Down in Perez, a city in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina, was where the pushback started. It was inevitable. Every day people left for work with their copy of the collected short stories of Jorge Luis Borges tucked neatly under their arms. The books were perfectly uncreased because, of course, they never actually read them.
En el jardín de senderos que se bifurcan the garden paths never forked – it only felt like that to those that walked them wearing their grey polyester suits and their eggplant cotton pencil skirts. What did happen as they trudged through their lives was that their eyes would dilate further and further letting in more light and with it, if not more possibilities, the possibility of possibilities.
The tremor came on like salbutamol shakes, slow but lasting longer than is necessarily encouraging. People froze, and the only sign of movement was that of one person moving through the crowd. It was like looking at a cinemagraph. Tucked neatly under his arm was a volume of the collected short stories of Julio Cortázar. Irises constricted to take in the unfamiliar words on the spine of the book.
The infrastructure was not primed for this, nor did it react well.
Everything stopped – the people on the garden paths in their grey polyester suits or their eggplant cotton pencil skirts – and the garden path ceased to be a path and became a sort of human loading zone.
And it was in these configurations, where the people had just stopped, that, because they still had to eat and to drink and to micturate, little communities flourished, and friendships and alliances were forged. At least until the person carrying the volume of the collected short stories of Julio Cortázar passed on by.
Eyes slowly dilated and people went about their business, and all anyone would ever admit to was that time when a focus rippled through their lives.
Written on Wednesday, 17 October 2012