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Humans against giants. All of those midgets spitting at me from the stands, hanging strips of toilet paper from my ears, urinating on my towel, calling me hair-raising things, the word repeated from their rounded mouths that sounds the same in every language, even syllables and fricatives and different I-don’tknow-whats always sound like the same thing.
The little one will already be asleep in her small bed, Luisa will have already clothed and tucked in her soft little body with her thin fingers, left on the hallway light, sat down in front of the television set like an Indian, she won’t be able to sleep and will pick up a book from the shelf, she’ll read until day breaks, will make coffee and dress the girl, don’t forget your coat, she’ll have to leave the car double-parked, she’ll get out with her in her arms and will run back because the horns are already honking and later at home she’ll go back to bed and sleep until noon, incorrigible Luisa, you never listen to me, you can’t live on that birdseed, your ankles are becoming bird-like, bird-like hands, your bird-like fingers and eyelids and empty stare like the rabbit-kid from the Forum.
In the mirror over the sink, my face is reflected like a death mask, a wax mould that says who I once was, where my nose and my cheeks were, where my twisted mouth was, how many lines on my forehead. I hear the tap-tap of the mini Vince Carter with his little game; I want at least to look good when I show up on his camera lens tomorrow. They take pictures of me, they hate me and they take my picture, they shake their fists and focus their telephones on me; the same thing happens in Belgrade and in Lyon. They’re happy, they hate me and they’re happy because there’s nothing like the relief of concentrating that electric vector on a single focus, I carry out such a valuable social service that the government should subsidize me for life, I keep them from thinking of banks and bureaucrats, I am the favourite villain, they gather their anger and disgust all week long then spit it out on me, I play my role of public enemy better than a paedophile, better than a coup leader, better than a corrupt politician, the tyrant of an exotic country, you should rot in a jail cell no matter how much you swear it was an accident, a mishap, an incident, a misfortune, a series of movements, the video so oft-repeated, your large, heavy hand like granite falling over the rabbit’s neck, poor, poor, telegenic kid, the frozen scene of your pressed jaw while you shake that single blow, the audience’s silence that allows you to hear the doctor’s steps on the parquet, the towel over the kid twisting and convulsing, your expression, your gaze fixed on the body that is no longer the kid who ran after you on the court and mocked you – old geezer – but just a shadow of him beneath a towel advertising Univision Optics, the game called off, the question, the slowness with which you cross the sporting ring. What does it matter if they say we regret this shameful act, he’s so emotional that he can’t talk about it, a fatal accident, a damned coincidence, how could one even suggest it was on purpose, how could you say file a complaint and get a judge, condolences to the family, he still doesn’t feel capable of talking about it, the razor gliding, the tap-tap of the little Martians, you never listen to me, Luisa-bird, you have to sleep and eat and get some sun, you’re a bat, the girl so white, so thin, but instead of sitting with her in the park, you take refuge in the house and play like kittens or make cathedrals out of plastic blocks, rickets, you even forget about dinner and snacks, children need snacks and to run under the sun, run until they get asthmatic, vitamin D, you never listen to me, at least put on a good face tomorrow, offer up cheeks smoothed with the sacrifice of his saliva, they said it’s better you stay at home, rest for a while, but what home, what while, what hole, no – I lied – I need to keep going to not get stuck on the image of poor-rabbit-kid, so that anxiety and guilt don’t ensnare me, and by contrast, so that the healthy, beneficial routine that cures all evil, the rail, normality, go after you on the court, they said, they’re going to go after you, they said, people only understand that horrible thing, it was you, it’s absurd, how could you – my cheeks polished like a shield.