We met D* through our neighbour C*. D* came home the same day that C* told us about it, and we had a great time talking to her. She told us that she wanted to place her baby for adoption since she learned that she was pregnant, because with a baby already, it was very hard for her to go to school and to hopefully get a job. Her boyfriend works at the air bag factory and they can’t even afford to pay the rent. He has an amazing PSP collection though. She found a family in New York that was going to adopt her baby, but when they found out that her family had history of depresion, they decided that they didn’t want the baby after all. One month before giving birth, she felt very stressed and almost desperate thinking what she could do with her baby. After meeting us, she told our neighbor C* that she really liked us, and that with us, the baby would have oportunities that he would never have otherwise. (In other words: she came to us and basically told us that she needed us to take her baby). Last Thursday D* called and said that the baby was coming two weeks early, either Thursday night or Friday morning. This is the series of messages between us, C* and our friends and family.


D*: The birth mother who was going to let us adopt her baby.
C*: The neighbor who introduced us to D*
F*: Friends
Martha, Heather, Matias, Jonatan, Cory: Family
M&M: Us

F1: Is your baby being born? (8:30pm 9/18/18 )

M&M: Any moment now.

F1: Really?🙂 Are you happy? (8:41pm 9/18/18 )

M&M: Well Yeah!
F1: Is everything arranged with the adoption? (8:42pm 9/18/18 )

M&M: Yes, everything’s ready.

Heather:  Got baby? (4:17am 9/19/18 )

M&M: Not yet

Martha: I have the crib at home. As soon as you tell us to, we’ll take it there. (4:42pm 9/19/18 )

M&M: Thanks. My sister in law will loan us a bassinet for now, so we could wait a week.

Martha: Ok
M&M: No news yet.

Matias: Shoot! Keep me posted. (12:24pm 9/20/18 )M&M: He’s coming!!!

Matias: Coming out of the belly, or coming home? (9:30pm 9/20/18 )M&M: Out of the belly

Jonatan: Really?????? Yeeeeeeeeeeeah, man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (9:31pm 9/20/18 )Matias: Way to go! Are you in the hospital now? (9:32pm 9/20/18 )

M&M: Yes, the family of the girl is here as well.

Jonatan: You have to tell me when it’s a good moment to call you!!! Or to go to your house to greet little Anthony!!!🙂 (9:34pm 9/20/18 )M&M: Sure thing

Matias: Are you going to cut the cord? Will they let you? I didn’t dare! (10:11pm 9/20/18 )

M&M: We are still waiting. The nurse says that he might come before 1am. About the cord, I have no idea. The girl’s boyfriend is here, so it would be weird… (She eventually asked me to please cut the cord, so I did. It was awkward as heck.)

Matias: Yes, it would be weird. Well, whenever Anthony comes call me so we can talk. We are very happy for you. (11:09pm 9/20/18 )

Manuel: He was born! He’s beautiful! Like the adoptive dad! (In Spanish)

Megan: We are mommy and daddy now. He is beautiful and happy and healthy!

Martha: Congratulations! And welcome Anthony. What time was he borh? How much did he weigh? (1:59am 9/21/18 )F1: Yay! (2:08am 9/21/18 )

F2: I have been praying for you all including Anthony! When do you get him? (2:09am 9/21/18 )

Jonatan: I’m sure!!!!!!!! Congratulations, man, we love you a lot and you’ll always be in our hearts!!! At what time was he born? (2:13am 9/21/18 )

M&M: At 1:30. He weighs 1.91 kg and he’s 17 inches long.

F1: Give him a good squish for me!! Haha. (3:07am 9/21/18 )

M&M: Will do!

Heather: Congrats! (3:20am 9/21/18 )Matias: Congratulations. Did they confirm that you will get him? Can we go visit you today? Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, but my text messages don’t make a sound. (7:27am 9/21/18 )

M&M: So far, the girl seems pretty set into giving the baby for adoption, but until she doesn’t sign the papers I won’t be able to breathe calmly… We don’t get the baby until Monday, so if you want you could come Wednesday when mom and dad come. I’ll call you later and I’ll explain more.

