After six months of writing my first novel, today is the day that I will receive comments from my classmates. I am nervous. I'm sad. I'm melancholic, scared. But I'm also excited, I feel strong, as if something is growing inside my chest.
Yesterday night I found out about the death of Fernando del Paso. I felt bad. Every time a writer dies, it is as if a candle were extinguished in this dark world. But I think its light rises to the stars. I know writers shine from eternity. But it hurts.
Today that my friends are going to criticize my first draft, I feel the least writer of all the writers I know. As if I had started to write yesterday. As if my words were written with a very thin pencil, and next to me I see all my teachers, all my colleagues how they grow, they stand up, they stand firm, how they improve with time. They are like trees. I am a twig in winter. A branch that receives the first snow trying not to break.
Today, while I undressed to get into the shower, I saw through the window that it began to snow. The first snow of this premature winter. The autumn lasted a leaf. Winter collapses like a steel sheet. It falls off. It falls like the death of Del Paso. It falls as the tranquility of the cool and sunny afternoons.
And on my way to my school, while the old tires of my car slid down the road, I remembered that today I have to listen to the comments of my classmates. I know they will be generous. They have shown it on many other times. Whenever I read they come to tell me that they liked my poem or whatever I read. They are generous and innocent as only the American people can be. Whatever is new for them, it shines, it attracts them. They will be generous today with my characters. With me. But I want to bark my characters, to tan my characters. I want to let them naked on the road when the first snows fall. I want to cut them with the falling steel sheet of the winter that starts today. I want them to be the salt that cleans the roads. I want them to be the glass that jumps in a car crash for driving distracted with the cell phone. I want them to be blood on the feet of a dancer. I want them to be clear, pure, crystalline reflection. I want them to be a mirror. I want them to be white, blue, pale. I want them to suffer for their own existence. So they cut their face when shaving. I want them to carry the heaviness of existence and to be hurt to be alive. I want them to be sharp like a razor that reflects. I do not want my characters to be selfies. I want them to be blood. That they would be us.
And on the way, I thought to invoke the spirit of Del Paso. I can already call it with my magical thinking. Invoke him, invite him to sit down and write with me. But if I do, I also want to invoke others. Those that come always and some new. May the courage of my iguana accompany me. The cold violence of Hemingway. And with a drink, let the Beat-nicks come to hit my keys. The bizarre images of Burroughs' Naked Lunch, and his hippos that were cooked in their tanks. Let Chekhov's sharp scalpel accompany me, to portray details of the wrinkles on a character's face that shows wounds from the past. Let Borjes come and help me decipher mirrors. Let Neruda cut an onion and sit facing the plate. I would ask the constant Cronopio to pass me the Instructions to Cry while they edit your work. To invite Wilde to tell me with a smile if my attempt at Dorian Gray is remotely attractive. Let Morrison help me with the goddamn setting. It is so transparent John, the protagonist, that I do not want it to fade but cut. They have to be a mirror. They have to be snow, crystal, angels of Gingsberg, androids of Philip K Dick, explorers of Kipling, inventors of Verne, bureaucrats of Kafka, lovers of Murakami. They have to exhale a light vapor every time they speak. They have to be like that image of the bird that elevates little clouds of steam when it trills. The breeze of Kawabata, the sunsets of Lafcadio Hearn. But above all, the knots of Bernhard's mind. Bernhard's Correction. The desperation of the Holler's attic. The disenchantment of Houellebecq, of Kundera, of Guadalupe Nettel.
Come on, motherfuckers, come everyone to listen to what you made me write.
Today is the day. As a writer, I have nothing, but what I have written.