Un small child recognizes the corridors of the huge department store. He has escaped from his mother’s hand. The woman has crouched down to take a couple of cans on the grocery shelf and the first-born takes the opportunity. Despite being so small, his memory retains the path to the toy store since the last time he was there. Their laughter catches the attention of the clients who are there. A tiny being, white as milk, with its hair still reddish and thin, runs in disarray. He still does not know how to cushion his steps and with each step his trunk vibrates and rocks dangerously sideways. The new cerebellum keeps it standing and keeps moving. He discovers the colors, the aroma of plastic and turns in that passageway, tall and imposing, while his mother stands up and goes out in his quest. Look sideways. A shot in his head: the toy store. He’s headed there. It is not far, but a few meters away a scream activates his body. The scream is a natural call, your child is in danger and strides are longer. It slides on the ground when trying to brake but inertia overrides. Floors Walmart are always impeccable. He goes on long, with his body lying on the ground, trying to grasp anything but does not get it. Despite the slip, his eyes point to the scene, to his flesh.
The boy is lying on his young ass. She cries without comfort and howls. He crawls as he can backwards, but the diapers keep him from moving away because they have remained stuck to the floor. In front of him is the reason for fear and upheavals of the future. He is a big man, big and thick. Its face is broad and the features have a lot of volume. He has a wart on his nose and a bushy eyebrow. Crooked teeth and gums protrude menacingly from the mouth that, open to the maximum, lets you see the bell and the angina. The boy has thought that it is a golem, a strange being who has come for him to devour him. But no. The man in front of him, lying on his knees, holds out a robot and says, “Ihá, ihá. An-fo-me. An-fo-me! “The mother has managed to reach, but not unharmed, even the child who has suddenly stopped screaming. The boy takes the monkey while still looking at the eyes of the possible monster. It is a transformer on its packaging. The individual stands and makes a series of movements. “Opi-mus-Pá,” he says. He bends down again and pointed the toy with his huge finger touches the chest leader Cybertrons . And it stops again. «Opi-mus-Pá». Touch your chest. And point to the toy.
The manager appears. He tells the lady not to be frightened. It’s just a special friend of Walmart . She asks if it is not dangerous. He replies no. He has been playing there for more than 10 years and has never hurt anyone. That to Walmart is important to respect the policies of attention to each of its customers, regardless of their creed, social status, race or disability. The man goes back to the floor and takes another piece from the shelves. The woman ends up buying the Optimus Prime , as his son did not want to let go. Once again, the strange market strategy has worked unintentionally. “Save and add something to your life”, he reaches to read on the vest of the young woman who charges him in the box.
My name is Efe and my heart is broken.
Let’s talk about someone else here, just to give up on us for a while. Come on, you just need to turn off the engines and stop blowing the psychological injuries. Because according to the poet Mark Strand,
A scar recalls the wound.
The wound recalls the pain.
Once again you’re crying.
I am a part-time researcher. We can not say that I provide the services of a regular detective, television, box office, spectacular. I just look for clues, I follow people, I make notes in my notebook. I do not charge. I try to have an extraordinary life based on others. I look at them, I watch them, I look at them. I’m like a drag. Their lives make me happy, I suffer with them. Sometimes, in the trucks, I am so close to their bodies that my shoulder touches theirs; I listen attentively even if they do not address me, I seat them secretly, write down their names, I take a photograph. The day is long and when I finish with one, I go after another. I’m like a disease, like a virus, like swine fever, from one victim to another. Squeezing the stories they have for me. But this only when I pay attention to the world that turns on my feet. When I turn off the central system and avoid the vortex, the chaos that is fueled by ideas, vanity, leisure, abandonment. I must not think, I must not let go of the leash to the Unconscious, because it turns on life. Insomnia is an atmosphere. I sleep with my eyes open, while the son of a bitch of the Master is poured over the world. I just listen to my conversations with my friends. He makes me look ridiculous and laughs, while I, paralyzed to the ass, caress a spiritual pet that barks in my ear. I’m alone, I tell myself, I’m broken. Life is cruel and amorphous.
My name is Efe, my heart is broken and I’m looking for other fractures. Love has made me much smaller than I was. The abandonment of my wife has broken me and I have had to distract myself from the pain looking for the pain of others. The Germans have a word for this: Schadenfreude, a vertical feeling very similar to the joy occasioned by the unhappiness of the other. At first he visited emergency rooms in public hospitals. I drank coffee while men beside me bleed with a hole in their heads. I saw children with their arms split into several pieces, women with bloody English, subjects tied to a stretcher with perforated stomach. His cries relaxed me. Their screams had the same effect as a symphonic orchestra in the ears of an old pervert who wears a frac in the concert hall. Life was good at first. The torment of others excited me. But one day they discovered me. And I was kicked in the ass. A burning kick that did not give me honest emotions. A kick that reminded me – as Strandk says – of the scar, which in turn reminded me of the wound, which in turn reminded me of the pain and which in turn made me cry.
Stop the tearing. Let’s get to that. To distract us, let us think of those invisible subjects who slide into immediacy. The silent shadows that are confused with the trees, the parking meters, the walls. Beings that burn, I have seen, and leave a trail, a light flash that confuses pedestrians. They are the uncivilized, those who stayed on the sidelines. Those who howl, those who babble without ever reaching to articulate a “coherent” idea about the agitation of the days. Let’s talk about them not to think about us. The neighbors.
This is how this story begins. In the midst of crying. Wandering the streets with his ass kicked. Paying attention to the next fire, to the foreign fire: to the Other. The different one. Those subjects who inadvertently, without realizing it, carry a fissure in their spirit. Those guys who drag their lives in silence and who, in addition to carrying a broken heart, are hungry, cold and afraid.