Matias: Ok, I’ll wait for your call. (7:32am 9/21/18 )Jonatan: Send me a picture :o) (9:42am 9/21/18 )

F2: When do you get to bring him home? (10:29am 9/21/18 )

M&M: Probably on Monday. He has to stay at the hospital for a couple of days.
Cory: Congratulations..! (11:15am 9/21/18 )

F2: How exciting a new baby and citizenship tomorrow! (11:29am 9/21/18 )

F2: I cannot believe you are a mom and dad now! CONGRATS! That little boy is the luckiest ever and I have never been happier for new parents (11:42am 9/21/18 )

M&M: Thanks so much you’re so sweet believe me we’re both in a daze!
(We sent a cell picture of the baby to some friends and relatives.)

F1: He has a perfect little head! When does he go home with mom and dad? (1:05pm 9/21/18 )
M&M: Tomorrow morning!

F1: Yay!!! (1:07pm 9/21/18 )Jonatan: You’re right. He looks just like you! So you say that the best day to visit you is Wednesday? (1:09pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Yes, because the baby won’t come home until tomorrow or Tuesday.
Cory: What a bundle of joy! (1:09pm 9/21/18 )
C*: D* is having second thoughts. (2:54pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: The boyfriend’s mother’s doing?

C*: Family came in and I think is pushing her to keep. I am so sorry. (2:56pm 9/21/18 )

C*: I truly think so. She is in tears she is so worried about hurting you guys. She has called b* (her case worker). (2:58pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Did she just tell you that?

C*: Yes, I am here now (2:58pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Should we step back for now? I knew that woman was up to no good. We felt a horrible feeling when she showed up. (We didn’t get a reply from C* for the longest time.)

M&M: The boyfriend’s mother came and started putting things in her head.

Martha: Didn’t the case worker visit her? (3:09pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: She called her, but she can’t do anything if the girl changes her mind.

Martha: What did she tell you? (3:11pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: She hasn’t told us anything yet. We’ll try to visit her later and see what happens.

Matias: Didn’t she sign yet? What happens if she changes her mind? (3:29pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: If she does we have to find another baby and start all over again.

M&M (To everybody): Just a heads up. D* is having second thoughts.

C*: D* wants me to bring the gift basket back to you. She is so sick to her stomach. And so afraid you will hate her. (3:46pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: I don’t care about the gifts and we don’t hate her. Does this mean that she changed her mind for sure?

C*: Yes she has and her family is now rushing around to find her stuff for the baby. (2:55pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Ok

C*: I am so sorry. (3:57pm 9/21/18 )Megan: This is really their decision to make and although we are heartbroken we trust in what is meant to be.

C*: I feel the same. (4:01pm 9/21/18 )

C*: Part of the decision came from her seeing how hard boyfriend was trying to be brave. He was only giving up the baby because that is what he thought she wanted. (4:04pm 9/21/18 )
Megan: We could definitely tell how hard it was for him and admire how brave he was.

M&M: D* changed her mind but we feel okay about it.

F1: What? (4:13pm 9/21/18 )F1: She is keeping the baby? (4:15pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: She is. Can you believe it? That’s ok though. Nothing we can do about it. We’re hurt but we’ll survive. Thanks for all you’ve done. You’re so awesome!

F1: I am so sorry. Your baby will come soon! (4:35pm 9/21/18 )Manuel: The girl changed her mind and she will keep the baby. It seems that in half an hour she realized of a lot of things that she didn’t in ninth months of pregnancy… We’re ok. Just a little mad, but we’ll be ok.

Martha: God knows why… (4:38pm 9/21/18 )F1: Maybe u could talk to her. she seemed set on the idea. (4:48pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Yes, the agency is still dealing with her, but there’s not much hope. She’s pretty set on keeping him.

