Aunque todo lo dicho no sea cierto, todo lo cierto no está dicho.

While not all that is said is true, not all that is truth is told.

The lonely cat on the roof / September 11, 1973

cats-eyesThe lonely cat on the roof / September 11, 1973

(Based on a real event)

During the dark hours of curfew, the military trucks covered with green sailcloth roamed up and down my Carlos Condell street. Some of the trucks conveying clandestine cleaning teams that, under the impunity of curfew, loaded the bodies and washed the bloodied streets during the opaque and shadowy night hours. In the morning everything was squeaky clean as if nothing had taken place scant hours before. On Matta Avenue, just two blocks from my house, separated by the railroad tracks, lay the Police Academy headquarters, a police school and Barracks. Every night, from the other side of the railroad tracks on Pedro de Valdivia St., an armed loner sneaks out from obscurity to pick a fight with the police, firing shots from small-caliber weapons toward the Barracks. Entrenched on the old roof of my house I hear the triggering sounds of the disproportionate battle. I can’t see the adversaries but I can surely hear the fracas. The reverberating sounds from the mad shooter sound like “tin, tin, tin” and in return he got “BAM, BAM, BAM” from the police station. I imagined a smart, black, light footed cat, leaping across  the rooftops with great stealth and style, like the cat in the Batman cartoon. I always thought the suicidal feline was not shooting but rather triggering a kind of anti-coup statement for all of the neighbors to hear. I wanted to find her and help her to re-load the drum of her burner, but I was too afraid. It really was David against Goliath– and she was crazy– me too, but out of fear. I never knew if the lone shooter was able to hit the target, but the next morning the many bullet holes in the walls around the area revealed her remarkable presence. I checked them out with a sarcastic smile. The shooting went on for several nights during which I didn’t see or hear the clandestine cleaning team trucks so I was relieved with the thought that my cat was not dead. Eventually the police decided to install carnival lights over the entire roof corner in the safety of daylight.  The same corner where I spent great moments of my youth listening to gringo music, drinking fermented barley and smoking all kinds of herbs. The corner now looked like a cheap and sad carnival and the neighbors were not happy since they would have to pay the electricity bill. And my heroine cat on the roof? Was she gone? Had she died? … Oh, what the heck! Cats have nine lives after all, ¿que no?


(From Fernando A. Torres book Walks Through Memories of Oblivion)


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This entry was posted on September 10, 2015 by in ARTe and CULTURa, Chile, Literary and tagged , .

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