My heart nucleus is fucked, but my apartment is intact, I think, as I caress my butt and watch a vagabond pass by, talking to his imaginary friend. I listen and understand that your aunt was on vacation and most likely the dogs will have a dog party dedicated to him. “I’m the guest of honor, what’s the matter? What if I’m going to go? I bought this suit, do not you see? ” It gave me enough laughter, his rags reminded me of those grunge years. The beggar gets lost when turning Chinese food into a restaurant. It has opened my appetite despite everything. I go home.
I do not believe in intelligent design, but the coincidences like this make me shiver. Coming home, while as a bean burrito, I opened the email. Here I transcribe it.
Today we remember you. We were in Cerro de la Campana drinking a wine when a loquito stopped in front of us. He gave us a lot of laughs. I think you could write something about him. I leave the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P2qF1Gm5CM .
Kisses. Bety. “
I follow the link. It takes me to a Youtube page. And there are my friends. Bety, the mail, Malena, Carlos and Paul. His cheerful talk is interrupted suddenly by the appearance of a tall, heavyset subject with a large head. He is wearing a navy blue sports pants and is approaching them. The one from the camera, Paul, focuses on it. He has a doll in his hands. Immediately I recognize it. It’s Ramon. My cousin. I put pause. I get up from the chair, caressing my glutes again. “The wound remembers the pain!” I shout at the heavens. Or to the roof of my house that’s like a sky because I’ve hit stars that glow in the dark.
I sit back, I press Play. Ramon, pointing in all directions, wants to say something, but can not articulate. He caresses his forehead and shows them the sweat. They, my friends, understand the message. “Did you get tired?” They asked. They exchange noises and cut words. He tells them that he has walked up the concentric avenue that reaches the top. The wind bursts into the microphone of the video camera. Then a moment of silence. Ramon goes to the edge of the viewpoint, rides on the stones and thinks, as would the good Zarathustra. Something happens in there, I tell myself. I close my eyes for a moment and try to put myself in its place. I’m crazy, the world is out there. I do not know what shit he thinks. It is impossible to locate me from your perspective. I open my eyes, he shows them his wrist, they see his wardrobe, “the clothes are made of plasticine,” somebody says.
“Ah, yes,” says Ramon.
-Hey? Malena asks.
“Oh, hey,” he says, touching Barbie’s breasts.
“Ah, chichis! They shout in chorus.
“Oh, my,” my cousin smiles, “I suppose I see the enormity of Malena.”
“Take two!” And look at her nalgotas, it’s Ninel Conde, “she says.
Because he does not know who he is, he can not, he is only a child, even though his body is that of a man of 30 years. He scratches his head. Paul fires his question, “What’s the name of the doll?” Ramón does not waste time, he has realized that his interlocutors do not dominate the bleating with which he expresses himself and throws himself to the ground. Write in the sand. Put your finger on the fine gravel and imagine, in slow motion, the grooves that makes its index when scrawling the letters that correspond to its name. “Bella,” he writes. They, my friends, are moved. I, I stop the recording, I feel very proud. My cousin knows how to spell the word without misspellings, it is a step further than many of my Facebook contacts.
The video continues. He gets up, says no more, starts his way back. Must descend. He approaches a parked car, but his passengers climb the windows in fear, reverse and flee. My friends are still recording and shouting “scary, do nothing”. Ramon looks at them with affection from afar. His smile grows longer. He glances again at the city, huge and white, swollen from the midday light. He’s coming back. Without fear, without pain. Your heart is intact.
I do not believe in history because it is only a collection of narrative accessories. I admit only the collective unconscious, the geographical and consecutive accidents, gradual, become the reality, in the summary of time. History is a cosmetic, a simulation, a redoubt. We seek to make sense of hysteria, the whims of the Master (the unconscious), the true architect of History, the Secret History of Man.
I see Ramon in the distance, in memory. In his life there is no Paris, nor the Parthenon. There is nothing, just a trajectory. Your routine. Beyond his obsessive activities, the world is an unexplored shadow. The difference here is that Ramon does not need the Other to exist. While others identify him daily as the man of the doll that always happens at the same time. It is like a clock, like a sunset, imminent, imperturbable and quiet.
I have started a new file. I have decided to make a more serious investigation into Ramon. There is a family party and although I do not usually attend these events – except for that funeral in the life of my grandmother Emilia – I do a surprise act of presence. I have my tape recorder on and I do not waste time, I throw a series of questions that seek to solve the unknown: What has Ramon? What is your disorder? What were the causes? Is it a genetic or physiological condition? I have never asked because I have lived in the space-time tunnel of my life. Because I have not been interested in the world that burns outside me. Because we assume that a broken heart is going to paralyze us. But here we are, with a cap on his head and a plate of cake in his hands. I look for the similarities between the way of life of Ramón padre and Ramón hijo. And my uncle has always been a little different from his brothers. Man seems to be silent all he thinks, as if life (unlike us, others) happened outside of himself.
To my uncle I remember him wrapped in a halo of darkness, always with a smile and his eyes covered by a light other than the brightness, the brightness. A black light covering his pupils secretly. Always serious, able to work the wood, handle plumbing, blacksmithing, any craft that requires years of practice. He is the repairman, the man who knows how to fix the pipes, put doors, raise a wall, weld a fence, build a house. If I go to the past, I can see it restoring fractures, like an insect that is not afraid of time, I imagine it in front of a broken object trying to mend it. And it has been different since the beginning.
The condition appears from the very childhood of my uncle. His brothers, Jose Luis and my father, detail the problem: “It is that Ramón was also similar to him.” It does not seem strange to them, even, it is quite normal for Ramón hijo to have this disorder when his father, in the dawn of his life, behaved in a bizarre way.
Efe: Let’s talk about my uncle Ramon, when he was a child.
Uncle José Luis: I remember my brother in infancy. There is an anecdote that I can not pass up. A strange Christmas story. Every December 25 he got up very early to look at the toys that had “dawned” on him and hammered them. Nothing would last. He was sick of the head. At that time we had carts of tin plate. Pinches hammering. We all woke up very frightened. We went into the living room and there was destroying the new toy, dismembering each of its parts.