F2: Oh wow I do not know what to say. I am praying for you and Megan. What is meant to be will always find its way. All my love is with you both. (5:56pm 9/21/18 )F2: We are here for you and I know heavenly father will bless you both. I love you both so very much. We will come to Ogden this weekend and celebrate Megan’s birthday and your citizenship! Xoxo hugs and kisses! (6:42pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Thank u, we really believe that too but what can i say. This really sucks. It’s been a roller coaster experience, we just hope we can gain the faith to try it again sometime. This whole thing was just so rushed and it felt weird too. We are forever grateful for your support.
Jonatan: I love you both. I’m so sorry for what happened! I guess our Lord has plans for each one of us. He loves you so much that He probably has something better for you. I love you and you’re in my prayers. (6:48pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: True. Someday it will happen for us…

F4: I’m so sorry. Is there something I can do? (6:57pm 9/21/18 )F4: Sure thing. Hang in there we love you! (7:31pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Thanks. We are incredibly disappointed but this is God’s will for us now. Just pray for us. Thanks.

F1: How is your night going? Do u need anything? (7:35pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Thank you. We’re ok, thanks for thinking of us. We have an outpouring of support and we really believe that things will eventually work out
Martha: My heart aches because I can’t calm this pain. But know that we are praying as a family for you. May God give you the consolation and the strength. We love you. (7:59pm 9/21/18 )

M&M: Thank you. After crying for a couple of hours we feel better. We have options, and I know that things will be ok eventually, but this was a huge pain. Thanks for being with us and for worrying so much. We love you too.

C*: How are you doing? (9:50pm 9/22/18 )

Megan: We are ok, really. Our only concern is for D* and the baby. We hope both are okay, but we hope we never have to go through anything like that again. But really, we will be fine, and we’re going to keep trying

C*: Ok. D* is doing better and the baby is fine. I hope you never go though it either. I kinds feel responsible. I am so sorry. (10:06pm 9/22/18 )

Manuel: C*, this is Manuel. I’m glad D* is fine and the baby too, but I really don’t want to hear anymore about this. I feel that what we’ve been through was extremely cruel, and I don’t blame anybody, it just had to happen I guess, and we were supposed to learn something from this, but right now I’m trying not to think about it anymore. Thanks for your concern though, you’ve been nothing but supportive and I appreciate and will never forget that.

C*: K==============

Thanks so much to all of you for being so great during this time. We love you all so much! We are ok now, and we know that there’s a wonderful baby out there waiting to join our family. At least we know that next time we will not put all our eggs in one basket, as they’ve been telling us in the agency since the first day. I guess they knew better after all!

We still burst into tears now and then, but we are healing, and we’re definitely growing stronger.

January 2009 update: Last we heard, the mother in law is trying to get custidy of the baby. We don’t know what claim could she have, but there you go.


It’s hard to criticize a person for dreaming of great accomplishments, even when his or her capacity to succeed them is inadequate. We could argue that at least Icarus tried to do something amazing, and that, even if he smashed his brain while trying it, he enjoyed a few moments of complete glory, feeling the breeze brushing his face while seeing Greece from a view point that no other human did before, and maybe knowing what the gods feel all the time.

I don’t think that his dream was his weakness. His lack of preparation was. He was warned that wax wasn’t strong enough to hold his wings if he flew too close to the sun, and yet, at the moment, he though that he could do it. How many times have I done something like this? How many times did I believe that a mediocre preparation would be enough to accomplish great feats?

I still envy Icarus. Before he took a dive into the hard ground (they probably didn’t even need to dig a grave for him!), he had the thrill of his life, one that I will never know of, since I have been taught to be so careful, and because, at least in that regard, I actually heard and learned.

“But, how can I possibly know? All gringos look the same to me.”

He tried to remember, but they were all sort of a blur. A common face with very specific differences. Not specific enough for him to recognize them.

He was just working, asking people for their orders, when all of a sudden this guy pulls to the window and points a mean looking gun to his face. “Give me all you got in the till, or I call the federales.” The guy chuckled nervously. Jose’s face grew red and hot. He was shaken by the violence of it all. It took him a little while to understand what the guy wanted, to confirm what his first suspicions were: I’m being robbed. Yup, that fits. He wants money. This box is called a till, he wants everything in it. But what the heck is that stuff about federales?

