Berlin, 2009

Berlin, 2009
We want more voices, thoughts and languages!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Queer Case of a Mermaid

The queer case of a Mermaid tells us of an amazing animal which – so goes the story – and the chronicle confirms – got lost and was seen swimming in the flat waves of the Lake Michigan; the lake: it never was so vast to let the flashing sparkles of its eyes disappear on the horizon. Some on the beach look towards the arising sun, and they think: it is the sea. It is because of this fact that happens every now and then: the fact that there are people who think it is the sea and there are people who have known on the map: it is a lake – it is because of this confusion that other confusions are engendered, like the one I am telling you about.But let us start from the beginning, that, like every beginning, starts from the springs. In the earth of the Americas, where they are knotted together by the pressure of both the oceans on the thin waist, where one should go as soon as he runs out of matches and still wants to make a fire – because the temperature is so high there! – there, from the burning soil is where the ants come from, each with a secret and a button, some with a mouth of butter, and moths come from there and mosquitoes and flies, because there the temperature is so high that it is the right place to cast them, they melt, merge and smelt and then they are born. There are steps of fire there. And there is also a huge pond – some say – but the steam is so thick and the smell so pregnant that neither eyes nor noses ever dared to sound how big, how deep the waters might have ever been.It is from this pond, in the centre of the Americas, where the ground is so narrow that only jumping on the ants’ heads one could pass from South to North and vice versa, in this space of the world where the oceans are almost to win over the continents and break apart the Americas and join together, a crocodile collected his bunch of things and decided to leave. This is a place where people and animals are born and get created – as you prefer – but it is not a place that one can just leave. One was born here and then goes into the world like every ant does and all the other animals, but it is all another matter if an animal, once upon a time, a crocodile, decided to leave in the morning and that is all. There was the thought of him, maybe. Maybe only his tail, maybe the teeth. Maybe there was already something of him, a part of his, or maybe nothing at all, who knows, but the fact is – and that is the story and what trouble – that that day in the morning the crocodile got ready and left.The other animals could well have screamed aloud and long, but hardly he would have heard them despairing after him, he was so perplexed and the forest soft, the moon was pending cream in a light sky, the sun hard and stony, the sky was getting blue. How, how could he have heard them searching for him? He would not want to leave. He was walking along the torrent, and swimming like soap on the splashing waters. Looking at his tail he was wondering if it was as green as the smooth pebbles, and got close to flowers and starrred enchanted and smiled. Flowers, seeing him getting near their petals, near their roots, afraid and scared more than the devil who knows what he did, closed up into their buds, which disguised bright colors and faded down in the mud. Worms folded the leaves as soon as they saw him passing by and disappeared into them, but the crocodile just continued going with the current and happily laughed to every fish and eel he met on the way. Some fishes lost their bones, others the flippers, the luckiest ones just got so scared they spit out and puked the hooks they had in their bellies since long. The crocodile smiled back to all these expressions – he thought – of great joy. And if by chance a red fish in the creek had not become green, or an eel not shortened to the length of half an inch and a blueberry yet, then, seeing his teeth ranging from white pearl on the left to blue black on the right and from right to left from knives-long to pin-acuity stunned every fish would sigh and be swallowed numb into its own last breath. The crocodile wondered why they would go to sleep so abruptly and after such celebrations and although welcoming, none was eventually willing to talk to him. He was curious, had many questions but was not patient enough to stop anywhere. Voices were still crying after him, but he was so perplexed and the forest soft.


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