Translation and the Hope of Language –
A long time apart from now, or may be not so terribly long, after all, there’s a place. In feeling it resembled a small village, though in truth its inhabitants had given up with any kind of census. They knew, someone somewhere out there knew exactly… In appearance the town resembled something you might see in a smart-aleck post card: a spoof of a picturesque European villa, in contemporary architecture. Does something come to mind? Perhaps the phrase itself rings a bit comic, like healthy fast food. The buildings one sees on the streets beginning to dominate blocks, looking all squares, sharp angles. The inhabited versions, cheap, of all metal and glass sky scrapers, which sport bricks or cement in place of glass, that somehow, anyhow, looks plastic. May be it’s the unnatural bright colors, like in Berlin, or the pale ones in south Italy. One wonders if the colors only take away the relief of obscurity for the eye.
Esperanza. Esperanza. Her name moved around her, this way and that, like a new thing. Walking barefoot, there were only images in her mind. And words, like images, bright and crisp on her tongue. She had no intention to speak them aloud, but sometimes they spoke. People smiled, as they’d always had. Some nicer than others. Those woman’s front teeth, for example. They, themselves, told many stories about victories and lack and riches. The sun shone through in patches, though there were no trees, which Esperanza didn’t really notice, and the rays appeared to her to be playing with her. She chased them. Jumped with the stray cats and dogs and rats and geckos out of the way of the sun only to try to jump into their path the next moment. The words that escaped from her might remind one of butterflies, suddenly flying out of a seemingly closed bud, or birds, moving in a …. from the top of a tree, or a fox coming out of her hole in the middle of winter snow. Neither causal nor accidental, intentional nor directionless, they moved like the visualization of a song across the way. At least, so it felt, without seems, to Esperanza...