Father: He removed the wheels of carts to whistle, he spent whistling.
Uncle José Luis: Doña Emilia, your grandmother, had two children born out of hospital. Ramón and Alfonso. Those two were born at my nanny’s house with a midwife. In his childhood, Ramon was very difficult. He did not like being cut off. I remember that he had an epileptic attack and was hospitalized for a long time. Your grandparents decided not to cut their hair like a command and grew a long braid, to the waist.
Father: I think that has nothing to do with my brother has been different with your child ‘s condition. We all know, Ramoncito is like this because his mother, Sisa, fell when she was pregnant. He had an epileptic fit.
Not much is said about my uncle, the comments are concentrated on his son. Quickly everyone wants to say what happened, why Ramon had a different son. Some begin to develop their own theories. No one has a diagnosis, no one remembers what the doctors said. There are no papers, only memory.
Uncle José Luis: Ramon was born normal or at least it seemed that was normal. However, when they fed him there was a problem, he returned the food. But as he grew older he began to notice that something was wrong, he could not speak normally, he just made noises with his mouth, so they took him to a special school. And yes, he managed to speak a little better, he understood. There were improvements, within what fits.
It’s true, I remember some diphthongs coming out of his huge tongue. If I concentrate well I can hear it in the depths of the brain. There, where electricity is discharged without further order. Ramoncito is in front of me and extends my hand. I Strong. We greet each other but he squeezes with all his might. It compresses my hand, the phalanges resent the weight of all energy. “I’m strong. You do not”. It eliminates the pressure and invites me to crush it with all my potential. I pretend (not so much) that I do not have the same vigor as him and I bend: I throw myself on my knees. He points at me with the index. “You are not strong. Me: Yes”. I lose your attention and go with someone else. We all stand before the king of strength, of the squeezes. In the back pocket of his trousers, instead of bringing a resorter, he has deposited one of his wrists. Maybe it’s Bella. I will never know.
Efe: What happened? Why did you leave school special?
Uncle José Luis: they could not get out of his house. He liked a caricature very much. The ninja turtles. Nor could several of them drag him out of bed. It is very heavy, very strong. He chose that ritual and there was no human force that could take him out of his room. So, in the end, they had to leave the institute.
So the turtles overcame education. You might think that Destroyer, the enemy archi with metal claws, was actually colluded with the shell quartet. Among everyone, including Splinter’s damn wise rat, they ruined my cousin’s diction, his apprenticeship. Because some people remember slightly that period in which it could communicate: the simulation of normality. But these wretched heroes ruined everything. I’ve been thinking about the Ninja Turtles, while my father and my mother are discussing the possible origin of Ramon’s disorder.
Mother: A lady Sisa, they will always beat their attacks.
Father: No, Ana No..
Mother: Always, always, I always carry the opposite.
Father: What no!
Uncle José Luis intervenes. And tell what happened. I was there, he says. The only time I saw him having an epileptic fit. We traveled in time. My aunt Sisa is pregnant with Ramoncito. The family is in the dining room. She goes to the kitchen to serve herself beans but they are too hot. It burns the hands, the forearm with the delicious party beans. Everyone hears a smothered cry. Sisa goes to her room. There is not much confidence yet. It represses the pain, it crosses the room full of diners and closes. She cries silently. Beans are very aggressive, bellicose. A moment of silence and a dry thump. Sisa fell to the floor. Ramon, her husband, gets up at full speed and opens the door. They find her writhing on the floor. They embrace her, lift her up. My Uncle Ramon, in despair, feels the world closing. He has always been an animal of few customs. Love is new, pregnancy is new, catatonia is new. He leaves the house, runs to the left, realizes that there is nothing on that side, then returns and passes in front of the house, again. It stops in the dry. Better to the right, there are more possibilities. No, left. Everyone, from the porch look at him, moving his head to the beat. Right, left, right, left. No, no, no, no, they all say slowly, even Sisa, who has already recovered and says she does not need an ambulance. One of the brave stands in the path of my uncle and slows him down. It calms things down. They embrace, everything returns to normal. But it is not true, we must never rely on the ferocity of beans. Sisa falls again. It convulses on the floor again. The tummy brushes the floor. Ramoncito, in there, fight against the murderous beans. His father runs here, then there. My aunt is reassured. There is a paramedic, known by the family, named Carmelo. He checks it and spits out the diagnosis: “He has nothing”. It goes. Minutes later it falls again. Another race. Other hugs. Carmelo again. The family demands that they be taken for review. Paramedics accept. My uncle proposes to run behind the ambulance to mitigate the anxiety, besides that he is already in shape and has plenty of energy. It achieves five kilometers without difficulty. Time later, Carmelo will tell my Uncle Jose Luis that in the ambulance he would suffer another spasm that would pull her off the stretcher.
There are already many guests here. Children play with a tiny dog. The family makes jokes. Everyone has fun. I look at them from the door on their lintel. I’ve always been like this, a fucking idiot. Always serious, harmless. In the same way that I admire the pain of others, I can also enjoy the joy and happiness of others. You can say that I’m not nice, but there are tones of empathy that have me fucked. I take a couple of pictures to remember all this. I am moderately happy. Until it occurs to my father to get me out of the trance. It puts me in evidence. He tries to point at me, but he does not try because he’s blind. “Franco is doing an investigation on Ramoncito, he wants to be told anything, an adventure, an anecdote about him, do you know any?” They all talk at the same time. Their voices form a single voice. I do not understand anything. The order is reestablished. Everyone wants to tell their story. My Aunt Petra, who studied psychology, prevails. It says to rajatabla:
Everyone is silent. The sentence is augured, all will be decapitated by the following phrase. She knows. She knows about the subject. We’re just mocking. We are scared, we open our eyes. We expect the coup.
