FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR
I feel anxious as if I were on death row, but at the same time resigned to whatever may my destiny be. I don’t know if what awaits me behind that closed door is punishment or mercy, pity or relief, agony or forgiveness.
The white toilet stands out in a corner of the room, immaculate and clean, since my digestive functions have been paralyzed since the day I was thrown into this dark, airless cell.
The metal door does not have an apparent latch, so it should open and lock only from the outside. There is however a tiny square hole where some curious eyes can peer at me and look at me and watch me with the curiosity of scientists or lunatics.
At the same time that I long for someone to open the damn door and finally break this spell that suffocates me and brings me to despair, I am horrified to know that probably through it will come, along with my condemnation, all the evil of the world, such as an inside out Pandora’s box.
It is as if I were taking a trip through the tunnel of time waiting for the arrival at that station to then get off the train and wander the unknown city in search of an angel to lead me to the truth.
On the other side of the parlor the man stares at me, looks at me, teases me and wears the same blue shirt I wear and has the same disheveled hair I have.
But on the other side it’s also night and no light is kept on so that gradually I begin to lose eye contact with my gestural interlocutor.
If what they do to me is torture, they should at least tell me why they do it.
As I recall, I did not kill anyone, nor did I steal or get involved with drug traffickers. I did not mistreat animals, I did not threaten any politician, I did not outrage religions or sects or machinate some plot to blackmail the mayor.
I did not ravish people or ideas, I did not practice ignominy, I did not violate tombs, I did not break open coffers and I did not piss in front of the church door.
The blow with a cudgel in the head of that perfidious thief was struck more than twenty years ago, and if I did it, it was because the damn scoundrel was robbing me while I was cutting a slice of bread to satiate his alleged hunger. And by Jove !, I would do it all over again, even after I had confessed to Father Jonathas and been reprimanded by the sheriff who did not send me to jail only because a lawyer friend of mine managed to convince him that I would have acted in self-defense.
The rascal did not die, he only disappeared from the neighborhood motivated by the stinging headache and by the dread of taking another blow that could lead him to the world of angels – or demons.
The behavior of my inquisitor on the other side of the parlor, looking at me the way he looks or looking away when I do too, displeases me to the extreme.
It’s strange to be sitting here waiting for everything or nothing to happen. The walls of the room in which I find myself alone remain immobile, and I only know the hours are passing because the tint of the painting is getting darker and darker as the night approaches and the clarity that passes through the window crevice is becoming increasingly weaker.
The darkening creates a frightening optical illusion, as I feel the walls approaching millimetrically and diminishing my living space which will at some point squeeze me like a tourniquet does with a ripe orange.
I notice its proximity and even dare to hear a screaking sound of hinges, as if a hidden device were effectively causing its movement and approach as it used to happen in medieval torture chambers.