensible y más razonable.
- ¡Me causan una impresión tan extraña!
- Olvídalos y dime ¿a qué hora vendrá el doctor?
El doctor no iba aquella tarde, ya Mildred llevaba la sentencia en los labios. Era necesaria una operación más. Lo dijo con sencillez, pero algo muy frágil se rompió en su interior.

 


 

Many hours passed in which only sounded the voices of the serious woman and the friend that now go to our side moving the lips like when they spoke to him.
- You worry too much. Why give so much importance to the fleeting thing, when you carry inside the immortal thing?
- I carry inside a hell.
- No, a forge from which something very big will come, something that will evolve to rise to unsuspected plans.
- Don't speak to me of metaphysics, I want to live! Millions of men achieve their part of peace, of love, why snatch it from me? Why when it has arrived to me the sweet and dreamt of woman, which would erase the footprints to escape destiny...
- Impossible to erase or avoid destiny...
- But is it mine that must be to go through life out of breath, sometimes hungry, sometimes horror, grief and despair now? No, I must plot, I want to live! María, call her, I request it to you, tell her where I am, a few words of hers, a caress and I will feel reborn.
- Will you have the courage to make her suffer? Think that perhaps in the moment she arrives the pain will happen, you will become deadly pale, your forehead will be covered with sweat, you will scream and what will become of her? She is so delicate, so impressionable.
- It is true. You should also leave. Why must you remain here, listening to wailing?
- I would always be by your side, don't you understand? Your pain is my essence; I don't know how to smile, but look at my eyes, they are transparent, they will guide you toward what is now unavailable.
-I love Mildred, I only want to look at myself in her blue and calm eyes. I want to live!
- You have already lived.
- No. It has been a paradox: to live dying, the dead soul, the body plagued by fever and hunger. In Saigón, in China, we worked among thousands of yellows.
- Then you wrote...
- We saw those little men cover with their bodies miles and miles of muddy earth, victims of the misery and the fever. They formed a great convulsive, stinking mass that left silent screams(?), bestial stridencies(?). The delirious ones robbed the dead of their rags, of the handful of rice that slipped through their fingers lacking in strength. The dying ones, they shook the cadavers as if wanting to return them to life. Then, everything became ashes; tiny and thin women came to mourn there, where they believed had been the husband or the son; they sowed a sapling and they left leaving to hear at a great distance their sobs.
- The almond trees that the aching women sowed, they should make a beautiful, fragrant forest now. When the wind shakes its flowered branches they must make murmurs that they will pick up as message of those that left the rags and the handful of rice, of those that abandoned the hungry tormented body to transform into music, into fragrance.
- María, do not seek...
- You, that want the peace like the supreme good, why not seek to have serenity?
- Serenity! To request serenity to a man that has the liver undone by the cancer that you see their wrinkled and yellowish members as old parchments. She loved my white and strong hands! "Hunter of stars (cazadoras de estrellas)!"
- Calm down, it leads to nothing to think this way.
- Its true, why think now of the only sweet and beautiful thing that I could have? When I had health, a healthy and beautiful body, I had to fight against the misery, to contemplate the terrifying view of the tragedies that surrounded me: unsightly women that had scores of children of bestial men; hungry children hit by their own parents; unhappy that were killed by a woman or for a bottle of liquor. Slaves, slaves!, who pitied not realizing he was one of them.
- Then you were twenty years old.
- Yes, and dreamed of being able to get my voice to all parts teaching men to live in dignity.
-You did a lot, your ideas were vigorous, beautiful.
- But it seems incomprehensible. It was all useless! I traveled the world preaching, fighting to be understood. At twenty, we are rebels and pure, we are apostles and redeemers.
- To liberate is difficult.
- The pain confuses you now, but you have made a lot. Although you can no longer continue ahead, others will go on the road that you traced.
- Perhaps...
- The words of a man can guide the acts of thousands and when all together rise...
- Yes, then...

The sweet woman arrives, she sticks her face to the glass of the window, she hits them with her fists and she shouts until they hear it and they open the door. She comes to him, he reproaches her abandonment. She only comes to kiss the white hands. She takes them between her own and feels that they are not the strong same hands, hunter of stars (cazadoras de estrellas). The illness has dried them and they hang yellowish from the thin arms. In his lips he speaks the pain.
- This is horrible! You have robbed me and they are killing him...