– Ramoncito is very intelligent.
Everyone burst out laughing. Clap, shout, stand. Start the bullying . My cousin Yadira says she expected an insult. “First of all, you’re all assholes,” I thought I was going to say. Laughing again. The voice of the voices emerges. I do not listen to anyone in particular. But in a little while the calm comes and they begin to tell what they know of my cousin.
Jose, Lucy and Jesus tell that once Ramon walked from the colony in which he lives (Malecón, Hermosillo, Sonora) to the exit of the city. He went to look for them at the Gan Expo, a traditional event that has mechanical games, palenques, cattle show and other attractions. It had to go ten kilometers to get there. How did you find the place? Following the traffic of the trailers, the lights. This means that your brain has very advanced functions. Aunt Petra was not wrong after all. Ramon, like a bird, like a cetacean, follows a path for hours to find his family. It really is incredible. He walked as much as an indecisive migrant would upon entering and leaving and re-entering the United States through the desert. In addition, to get to this Expo Gan you have to cross a busy avenue, because we speak here of the exit, a vanishing point of thousands and thousands of cars that come and go. Ramon, he explained with signs and guttural sounds, waited for a policeman to give him the step.
Aunt Norma says that one day traveling in an urban truck, she caught sight of my cousin lying on the floor of the bus stop, next to the waiting bench. Ramoncito, lying on his back with his crossed leg, chatted with his wrist. A passenger next to him says “Look no more, that poor creature there in the sun. What will not his family see for him? ” Aunt Norma sweated a cold drop and only managed to answer, “Yes, right? Where will your family be? ” Then she turns her face so that the lady next to her does not discover her cheeks blushing.
And there is something fascinating in the history of Ramon. Although it suffers from its faculties, it has achieved a solid independence. Your life has its own rules, its own reasoning. There is no fault. He is strict with his times, with his routine. They tell me every one of their movements. His father has taught him well. It has led him, despite the loneliness and harshness and amorphousness of life, to develop an intelligent way of life in his own terms, in his own subjectivity. If it were not for my uncle, Ramon would be in a room, hidden, with fear. However, it has grown strong, without fear, with much energy. Neither the distance nor the climate (almost 50 degrees in summer) stop their march, their customs. Ramon walks, talks, displays his wrists. The city, or at least that small part of the city where it moves daily, knows it. It has different nicknames, many names, “Blue”, “Walker”, “Enfermito”, “Oak”, “Walker Stone”, “Plasticines”, “Lord of Dolls”, etcetera. It is a mysterious character, difficult to catch. I must follow him, spy on his movements. Let’s see what my uncle taught him. Because I imagine the steps, the delicate and slow operation of the two, walking through the city, under the sun, hiding in the shade. I close my eyes and there they are: they move in a straight line. My uncle offers you possibilities, teaches you the options, explains how to cross the streets. Educates him. Because he knows. He will not always be there to look after you. They sit, eat a sandwich, he pulls his shirt, his son points with his long and rough finger something that moves in the distance, a dog, a boy. They write the route, a path that will be printed on the head of Ramon son forever.
The Ramones, my uncle and my cousin, not the punk band, are alone (although, well, I can not get my hands on fire by New Yorkers, as they say that musicians lead a solitary life). But it was not always like this. They had a family. Sisa, Ima and Salt. Sisa, the epileptic. Ima and Salt are sisters of Ramoncito. There was a moment on the x-ray of this family that things shone like any other house. The light spilled all over the house. They all took care of Ramón’s son, who had all the toys he wanted. I was going, I must admit, to visit them a lot. Partly because Ramon and I were not so far away psychically (we were kids) but also because I had hundreds of toys that I could never have. Life was simple, kind and quite formidable. Everyone, despite their own psychological conditions, their fissures, were healthy. Until one day … Sisa, perhaps tired, decided to look elsewhere. He picked up a suitcase and left home. My uncle Ramon was in charge of the three children. And so it was for several years. While attending to the needs of his two daughters, he also organized a plan for Ramón hijo. What else could I do? So he found a way to entertain the elder brother. He showed her the plasticine and the boy fell in love with texture, docility, how easy it was to manipulate the new element of the world. Since then, about 20 years, to date, without fail, Ramon has bought a block of plasticine a day. His father found, who knows whether accidentally or in full consciousness, to develop a creative workshop so that Ramoncito dissolve among the people. We could assume here that the brand finds the most powerful of its customers: a young man who can not articulate his favorite color but who makes his product great pieces of design. This way time passes. Or rather, the time has passed. Blushing Ramon father and strengthening Ramon son.
Sisa, over the years, returned home. But not completely. They decided to leave the huge home in two. Like Berlin one day, the house of Ramon and Sisa is separated by a high, impenetrable fence that originates an irreconcilable east and west. Sisa lives with the girls. There they grew up together. Clinging to a family life made up of half the members, the female. While on the other side, in that part a little abandoned to luck, survive the other two male members, one dark and humble and the other obsessed with the plasticine and with a mental condition. Each one, living their solitude, experiencing in different ways the abandonment. The house has become a kind of laboratory. There is a broken game machine. It only serves the audio. The screen is black, but for Ramón it is enough to hear how he fights against other monkeys in his imagination. We can say that is an expert, a kind of Karate Kid of the slot machines. Although the image is missing, the boy gives a beating, he senses in the blows, in the cries of the opponent. One more victory in the dark. The cupboard contains plasticine, the stove is a cabinet, a secret dresser for the hundreds of dolls that Ramoncito has. The same freezer is lit not to store ham or milk, but to keep solid figures coming out of the mind of the small genius of rough hands. The dining room, the dishwasher, each of the corners are governed by a psychedelic rainbow. The shapes and colors are imposed. On the platform of the kitchen there is a graveyard, a shrine for the mending, there are heads, arms, torsos, and various parts of the different dolls that have passed through their hands. There’s Bella (that doll from the Youtube video sent to me by my friend Bety). Off, without clothes, can hardly be recognized. There is the doll of the video, doomed to oblivion, on its thighs there are traces of yellow plasticine. There is no more exhibition for her. He has fulfilled, it is time to succumb. He has done his job, accompanying Ramon in the darkest moments of solitude. It is a sad image. But what is not? My broken heart beats. The world, Bella knows, there, cast among all the dead, is cruel and amorphous as her own body.