He wanted to run for it, hide behind the fryer. If he shot, he would be alright. But he was worried about the other people, those who didn’t know that there was some kind of madman with a gun at the window. “I don’t know how to open this box” he muttered. He tried to push every button he could think of, but the think kept answering with a beep that denounced abuse. “Don’t touch me like that,” the box seemed to say. “The money. I’m not kidding. Don’t try to be smart!” He heard a shot. Apparently the robbers tried to scare him shooting in the air, but realized their mistake: the noise would attract the police, and quick. There’s a cop mobile every other block in this neighborhood: gotta keep those beaners in line, you know? So they sped up and out.

Just as the guy with those shinny blue eyed, pointy goateed, flannel shirted guy had feared, the cops arrived in less than five minutes. “What happened,” Jose heard them ask the supervisor. “I don’t know, sir. I heard a shot outside. Jose must know. He was working the window at the moment.”

Jose was paralyzed with fear. “Calm down,” he told himself, “you didn’t do anything bad. Just relax.” But it was hard. He could remember when, a month ago, he drove his car for the first time. An ‘88 Chevy Caprice. It was beautiful. The guy sold it to him for a thousand dollars. “You can give me two hundred every month,” he told him. “I know your parents. They are cool people.” It was the most beautiful thing he ever possessed. It was light blue, with shinny bumpers (not too shinny though, but at least they weren’t rusty), and a couple of bumps here and there, but nothing bad. This car was tough as nails. Inside of it he felt that he was driving a space ship to Mars. It was spacious, and even though the AC only spitted hot air and the stereo only played cassettes, he felt he was inside some state of the art miracle. After he gave the guy the first two hundred dollars he took his brother and his friend Frankie to a dance. He’d been to the club before, but he’d been driven there each time. Now he felt important. He could have taken four more people in it. The car was that big. But five blocks away from his house, he saw the spinning lights of a cop mobile’s siren. He freaked out. He didn’t know what to do, and he wasn’t sure he heard right when the police officer yelled “get out of the car.” He tried to open the door, but it didn’t budge. “Don’t!” His brother said. “What are you doing? You are supposed to wait for them to come to the car. You shouldn’t get out. You’ll get in trouble.” “But I think that they want me to come out,” said Jose. “Come out of the car.” The voice said again. “See? I think they are asking me to come out.” He kept jiggling the handle until the door gave in. “Put your hands in the air,” the officer said. Jose did. “Walk towards the car slowly. Why didn’t you get out of the car when we asked you to?” They asked. “I wasn’t sure that’s what you wanted.” Jose was shaking, he wanted to kneel and tell them that he didn’t do anything wrong. He wanted to tell them that this was his first time driving, that he was sorry for being out here. He wished he knew more about the uses in these lands when things like this happened. What are you supposed to tell to a cop in a moment like this? He wondered. He had no idea. He felt he was flunking a test for which he hadn’t prepared at all. He wished he had spent more nights at home studying. But, where do you get a book that teaches you this kind of stuff anyway? “Have you been drinking?” The cop asked. “No! No sir. You can see the car. I have no drinks.” He pointed towards it, thinking he might have been better off buying a crappy Ford Escort, or something like that, which wouldn’t profile him so badly. The cop smiled. “Have you had many experiences here in the States?” “Experiences? No. This if the first.” I’m sorry, he felt like saying. I’m sorry I’m here. If you don’t want me here, I’ll go back. I don’t want to cause any trouble! But he just stood there, shaking. “We need to see your ID” “Sure, but it is in my pocket,” he said with the typical jumpy accept of his people, and pointing to his pocket with his raised hand. “Ok, you can show it to me. I just wanted to tell you that your tail light is out. Here in this state is mandatory that your lights are all working properly when you drive at night.” He gave him back his ID. He punched his tail light. It flickered and it went on. He would have to remember to punch this stupid light every night.

