Macario Faces the Book

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I am sitting in front of the phone waiting for people to like what I’ve just shared.   They like so much.   Before supper last night Godmother says many friends like what she’s pasted and they did so all through the night.  Godmother has many friends—Crackertown, Florida; Intercourse, Pennsylvania; Boring, Oregon; Stoner, Colorado; and Mary Land too.   I want friends as well—so as Godmother sleeps I wait.  Friends can be black.  Godmother’s eyes are also black.  People just don’t eat friends.  People don’t, but I do and they taste just like toads.  Toads are black.  Frogs are green.  Felipa tells me that people eat frogs.   I like Felipa so very much—more than Godmother even.  But Godmother is the one with money in her purse.  She opens it to feed me.  Never do I get toads.  She feeds me milk and chick-pea soup.  Felipa’s milk is far tastier and I prefer her sweet milk to the shopkeeper’s.  Compared to the normal saucer of milk—Felipa’s breasts, when allowed, give liquid like that of the hibiscus flower’s flavor.  It becomes troublesome when I eat the flowers—in my belly.   But when my stomach is seething Felipa brings me pillows and breasts.  That’s why I love Felipa—because I’m always hungry and I often eat bad things.  She knows my bellys bottomless.  She sometimes shares her pile of food with me—this is why she is better than Godmother.  I eat her dish, then mine—and still my hunger is strong.  Out in the streets they see me eat everything.  They call me crazy for this.  Godmother hears them say that.  I haven’t yet.  When Godmother shares she chains my hands—or sometimes in church she ties my hands to prevent me from killing.  One day they caught me shooting someone—just to be doing it.  I don’t remember.  The streets throw sharp stones at me.  I would run away if not for this happening every time I walk.  No, Godmother is good to me.  That’s why I’m comfortable in the house.  Besides—Felipa lives there and tickles me when I suckle from her fixed breasts.  That’s why I love her.  She is so very good to me.   I eat hibiscus seeds to forget the hunger.  But the flavor of Felipa’s stream of milk has a better taste.    And when I’m there I don’t fear being alone in purgatory or Hell.   Sometimes I think of being damned—until hibiscus touches my tongue.  When hungry, I like to scare myself into a journey to Hell.  But Felipa enters to scare those fears away.  She tells me to sing and I do—I sing nightly to share.  I sing my sins to the Lord.  Felipa confesses daily—not because she is a devil, but because she saves my soul.  She talks to He for me.  She explains away my wickedness, while I just sing.  I sing to the crickets and cockroaches.   They scurry too quickly to catch my sound.  On top, around, and together they mingle, without a trace or notice of me—or my voice.  When I squish cockroaches they go pop.  Felipa says crickets make noises to drown the panic from purgatory out—voices calling out for Help.  I don’t know if crickets go pop—yet.  Because I’m afraid I will die if I stop eating, I gorge on chick-pea soup and anything else I am fed—everything else I am fed daily.   Godmother gives me a wallet to carry.  My picture is inside.  It’s also on the phone that I am watching now—waiting for someone to like what I have shared.  Maybe the crickets will sing back to me a special song, no?  I’d better keep talking just in case—but really—but really I only crave the taste of Felipa’s hibiscus dashed delightfully sweetened milk.

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based on an original and longer story told much better by the legendary Juan Rulfo, in 1967

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2 comments

  1. NC Coot

    Wow. Like some kind of furious fever dream.

  2. The words truly paint a powerful picture.

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