I see all this in situ . I brought my photographer. Argentina is dedicated to shoot with his camera and I ask the questions. I asked my uncle to let me in to see the space to know more about his life, the life of the two. When we arrived, Ramoncito, from his room looks at us and stands up. He closes the step, greets us with strength. He quickly takes us to his blind machine. Push the buttons, move the lever. A woman complains in there, she just slaps someone, then kicks her. He gets up, surely his opponent in there takes advantage of the distraction and hits his player. He goes to the refrigerator, opens it, the apparatus hides an exaggerated amount of objects covered with plasticine. Open the door of the freezer. There is a chilling being. It is an evil character. I pay attention. He’s a man, a Ken. I look around. It’s the only male monkey. This is curious. It seems that it embodies masculinity in this type of evil personages. His suit is aggressive, black in color, has horns and huge eyes on his chest. He wears a cloak he has made with a black bag of trash. I feel a chill and it is not caused by the cold air that comes out of the refrigerator. Man, all men, incarnated in this devilish figure, inhabits the freezer. It seems a ritual, an activity close to mysticism. Close the door, cold and evil hide. He goes here, and there, showing us his pieces, his wrists. Each one with different designs of clothes that he makes. My cousin Ramon, the fashion designer we deserve the Felix family. Your creativity is above that of anyone. His intervention with plasticine has different forms, colors, intentions. Some dolls dress formal, others casual, others have rather Oriental suits. I’m sure many young Otakus would recognize their favorite characters in the making of these costumes. I am incapacitated, I do not recognize anything, I am so out of fashion. But I appreciate the quality craftsmanship. Ramon sits in the machine again. They return the blows, the screams. His father tells me everything I have collected in this investigation, while his son celebrates the invisible victories. Then he takes us to another room where there is a wonderful collection of racing carts. Each is registered with a number. Digits cutting out of calendars. Carry a comprehensive account of each of the strollers. None has the same number. Argentina, the photographer, continues shooting. Ramon is choosing cars and extends them to us. Try to tell us your story. We do not understand. But immediately he addresses his father, who translates in the act. Every word, every sentence. My uncle Ramon has adopted his language. And this is for sure, the German complex falls short. The interaction between the two resides in small, sensitive connectors that achieve communication. For us, a noise coming out of his mouth has no message, but for the father, his son’s brain continues to send signals from the depths, ideas or blows of ideas that translate into verbs, nouns, a love grammar. It is quite touching the degree of complicity that they have achieved. We, who can articulate, we could never understand that mental connection. That kind of love and patience that is found only in extraordinary people.
It’s time to go. But Ramón hijo can not tolerate and caresses the hair of Argentina: look at the extension, its texture, its color and runs to the kitchen, opens a drawer. Will you be hungry? What do you need a fork for? Should I fear for Argentina? There are no utensils in there. Take one more doll. The resemblance to the photographer is really shocking. Both have long black hair. They have large eyes and prolonged eyelashes. They are small and the lips look like two open, soft and red fruits. We laugh. We celebrate the similarity but inside I am crying because I know that I am like the frozen devil that is in the freezer. Argentina is a doll and I a devil with eyes in the chest. My little photographer is inspected but she is not afraid, she tells me later. She felt rather moved. And it is that Ramón is like a noble giant of a story of Oscar Wilde: imposing, coarse but full of love and humility.
Already outside, on the street. Argentina asks me how they feed if the house has become an exclusive playroom for Ramoncito. I explain that father and son eat at my grandmother’s house. They arrive on time at nine o’clock. They have lunch together. Ramon son leaves the home that my grandparents built at around ten. He develops his secret activities (activities that I will personally review tomorrow, as I must follow him in secret) and return at two in the afternoon, to eat. That’s where they both have dinner. In a laboratory, I tell my photographer, you should never eat.