“Federales!” he said to himself. “He meant la migra!” The INS, or the USCIS as they now call it. The whole Department of Homeland Security was after his case now. He was an illegal immigrant, and green trucks seemed to peer to him from everywhere. At least that’s what they told him that the tracks of la migra looked like. Green. Grin. Gringos. They weren’t so nice to him as his friend had promised him that they would be. “Just come, man. This place is awesome. If you come and stay for five years, they give you papers.” He ignorantly lied, “You’ll love it here.” And he did. He came and he loved it. It was true that those girls who ran into his bike when, trying to do a right turn, they were too busy checking if someone came from the left to notice that he was coming from the right. They offered to take him to work, to call his boss and to explain everything. They even gave him their number. He would have called if he knew what to say. Phones scared him. He hated phones when he was back in his country in South America, and he hated them now when he didn’t even understand the words that came out of it. “Whatever you do, don’t way ‘yes’ to anything that those guys ask you. As soon as you say yes, you agreed to purchase whatever they are offering you. I know like five cases. These guys now have telephone features that they can’t even afford, just because they said ‘yes’ and they didn’t even know what they were agreeing to.” So he just said “Sorry, I no speak English good,” which was the best he could produce under the pressure of the telemarketers. Some of them sounded as if they were being dragged to make these calls. “I really don’t want to do this, but if I don’t, I’ll get an F in my math class.” That’s how it sounded. Sometimes they were so nice he could picture them smiling, their voices sounding like white polo shirts and brand new Sketchers’ shoes. Those girls were nice, he told himself. So many people were nice to him since he arrived here. But he just couldn’t figure out what people were so impatient and rude to him at work. There weren’t many white kids in his job that he could compare the way they both were treated, and even if there were, he was so busy and focused on his job that he didn’t have time for such comparisons anyway. He gave a hundred percent of his mental efforts to understanding what these people were telling them. “No pickles on that. And easy on the ice.” Easy on the ice, what in the world did that mean? Did they want him to put the ice in the cup slowly, so they wouldn’t break? What was all that about? “Just don’t put so much ice,” Nano told him one day. “They don’t want so much ice, that’s what it means.” “Then why don’t they say so,” refuted Jose. There were so many things he needed to learn. He still struggled with how to say “when I get out of my job.” He tried to talk to a girl once, tell her when he was out for the day, but he didn’t know how. When I exit my work? When I finish my job? How was it! It was such a simple thing that not being able to say it gave him headaches and real doubts about his future fluency in the language. “I don’t know what kind of language you speak, but I speak English,” an angry customer told him once. He tried, and yet these people treated him as if he didn’t care at all. If only they knew how much I care, he repeated to himself.

And now these two officers were questioning him. “What kind of car did he drive? What did he look like? What else did he say?” What kind of car? He had no idea. It was brown. At least that’s what the few parts that still had paint looked like. But he had no idea how to say that. Make? You mean the brand? He didn’t know much of these cars. He was used to European cars: Fiats, Peugeots, Renaults. He had never even seen all these car logos before. The cops weren’t happy. He knew about Fords and Chevrolets. This one wasn’t one of them. What did they look like? Like every typical American he’d seen in the movies: skinny, very blond, blue eyes. How can I know? All gringos look the same to me, he felt like saying, but decided that it wasn’t appropriate. So he told them: skinny, very blond, blue eyes. Again, the cops weren’t happy. “He told me to give him the money.” The “H” in the word “him” was very strong, raspy, hoarse. He wasn’t used to that subtle “H” sound yet. It didn’t exist in his own language, so his brain didn’t seem to perceive it like that yet. Like so many other things which were different and he hadn’t noticed yet. Not the cops though. They were the same as the ones in his city. Cops seem to be the one thing that every society shared. But he wouldn’t say that either. He said as much as he dared, wincing as he waited for the question about his legal status, shaking, rubbing his sweaty hands under the table.

“Well, thanks anyway,” said one of the cops, and they walked away without even saying goodbye. Jose’s relief was instantaneous. Two encounters with the police and he was still there, unharmed, wiser. They are not that bad. They are just doing their job. He told himself, grinning as he tried to calm himself enough to stop shaking. This place is not that bad. Justice happens. They were looking after me. They cared.

“Jose, that window won’t attend itself,” yelled the supervisor, a mustachioed 19 year old who felt immensely superior to him just because he came to America when he was five, and therefore knew more about the rules than Jose ever expected to understand. “Sure,” he said, afraid of angering him now. He needed this job. He was getting used to the window. He almost memorized every ingredient in every item in the menu. Life was definitively getting better.