Pasaron muchas horas en las que sólo sonaron las voces de la mujer grave y del amigo que ahora marchan a nuestro lado moviendo los labios como cuando hablaban para él.
- Te preocupas demasiado. ¿Por qué darla tanta importancia a lo pasajero, cuando llevas dentro de ti lo inmortal?
- Llevo dentro un infierno.
- No, una fragua de la que saldrá algo muy grande, algo que evolucionará elevándose a planos insospechados.
- No me hables de metafísica, ¡quiero vivir! Millones de hombres logran su parte de paz, de amor, ¿por qué arrebatarme la mía? ¿Por qué cuando ha llegado a mí la mujer dulce y soñada, la que hubiera borrado las huellas que me dejara el destino...
- Imposible borrar o esquivar al destino...
- ¡Pero es que el mío ha de ser recorrer la vida jadeante, unas veces de hambre, otras de horror, ahora de dolor y desesperación? No, he de conjurarlo, ¡quiero vivir! María, llámala, te lo ruego, dile en donde estoy, unas cuantas palabras suyas, una caricia y me sentiré renacer.
- ¿Tendrás valor para hacerla sufrir? Piensa que quizá en el momento en que ella llegue sobrevendrá el dolor, te pondrás mortalmente pálido, tu frente se cubrirá de sudor, gritarás y ¿qué será de ella? Es tan delicada, tan impresionable.
- Es verdad. También tú debías irte. ¿Por qué has de permanecer aquí, escuchando lamentos?
- He de estar a tu lado siempre ¿no comprendes? Tu dolor es mi esencia; yo no sé sonreir, pero mira mis ojos, son diáfanos, ellos te guiarán hacia lo que ahora te es inasequible.
-Amo a Mildred, solamente quiero mirarme en sus ojos azules y tranquilos ¡quiero vivir!
- Ya has vivido.
- No. Ha sido una paradoja: vivir muriendo, el alma muerta, el cuerpo acosado por la fiebre y el hambre. En Saigón, en China, trabajábamos entre millares de amarillos.
- Entonces escribiste...
- Vimos aquellos hombrecillos cubrir con sus cuerpos millas y millas de tierra cenagosa, víctimas de la miseria y la fiebre. Formaban una gran masa convulsa y fétida de la que partían gritos inarticulados, estridencias bestiales. Los delirantes despojaban a los moribundos de sus harapos, del puñado de arroz que escurría de entre sus dedos faltos de fuerza. Los agonizantes, sacudían a los cadáveres como queriendo volverlos a la vida. Después, todo se convirtió en cenizas; llegaron mujeres pequeñitas y enjutas a llorar allí, donde creían que había quedado el marido o el hijo; sembraban un arbolillo y se iban dejando escuchar a una gran distancia sus sollozos.
- Los almendros que las doloridas mujeres sembraron, deben hacer ahora un bosque hermosísimo, fragante. Cuando el viento agite sus ramas floridas han de producir murmullos que ellas recogerán como mensaje de los que dejaran los harapos y el puñado de arroz, de los que abandonaran el cuerpo hambriento y atormentado para convertirse en música, en fragancia.
- María, no pretendas...
- Tú, que deseas la paz como el supremo bien, ¿por qué no procuras tener serenidad?
- ¡Serenidad! Pedir serenidad a un hombre que tiene el hígado deshecho por el cáncer, que ve sus miembros arrugados y amarillentos como viejos pergaminos. Ella amaba mis manos blancas y fuertes "!cazadoras de estrellas!"
- Cálmate, a nada conduce que pienses así.
- Es verdad, ¿para qué pensar ahora en lo único dulce y bello que pude tener? Cuando tuve salud, un cuerpo sano y hermoso, hube de luchar contra la miseria, de contemplar del espectáculo aterrador de las tragedias que me rodeaban: mujeres deformes que tenían veintenas de hijos de hombres bestiales; niños hambrientos golpeados por sus propios padres; infelices que se mataban por una mujer o por una botella de aguardiente. ¡Esclavos, esclavos!, a quienes compadecía sin darme cuenta de que era uno de ellos.
- Entonces tenías veinte años.
- Sí, y soñaba con poder hacer llegar mi voz a todas partes enseñando a los hombres a vivir dignamente.
-Hiciste mucho, tus ideas eran vigorosas, bellísimas.
- Pero al parecer incomprensibles. ¡Todo fué inútil! Recorrí el mundo predicando, luchando por hacerme comprender. A los veinte años somos rebeldes y puros, somos apóstolos y redentores.
- Libertar es difícil.
- El dolor te ofusca ahora, pero tú has hecho mucho. Aunque tú ya no puedas seguir adelante, otros irán sobre el camino que tú trazaste.
- Tal vez...
- Las palabras de un hombre pueden orientar los hechos de miles y cuando todos junto se levanten...
- Sí, entonces...