It is a day to follow. One of the most important activities of a broken-hearted detective is to spy on people. Today I am behind Ramoncito. I’ve been following him for hours. My frozen demon condition suffers the heat. But we must apply the beckettiana aporia: I can not go on, I will continue. The path is simple, like one it. But he makes many stops in his way. It entertains with each person. I speak with the first, a taquero that is in the corner of his house. I ask him and he refers to my cousin as “sick.” I eat as a roast for the information. My cousin is on the other side of the street, looking at something on the floor. And while inspecting that, he carries a wrist in his hands. He gets up, scratches his head and continues. I choke because I do not want to pay only for half the club and I do not want to lose my goal. I cross the avenue. Ramon saw a buried stone. He put some plasticine on one of the corners. There it goes. Now talk to a truck checker. He is a fat man who smiles. They talk for a long time. They are old friends. The gentleman explains something. Ramon, for his part, also tells him some things. I’m not sure the subject can understand it. I’m under a tree. Again we move forward. I’d rather not talk to the man and pass him by. We reached the whereabouts of my Aunt Norma. Here we are. I have my cousin a few meters away. He sits down where my aunt saw him lying on his back. If you asked me where your family is looking for him, what would he answer? Surely I would blush too. Ramon does not recognize me. The bowler hat and beard that I wear do an excellent job. Although I must admit that my face is drenched with sweat. My notebook contains ample drops on the pages on which I write this down. No one tells you anything. I think this place is important to him. He does not teach anyone’s wrist. He looks at her for a long time and then looks away at people. At times he looks like a normal boy. A truck stops and a lady descends with a red skirt attached to her body. She looks. Look at the ass, and me too, just to find out what he’s looking at, and for a moment we share, my cousin and I, a drive alien to us, quite animal. We watched her move forward and wiggle her hips. She’s a pretty pretty woman. Now we know that Ramon not only has an aesthetic sense for the making of his designs, but also is attracted to the female body. What clothes would you wear for this sunny day, Ramon? I imagine, for a moment, that girl wrapped in plasticine. Almost three hours have passed. We move on. He stops countless times, he talks to people. Another taquero. How many taqueros do you know, Ramon? I talk to them as he walks away. They know him very well, they say that he always happens at this hour. He, “he says to me, lowering his voice,” and that fat one back there. They are like clocks, punctual. I glance, a man with a mustache, a little overpowered by the religiosity of the tacos, smiles every time he takes a bite of his food. We follow. I follow. I’ve almost forgotten my broken heart. In the midday light, we are traveling brothers, like a couple of gypsies. I do not know what I’m saying, I’m starting to rave. I should have had another taco next to the compulsive mustache. Now I’m out of stationery. It’s been several minutes. And he comes out with a small bag in his hands. I go in and talk to the owners. “The blue”. That’s what they tell you. I think the nickname is so modernist. I question them and say it is because they always ask for the plasticine of that color. “A-hú,” cries my cousin. «A-hu». The owners of the stationery Gutierrez have learned over the years to master an important part of my cousin’s language. They are years, they tell me, those who have come. There was not one day missing. This is the stationery that my uncle taught you, is the one he will use while he can. I go out and start the search. It continues its way on a street full of premises, where most hairdressers are located. I hope so. But it does not come out any more. Is a modern cut being made? What the hell does he do in a hair salon? I pay attention to the locals. There is an internet cafe that has the look of aesthetics. Now it is clear. He’s in there playing the little machines. I enter the Froggys (so called the place). At the back are the machines. There are many, and there are also many cholos who play there, vagabonds without office, sane who have escaped from their classes to come and have fun. They push themselves, they fight, they give blows. But Ramon is undisturbed. You know him. No one bothers you. He raises his arms, laughs. It is no longer new. I guess they were annoying at first, but now it’s on stage. It mixes between them. I feel very insecure. Are not you afraid, Ramon? Let’s get out of here. Look at these people. I go with the owner and talk to him. “I do not give information from my clients,” he says as seriously as a sentry. I try to convince him but he replies by pointing the newspaper, “Look, I’m not going to tell you anything, because then my clients end up on the news.” I look at the newspaper, it is La I, the most sensationalist in the region. On the cover appear two men and one woman arrested for murdering someone. My eyes widen. “My clients are protected, I will not say a word. I do not want to keep running out of people, who’s going to play machines if they’re all under arrest? ” The man in the freezer takes over me. It makes me cold again. Assassins, Ramon, did you hear that? I step back but reacts owner Froggys , changes gesture, one more friendly, “Just kidding! What do you want to know? I’ll tell you everything. ” His voice is even simpler. He adjusted his glasses. “Ramon? Oh, he’s my best customer, you know why? You do not know. Because it never fails, and also does not fight with anyone. On the other hand the others, there they are passing punching, I do not know how to separate them. But Ramon, not him to come. Pum pam pucks, and that’s it. Look, look at your watch. In an hour it ends and it leaves. Without saying anything, without pleading, without mishaps. Really. Also, deodorant is put on. It does not stink. On the other hand, these chaps are squeezing the hinge very hard. ” Speak very fast. I do not have time to intervene to ask anything, he has a disarmed computer in his hands. “To see this. Yes Yes. You have to move here. How do you see her with Ramon? Look, this is always happening. Has not happened to you? Here at Froggys it always happens. That you open the computer and everything, you find the problem, you fix it and everything is wonderful. I plug it in and turn it on. It’s perfect, is not it? No, because after I close the compu, that I put all the screws, again, does not catch. He is the goblin of computer science. Do you know him? In each computer there is a small leprechaun that breaks down the devices. One day I’m going to catch the wretch. To see, to see. Yes now. Oh … It does not catch … What’s wrong? A circuit, no, not a circuit. The blue wire was correct. Yes”. I leave it there talking to the goblin and I sneak into the engine room. Who is the real madman in this playground? Ramon, the owner of Froggys or me? Or the young man who sells churros and who has come shaking his hips to make a sale.
There’s Ramon. As soon as I stand in the doorway he perceives me but does not pay much attention to me, he returns to his own. Why do not I hear the kicks, the cries of a battered woman? I come to see what he is playing. I get scandalized. Something impressive happens. Ramon is connected to an extremely unexpected game. Grand Theaft Auto 5 . An extremely violent video game. I think the worst. I have too many doubts. Will not it be dangerous? I must find some answers. Meanwhile I see it carefully move the lever and press buttons. I realize something very peculiar. The monkey, instead of owning a machine gun and annihilating everyone, as any boy would do, is only walking through the city called Los Santos. I see that virtual Ramon riding the body of an African-American malefactor. He has saved his shotgun. He has become a pedestrian. It does not attract attention, nobody looks at it badly, nor do they flee despite being tall and black with “cholo-like appearance”. My cousin has found the intended normality that escapes from this side of the screen. It transits correctly on the sidewalks, does not push, it does not steal, it does not assault, it does not kill anybody, it does not conclude the missions and therefore the game becomes much longer. He walks in real life to this mechanical point. There is a vortex here, a dimensional door. The head of the Negro named Franklin has a mental illness. A disease that I could not identify. Poor Mr. Franklin, there goes, through the streets, waiting for the pedestrian traffic light to turn green. Who could see you, Franklin, so normative? The boys in your neighborhood should be making fun of you. I feel a relief. Ramón does not practice violence in this game considered one of the most perverse generationally. I’m proud, Ramon. You are the most subversive of gamers. The character continues marching, now crosses a bridge and the sun goes down. Its beautiful. We all know. Next to me, a pair of cholos very similar to Franklin look at the screen. They enjoy the fracture of the game. The last sunsets over the electronic world. One of the rogues beside me sighs. A love, a broken heart. I extend my hand, I want to make the official salute of the wounded men. But there is not yet one. He raises his fist at the level of his chest and I hit him with my left hand too tight. Then I raise my arm and hold it there. I can see myself in the reflection of the screen that protects the most radiant of the sunsets.