He smiled, put his head set on, and walked towards the window.

Después de mi última lectura de “La biblioteca de Babel”, de Borges, hice los siguientes apuntes (como para ayudarme a entender de qué se trata). Si todavía no leyeron el cuento, acá hay un link.

Hay una cantidad finita de libros (ningún libro se repite, pero la biblioteca es total) No todos los libros contienen todos los caracteres posibles, lo que hace que el número de libros sea incalculable. Hay obras que difieren por una letra o una coma.  Los bibliotecarios fueron desapareciendo, dando lugar al caos. Tal vez al principio la finalidad de la biblioteca era conocida, pero eventualmente se convirtió es un misterio. La perdida de esa información, sumada a la falta de orden, va causando que la biblioteca se destine al desorden total. La resignación de algunos a no saber nunca la finalidad de la biblioteca es parte de ese caos. La combinación azarosa de todos los caracteres crean muchos libros que tienen sentido, y otros que no, como el universo… Los hombres buscan conocer su destino en alguno de los libros, lo cual es imposible. Tal vez por eso Sócrates condena a los libros, porque no pueden enseñarnos a pensar o a intuir el sentido de la vida: sólo pueden darnos algunas instrucciones con respecto a las técnicas que se pueden usar para hallar esa información. ¿ Qué representa la secta blasfema?  Buscar a un Dios por medios humanos (peregrinajes, la construcción de una torre para llegar a él) es insuficiente e irremediablemente ineficaz. – escalera al cielo (el Hombre del Libro es comparado a una escalera). El sistema propuesto es similar al ejercicio de poner un ladrillo encima de otro para construir una torre que eventualmente nos lleve a la divinidad. Todo lo que se puede decir ya está dicho (tautologías) 

 Después de lo cual escribí la siguiente conclusión (brevísima, incompleta, y más que probablemente, incorrecta)

Entiendo que tal vez, por medio de sus descripciones complicadas y plurivalentes, Borges está tratando de darnos una idea de lo que se sentiría estar dentro de la biblioteca con sólo leer acerca de ella: el número aparentemente infinito de pasillos, de libros, de su existencia, están simbolizados por la cantidad posible (o imposible) de interpretaciones a los símbolos presentados por el autor.

Para ilustrar lo dicho, pensemos en los miembros de la secta que se menciona en el libro, la cual en su celo de orden destruyó millones de libros: ¿Qué representa esa secta? En mi opinión podría ser un gobierno represivo; o podría considerarse un grupo religioso opresivo y fanático; aunque alguien podría argüir que en realidad se trata de algún elemento en el subconsciente del hombre que tiende al orden y la armonía, y que exige que el caos y el desorden sean evitados. Las interpretaciones son numerosísimas, al igual que las posibles interpretaciones de cada elemento del cuento: ¿Qué es la biblioteca? ¿Qué representan los libros? ¿Qué simbolizan los 25 caracteres que se repitan a lo largo de cada uno de los libros? ¿Qué es el Hombre del Libro?

Pero de todos los símbolos presentados, el que más me llamó la atención fue el uso del hexágono. Después de hacer una búsqueda sobre las propiedades del hexágono, descubrí que es una de las formas que mejor permite el aprovechamiento espacial. El círculo es la figura geométrica que permite el mayor aprovechamiento de un espacio físico, y tal vez por eso el infinito está representado por un círculo; pero el hexágono, el cual es más simple de construir que el círculo, es el poliedro preferido por las abejas al construir las colmenas, por ejemplo, las cuales necesitan el mayor espacio posible en el cual vivir y guardar la mayor cantidad posible de la miel que producen. Borges dice que la forma de la biblioteca es una esfera formada por hexágonos. ¿Podría ser que la biblioteca de Babel fuera una colmena?

