The 10-year-old boy picked up the timeline which was lying there in front of him, and he lifted it up to his right eye as though it were a kaleidoscope, and suddenly he was able to see the moment-of-his-life where he was, the beginning, the end, and the entire course not just of his existence but of all of time in that one glance, in literally the blink of an eye. The sudden flash of the supposed Big Bang, the dinosaurs, all those other strange beasts and plants which he had never seen, and then – yes! his cat, the gatiti he missed so much – which had been hit by a car when he was 7 years old – and he also saw his grandparents, and his uncles and aunts… Then he saw himself, 1-year-old, sitting bareass on the tiny potty and crying his heart out because he didn’t have his diaper any more, and he saw himself three years ago, eating salt, under the table, hiding from his parents, and he saw himself looking at himself in a kaleidoscope, assembling and joining the figures of elements and beings from every part of time and space that were, that are and that will be, moving them all together in a kaleidoscopic rhythm, so that they were falling and dissolving into themselves, almost tripping and stumbling, and then reforming into the shapes of that which has been and that which will be, giant Jurassic ferns holding up a stream of tiny modern laparoscopic medical examining rooms, and enormous luminescent squid borne aloft by towers of light streaming out of Mexico City’s ancient, overcrowded and teeming borough of Iztapalapa where his parents would never take him…. and all the while, the boy never stops, he keeps creating new forms, new shapes and new elements from water, air, earth and fire, from waves of light, from sound and silence that seem to fill the very space.
He was totally engrossed, totally into it. But then –
His parents called, breaking the spell.
Time for dinner, come to the table. Stop playing now, come sit down before the food gets cold.
And so, ever so slowly, the work of millennia in a few truncated seconds, he lifted the line of time again, carefully – his timeline – looking at it one last time before putting it away, the way a samurai puts away his katana, his traditional sword, sheathing it safely…before the next battle.
Original title: Colgar la línea del tiempo (publicado el 09/04/2016)
Original text by Adriana Degetau
Translation by Miguel Tejada-Flores