I can't remember how we ended up at that bar on Calle Nueva; same street as Pío Baroja's character's on death row. My friend Z was a distant relative of the manager. Witty and boring at t' same time. Someone to whom we'll refer to as 'Load o'Shit'. He got us some freebie rum and cokes and Z kept talking to him. A minute later I found myself climbing a set of dark stairs towards a mezzanine that looked like a low seedy version in a Steppenwolf scenario. At knee height I distinguished a narrow blue shelf and two white lines, fat like worms. "Coke", I introspected. And caught myself; and here I need to crack the cheap joke, "between the blade and the wall", going forward was the only decent way to find a scape, so I bent down my head and nostrils and snored the white powder in the best possible style I could fashion.
That was an all up roller coaster with no descents, a huge up and down without downers, a higher-high. The so named 'Load o'Shit' must've had good connections in the small town provincial underworld 'cause I thought the stuff was magic. Load o'Shit did all the talking. We formed a circle in the bar, which on that dead Thursday had been closed empty for us, but that somehow it seemed totally packed. Like a Captain Bill in Treasury Island he began telling the story about some of his feats during his years of service in the navy. We all were fascinated. Although, now I can't recall any of the things he said. I had discovered the power of the drug that had put alcohol to shame. I got a bit scared.
The effects of that line impacted me on how it invalidated contextual space, and congealed time revealing all its textures, and that is what we lived in that scummy bar for a few hours completely unaware of what was happening outside. At no time I thought whether he'd be sleeping well, or whether he'd taken the right pills, or had he asked for his dark chocolate. I didn't wanna know any of that, but I wanted to know, on the other hand, about Load o'Shit's tales that I savored like valued pearls of the oral tradition, like great stories that gave meaning to the human condition. Three hours of net frozen time. So happy and fulfilling as it was false and evanescent".
Zama, de Antonio di Benedetto
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