El hexágono, al ser una figura tan cercana al círculo, podría explicar por qué los habitantes de la biblioteca piensan que ésta es infinita. Y sin embargo, no lo es. Constantemente el narrador nos está dando indicios de que la biblioteca es finita, pero algo en él insiste que sus límites no tienen fin. ¿Pero cómo se explica esta contradicción? En mi opinión, la biblioteca no es un simple lugar para guardar libros, sino que es el centro de la vida de la gente que vive en ella, por lo tanto es comprensible que el significado del edificio haya pasado a ser algo espiritual, religioso. El mismo narrados, el cual nos dice que es inconcebible pensar en el Hombre del Libro, un libro que contenga a todos los demás libros, y, sin embargo, ruega que ese libro haya sido visto por alguien, y que alguna persona, aunque no sea él, pueda haber conocido el cielo por medio de ese libro. La posibilidad de pensar que la infinita felicidad es posible es suficiente para causar la felicidad, aunque el mero concepto sea inconcebible.

Soy de la humilde opinión que Borges, por medio de la innumerable cantidad de preguntas y de caminos distintos que el cuento permite, y la cantidad de bifurcaciones que cada interpretación ofrece, ha creado con éxito el laberinto literario del que habla en “El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan”:  

Yo tenía un íntimo amigo. Era un tipo bastante pulenta; bah, tenía sus cosas, sus impulsos suicidas cada tanto, pero a pesar de eso, parecía que sus deseos de vivir eran más o menos normales, bastante promedio.

Y sin embargo hoy se le dio por caminar por los alambres que cruzan de su casa a la casa del vecino, pensando que con esa acción ridícula e imbécil iba a impresionar a alguien, porque si algo tenía mi amigo era una autoestima de lo más lamentable, y este tipo de demostración patética era lo que le ayudaba a sentirse importante. Desde allá arriba él pensaba que era el más grande, mientras que uno de abajo sabía que lo único bueno que podría salir de todo eso es que no se cayera y se reventara la cabeza en pedacitos. Y eso es justo lo que le pasó el otro día mientras caminaba por los alambres por enésima vez: pisó mal, dio un salto, hizo una pirueta, no sé qué carajo quiso inventar, y se cayó de marote al asfalto. Se hizo mierda y palmó al instante.

Hoy mi amigo es un zombi, y carajo que me caen mal los zombis. Un zombi cualquiera, como esos del Cerro que centran su vida en los fantásticos atributos de sus teléfonos celulares y de los reproductores de DVD de sus autos.

Una lástima realmente. Esperemos que resucite pronto, porque la verdad que lo extraño.

En Septiembre, la policía en Madison, Wisconsin, dijo que el contenido de alcohol en la sangre de Milo G. Chamberlain elevaba a .425, lo cual, según expertos, sólo se puede conseguir muriendo o entrando en coma. Pero Chamberlain fue recogido, claramente consciente, después de haber causado disturbios en una gasolinera en Marathon, donde se dice que Chamberlain comenzó a pelear con una bomba de gasolina antes de ser restringido por un transeúnte. La policía comento que Chamberlain respondió a cada una de sus preguntas con números sueltos.

Sintió que si él, entonces, hubiera podido elegir o soñar su muerte, ésta es la muerte que hubiera elegido o soñado. ─J. L. Borges. El Sur.

Gregorio Achtchus era hijo de inmigrantes alemanes, los cuales terminaron en la Argentina varias décadas atrás, como consecuencia de la guerra y la promesa de que esa tierra era incomparable en su riqueza y hermosura. Con mucho trabajo compraron un terreno en la Pampa gaucha, la cual Gregorio mantuvo por medio de algunos sacrificios, tales como dejar de jugar golf los sábados que caían en 29 los febreros de los años bisiestos.

A pesar de haber estado varias veces en el país teutón, Gregorio siempre regresaba a su cómodo departamento en Florida, no tanto por sentir un arraigamiento patrio, sino porque le daba mucha vagancia aprender el alemán; pero no dejaba pasar una ocasión de tertulia con sus amigos en la que no mencionaba la vergüenza que le daba vivir en el cono sur siendo que Europa era tan superior en todo, che. Los amigos afirmaban con la cabeza, envidiándole sus escapadas al viejo continente. Eran pertenecientes al grupo autodenominado argentinos ilustrados y progresistas, que soñaban con una patria ideal, pero que estaban demasiado ocupados tomando café en el Tortoni y autocongratulándose como para hacer algo.

