Por una cabeza / Carlos Ávila

By A Head

Yeah, I’m serious, with its eyes closed and in the middle of the street: like a ball with hair and little red pieces of thread on its neck and a thick tube in the middle and blood. And what’d you do? I took off running and about 300 feet ahead the cops grabbed me. The police? Yeah. And what’d they say to you? Who’s head is that, that the head was my responsibility, that if I didn’t say where I’d gotten it I’d go to jail forever. And what’d you say? That the head wasn’t mine. And what’d they say? That I get in the patrol car. And did you get in? No. Well, yes. Not at first, but after a while one of the officers asked me how it was possible for me to walk by a head thrown in the middle of the street and not do anything and I asked him if he wanted me to grab the head and take it home with me. That’s when all the other officers laughed and the guy ordered me, with his gun in his hand, to get in the patrol car. So then I definitely got in. And they took you? Yup. To the station? Yeah. And the head? We brought it with us. In the patrol car? Yeah, in the back seat, on my lap. And did you get blood all over you? A little bit. And were you scared? No. So then what happened? Then we got to the station and I had to get out holding the head by its hair and the officers there looked at me as if I were naked, and the chief, who was already upset, told me not to grab it by the hair and I asked him if he wanted me to hold its hand. And that was enough for them to lock me up in a cell full of hoodlums. But after a while they took me out and put me in a room with several officers and placed the head on top of a desk, on some folders, and started to ask me questions. And what’d they ask you? Who’s head it was, if I was part of a satanic cult, if I’d heard any noises. But before I could answer one of them went up to the head and asked if we thought it was a man or a woman’s. So then we all started to look at the head up close and one of the officers touched its hair and said it was a woman’s head. And right then the head opened its eyes and said no, that it was a man’s head. So we all took a step back scared. The head spoke? Yes. And what’d it say? Just that, that it was a man’s head and that it had the answer to all our questions. And did you all ask anything? Of course. What’d you ask? I asked if God exists and an officer asked if his wife was cheating on him. And what’d the head say? That his wife was a rat. And God? What about God? If he exists or not. I don’t know. Didn’t you ask the head that question? Yeah. And what’d it say? It said that if it had hands it would have given us the finger. So then what happened? Then all the officers started to sing that tango. Which one? The one about a head. And what’d you do while they sang? While they sang I left.

{ Carlos Ávila, unpublished ms., January 2013}

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This story made me burn with jealousy. How does this guy not have a translation of his stories in English?