I found a psychologist. Her name is Rosario López, she is part of the academic body of the University of Sonora. I appreciate your participation in my research. I show you the video I saw earlier, the one of the doll Bella that passed me my friend Bety. Rosario, has immediately identified the condition: Autism. The first thing he does is tell me that you should not talk to him like he’s abnormal. That is the first mistake, which therefore behaves like a babbling child. I point out first my doubts and in the end his complete comment:
Frank: it really be a difference in diction Ramon if he had another deal? That is to say, if Ramón were spoken to him as an adult and not treated as a child, could he change not only his language but also his psychic changes? Do you know of a similar case?
Rosario: Based on what I saw in the video and more than anything, reviewing the behavior of Ramon, I could detect that the boy obviously have treated him as a person with mental retardation, so responds that way. It is undeniable that the interaction they have had with him has thus developed, under those terms of the “sick”. On the other hand, there may be changes in his language if he is properly stimulated, if he is corrected and his linguistic modes are regulated. What I mean by this? That it is possible to work with him linguistic transference, because Ramón counts on its language, and in language I mean that it understands certain things. If you look closely at the video he points out that the doll has clothes and then places the same clothes as the woman that appears there. Point number one: Identifies objects. Point number two: Know the meaning (name). Point number three: Find differences between (objects) skirt and pants. This can be included in the basic repertoire of the behaviors of a person with mental retardation. As for a psychic change there would be no significant changes. And I mean with significant changes, the neurological damage that is there; Has a delay and is not going to remove, although of course you can train to have a 50% autonomy in your daily life, but watch out … this involves a daily job (routine activities).
Franco: If you do not have a family to care for them , how many possibilities are autistic autonomy, to keep themselves on their own?
Rosario: I know many similar cases. From the patient who did not receive psychological or psychiatric help, until the one that was correctly attended. Unfortunately the condition has been stigmatized and those who suffer it are rejected and the most regrettable thing is that they are minimized. Here is the example of the people in the video. In the voice it is noticed that they speak to him like delayed and, consequently, he will respond like delayed. If you treat him like a fool, you will behave as such.
Franco: What’s with the doll Ramon? What a symbolism there is. That is, is there a particularity, is it like a totem in some psychiatric illness? I have no idea of this I’m just guessing. It’s my intuition as a mind detective.
Rosario: I do not know the story of Ramon, but I see you have been treated like always, presents a picture of attachment behaviors (wrist), autistic assuming that Ramon is, continually present behavior imitation, his brain acts as a Video recorder and as you mention it “your designs also come from imitation. He makes costumes for his favorite characters, that is, he has models of imitation. ” Why? The autistic are very receptive, very sensitive, their sense of touch is impressive, everything they can feel is usually part of their obsessions. These are rather vestibular or sensory issues. They need the object, if they find it in a sensory way is stimulating for them, if vestibular need the object because it gives them security, it is like an important informational input to feel their body. The plasticine stimulates him, so he always works with that material in his dresses, are the designs of his favorite character, based on images that remain in his memory and that plasma as the only way out. They are significant images, do not look for much explanation to this, they are managed in this way, if Ramón was attended as it should be with professional help, he could develop his creativity and his imagination surprisingly.
Franco: dresses dolls are made with clay Ramon. There is some inventiveness, a lot of creativity, but also his designs start from imitation. He makes costumes for his favorite characters, that is, he has models of imitation. This, on the subject of that Ramon is entertained playing video games. I wonder, how worrying is to play the GTA 5 . Could this permeate your behavior?
Rosario: As for video games, yes there is a chance … I do not want to use the word danger, but may be of care, since they mimic, and are constantly changing reinforcing stimuli. As far as I read, he really likes video games. At the moment they are his stimulus, and his answer is to manipulate it, but the same can happen if he changes this stimulus and no longer wants to manipulate the game if it does not become so to speak in the game. I tell you this because I work with autistics, I see how they change from one stimulus to another, and how their emotions are affected by (environment, biological changes, emotions, etc.). They react to the temperaments they perceive and especially to the temperament they have at that moment.
In 1913, the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler published the book dementia praecox or der Gruppe der Schizophrenien , which coined the term autism, which is derived from the Greek word eaftismos and that becomes “locked in oneself.” The condition has a particular symptom: the patient conceals the outside world with the excess of his inner life. He succumbs to the harassment of his fantasies to evade his hypersensitivity. In other words, it turns to the imagination to close the violence with which the outside world presents itself. But there is no total break with the environment, in most cases there is a connection with the exteriority, however, there are those who do not have this fortune and are lost in a final stupor. Ramon is one of the patients who have been lucky. It has grace and causes sympathy in others. He writes a communication, highly encrypted, but communication at last, when he shows his wrists to those who find themselves in the street. In this same book, the author explains that autistic thinking is produced by the schizophrenic defragmentation of the mind and is determined by a strong affective need of the subject: the reality that we know is replaced by a world of fantasy and the actions «of life Everyday “(if not real) are insured in his mind as a mere mirage; That is, we are the ones who do not finish anticipating delirium.
But in 1943 he took autism clinic distance of schizophrenia, when Leo Kanner published Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact , where, helped in the work of Hans Asperger (the syndrome) the foundations of a modern vision of autism were established. Despite some theoretical mistakes involving the famous “Mothers Refrigerator” that supposed that a certain coldness on the part of the progenitors caused the disorder, this doctor impelled a fresher vision: the children with this clinical picture that until then were only reviewed for suffering Emotional upheavals or psychic decline were now recognized as having an identity. Later, controversial Bruno Bettelheim would round out the study of autism.