A fines de febrero del 2005, Gregorio compró un DVD de las Mil y una noches (siempre había querido leer el libro pero le daba fiaca porque era tan largo), y como no quiso esperar el ascensor, subió las escaleras corriendo hasta el tercer piso donde estaba su departamento. Al abrir la puerta, la madre le preguntó qué le había pasado en el dedo. Al mirarlo, Gregorio vio un puntito de sangre en el ápice del dedo índice de la mano izquierda: el plástico de seguridad en la caja del DVD le había producido el corte, y esa visión dantesca le nubló la mirada. Lo que siguió fue el vacío.

Gregorio despertó en la cama de un hospital. El doctor le dijo que estaba bien, y que no entendía las razones del desmayo, ya que su salud estaba en excelente estado. Sugirió que tal vez la causa sería estrés, y le recomendó que pasara varios días en la estancia de la familia en la Pampa. Gregorio afirmaba con la cabeza, demasiado avergonzado como para confesar la verdadera razón del desmayo.

Un taxi llevó a Gregorio hasta la terminal de ómnibus, donde se tomó un colectivo que lo llevaría a la estancia. Mientras se recostaba en la comodidad de su asiento, sacó un reproductor portátil de DVD en el que planeaba ver las Mil y una noches. Viajar con esa película, que había sido la causa de sus males, le puso la piel de gallina, y prefirió ver el DVD de La guerra de las galaxias, episodio 3, que también llevaba consigo.

El colectivo pinchó una rueda en el pueblo anterior a donde la estancia de los Achtchus estaba ubicada, y el inspector del colectivo le informó que había una panchería a tres cuadras, donde podría esperar hasta que se arreglara el inconveniente con el vehículo. Caminó las tres cuadras y ordenó los tres panchos y la Coca por dos pesos. Gregorio estaba en su mesa, tranquilo, viendo La guerra de las galaxias en su reproductor de DVD portátil, cuando una miga de pan le golpeó en la frente. Levantó la mirada y vio a un grupo de mozos en una mesa cercana riéndose. Lo dejó pasar. A los dos minutos otra bolita de miga cayó en el vaso de Coca. Gregorio cerró el reproductor de DVD y se levantó para irse, cuando el mozo le dijo:

─No les haga caso, don. Es que están medio en pedo ¿Vio?”

Gregorio se sentó de nuevo, y esta vez un pedazo entero de pan lo golpeó en la cabeza, causando gran risa entre todos los que estaban en el lugar. Gregorio se levantó y los enfrentó.

─¿Qué es lo que están buscando?─Les preguntó, poniendo la pose más maleva que le salía.

Uno de ellos se levanto, tambaleando, jugando a exagerar la borrachera, y sacando un cuchillo le gritó:

─Si tenés algún problema, vamos afuera. Ahí nos vamos a arreglar.

─Pero muchachos ¿No ven que el hombre está desarmado?─Interfirió el mozo, más preocupado por la cuenta que no había sido pagada todavía que por la salud del visitante.

Un viejo, que hasta el momento había estado aparentemente durmiendo en una de las mesas del fondo, le tiró un cuchillo que fue a parar a sus pies. Gregorio lo levantó, y lo consideró como una invitación de la Pampa a que fuera a pelear. Media hora más tarde, cuando los mozos pendencieros se fueron, Gregorio destrabó la puerta del baño y salió, asomando la cabeza primero para asegurarse de que no había moros en la costa.

─No se haga problemas─ le dijo el mozo, ─los muchachos ya se fueron. Si quiere le llamo un taxi. Además, no se ande avergonzando por haber salido corriendo y encerrarse en el baño. Si uno no está acostumbrado a pelear con cuchillos, lo mejor es rajar.

Gregorio no estaba avergonzado. Estaba sumamente aliviado de que ya todo estuviera tranquilo. A los veinte minutos el colectivo salió para la estancia, donde se quedó por tres días y tuvo que volver porque el jefe le amenazó con echarlo si no regresaba pronto. Gregorio murió años después de sobredosis de cafeína, una tarde mientras estaba sentado en el Tortoni discutiendo con sus amigos cómo el mundo tenía que cambiar, o si no…