Llega la mujer dulce, pega su cara a los cristales de la ventana, los golpea con sus puños y grita hasta que la escuchan y le abren la puerta. Llega hasta él, le reprocha su abandono. Ella viene sólo a besar sus manos blancas. Las toma entre las suyas y siente que no son las mismas manos fuertes, cazadoras de estrellas. El mal las ha secado y cuelgan amarillentas de los brazos delgados. En sus labios habla el dolor.
- ¡Esto es horrible! Ustedes me lo han robado y lo están matando...

 


 

- Mildred, why have you come, do you not understand?
- I do not know how to live without you.
- But, how will you be able to love me now?

So, she answers trying taking her lips to his hands, but it is not possible for her to overcome the horror, she has to let them go, to ask for forgiveness with drowned voice and to escape.

With the sweet woman left the light.
- María...
- What do you want?
- Give me that flower that fell of her hair.
- It is already enough!
- Don't worry, it was my last encounter with hope. Now I want to finish, as soon as possible, I do not want that pain again.
- Coward! That you are, that you have always been.
- He remains silent, it is not worthwhile. You call me coward because I know finally about our absolute helplessnes, because I don't believe in that superior plan in the one which our self has to be unbound from this to be dignified.
- Do not think now, you get excited...
- María, the pain!
- Calm down, everything goes, the pain will also pass.
- Don't allow me to suffer, I am not able to more, I am afraid, help me! I want to end up once and for all.
María walks slowly up to where Oscar is. The friend hands her a prepared syringe, the woman returns and with her serious face she approaches the sick person and she injects him in an arm.
- Thank you.
- Soon all will pass.
- It is atrocious.
- Only some minutes more.
- Come sit by me...
- Do you rest?
- Yes, now it happens soon. Look, even breathing easy...it lightens my heart, say…
- Rest.
- Oscar, plays, he plays for me and for her that has the transparent eyes.
- Allan Allan!
- María listens... is this... do you understand?
While the friend plays, his members loosen, his head leans on the back of the armchair and it is an attitude of peace, of rest infinite.


The light of dawn surprised us at the summit. On the mountain snow they were not the footprints of those that ascended with us through the night; the voices have gotten lost and the wind drags the symphony to the infinite, because he is no longer, because already it has been many hours of our time, that he ceased to be.

Puerto Angel, 1942

- Mildred, ¿porqué has venido, no comprendes?
- No sé vivir sin ti.
- Pero ¿cómo podrás amarme ahora?
Así, contesta tratando de llevar a sus labios las manos de él, pero no le es posible sobreponerse al horror, tiene que soltarlas, pedir perdón con voz ahogada y huir.

Con la mujer dulce salió la luz.
- María...
- ¿Qué quieres?
- Dame esa flor que cayó de sus cabellos.
- ¡Basta ya!
- No te preocupes, fue mi último encuentro con la esperanza. Ahora quiero acabar, cuanto antes, no quiero que vuelva el dolor.
- ¡Cobarde! Eso eres, eso has sido siempre.
- Calla, no vale la pena. Me llamas cobarde porque sé al fin de nuestra absoluta impotencia, porque no creo en ese plano superior en el cual nuestro yo ha de dignificarse desligado de esto.
- No pienses ahora, te excitas...
- ¡María, el dolor!
- Calma, todo pasa, también el dolor pasará.
- No me dejen sufrir, no puedo más, tengo miedo, ¡ayúdenme! Quiero acabar de una vez.
María camina lentamente hasta donde está Oscar. El amigo le tiende un jeringa preparada, la mujer vuelve y con su rostro grave se aproxima al enfermo y le inyecta en un brazo.
- Gracias.
- Pronto pasará todo.
- Es atroz.
- Sólo unos minutos más.
- Ven siéntate cerca de mí...
- ¿Descansas?
- Sí, ahora pasa pronto. Mira, hasta respiro con facilidad...se me aligera el corazón, diríase que...
- Descansa.
- Oscar, toca, toca para mí y para ella que tiene los ojos transparentes.
- Allan ¡Allan!
- María escucha ... es ésto ... ¿comprendes?
Mientras el amigo toca, los miembros de él se aflojan, su cabeza se ladea sobre el respaldo del sillón y queda en actitud de paz, de reposo infinito.

La luz del amanecer nos sorprende en la cumbre. Sobre la nieve de la montaña no quedaron las huellas de los que ascendieron con nosotros a través de la noche; las voces se han perdido y el viento arrastra la sinfonía al infinito, porque él ya no es, porque hace ya muchas horas de nuestro tiempo, que él dejó de ser.

Puerto Angel, 1942