Thanks to these psychologists in the historiography of autism (Bleuler, Kanner, Bettelheim), I understand, and I hope most people do too, that my cousin Ramon is not a sick person. On the contrary, it gives us a lesson in human sensitivity. It is that will be necessary, a new sentimental education. There has been a lot of progress in the study of autism, although there is still a stretch to go. The examples there are. There are several characters with autism who excelled in the world of arts and science. Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Stanley Kubrick (who, due to his obsession with perfect cinema caused Shelly Duvall’s alopecia in the filming of The Glare), Bill Gates, Nicola Tesla, James Joyce, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Lewis Carroll (thus, the parallelism places us in another story that coincides that we could titled Ramón in the Country of the Wonders Is not this a surreal country?). The film also has some pieces that should be reviewed: Rain Man (1988) Barry Levinson, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, the latter achieving a masterful performance. On the other hand, is I am Sam (2001) Jessie Nelson, where the character with autism is played by Sean Penn; a wrenching, cheesy, and with a nice soundtrack consisting of history covers issues of The Beatles . The list is very long. Ramoncito, meanwhile, is currently writing his own film and his story deserves to be told. I started investigating the origin of his illness and ended up discovering a new secret friend. I follow him continually and talk to him when we meet on the road. Sometimes I just enjoy following him, taking pictures of him. I go, even to Walmart to buy fruit (although it is very expensive in this chain) just to watch him play, accidentally scaring children with their sweetness. I have seen a mother fall trying to take care of her little one, who, astonished, shares a toy with my cousin. In the shadows, his detective cousin admires him in the background, for that distant happiness he has in his enormous smile.
It must be said that Ramon has found a rather unusual use for the plasticine. He has developed a creative conscience that reminds him, which separates him from the world, but also invites him to the simulation of another possible world, that of fashion design. Then there is this virtual part that returns you to contact with the Other. But here we talk about another electronic, a series of characters who walk with him on the sidewalks of Los Santos. Ramon rejoins the society disguised as Franklin. It does not explode in violence or kill a single fly in the machine. I have not told the psychologist Rosario that Ramon does not eliminate anyone in fiction. I do not know if to call her and tell her. I think she’s been a bit worried. Ramon, in the end, remains harmless. It shares with his father that manual capacity of the construction. While my uncle repairs and composes, my cousin generates and creates. There is no destruction, like the famous physical law.
In the search for origin, my family can continue theorizing. Some will continue to say that the illness is due to the fall of Sisa during her pregnancy. Others will say that it is a “venita” in the head. A vein that swells and does not allow it to develop mentally. Among the many explanations, everyone looks for a medical history. The various mental actors who have had the Felix family, an aunt named Reyna who also endured his life to old age with a more or less similar illness. Uncles, brothers, cousins, all losers appear here and there. Characters who failed to be what they were supposed to be, a rational person, tied to the order of things. The madmen abound, but they are not so obvious. The Felix defend themselves also and they accuse to Sisa of having a sister who suffered constantly of spasms, of attacks. Others, the most conciliatory, offer a more neutral possibility involving a series of unfortunate events and psychometric errors that were accidentally mixed and gave birth to a genial being, a solitary cousin who lives his life in peace.
Who is the madman? That guy who designs clothes with plasticine and has obsessive routines, that walks alone for the city, that is independent and has a small, humble, reduced but finally happy life. Or that group of imbeciles that go around with their chests open, caressing their poor broken heart, grooming and complaining that life is cruel and amorphous. Who is the madman? Ramon? Half-time detectives? The monsters with eyes on the chest? Very regularly we say that we are going to go crazy when we experience abandonment. When someone leaves us. But if going crazy is to withstand the brutal heat with joy (people cook eggs crashed in the coffers of their cars for a temperature that reaches 50 degrees Celsius) and feel blessed with a bar of plasticine a day, the picture is not so bad .
No one misses his thumb until he loses it. The problem here is the media explosion that the heart has, the way it has been vulgarized. If the amorous ruptures were represented with burst phalanges, no one would remember the organ we carry inside and that pumps oxygen to the body. I read many police books and watch TV series on the subject. From True Detective I rescue a phrase: “The detective’s curse is to have the evidence in front of your own noses and ignore it.” All this time, a month and a half that I carry with the investigation, I have followed Ramon and I have tried with all my strength to find the clinical origin. I made myself a doctor, I called the institution where I was studying for eight years and I asked for your records. One of the social workers offered me many answers. I only needed the years in which Ramon had been there, but I found the data too late. From 1986 to 1992. Miss K would receive this information with an anonymous call. I would search the printed file and take the most important data. When I tried to locate her again, she was gone. Maybe it was just bad luck, a coincidence. But the substitute gave me negative and Ramon’s records did not appear again. I think about this, the difficulties in identifying the origin of autism. Perhaps that is my curse and at the same time the conclusion of my research. The evidence has been in front of me all those days. Ramon was not the target, he was always away from me. No wonder the walker par excellence is beyond us all. I was always behind, following the trail, recognizing its shadow, logging its movements, without the slightest chance of finding the beginning of things. Ramon is not created or destroyed, only transformed. I was looking, in the end, to heal my shitty heart. And the only way to repair it (as my uncle Ramon repairs anything) is to pay attention to exteriority.
Ramon is not so far removed from all of us. The rational, we go with another social autism, drunk with tenderness and stress. The evidence is Ramon and it is in front of our noses: the heart is a stimulus, a piece of plasticine that should respond to the shelter and not to the exhibition. Detectives must be like a very soft stone and walk on Earth and never stop. Return to aporia beckettiana. I can not keep walking, I’ll keep walking. My name is Efe, my heart is broken because it is made of ductile plastic and I am stored in the freezer.