Her wooden sandals still carry those surfaces she last stepped on. Mud and moss. She stares at the broken pieces. They are reminders of everything she steps on, always coming back.
Aian is now running out her door. She knows she is late at meeting Fabrizo, Julia, Stela, and Jimel at the park. They all have known each other for longer than three years, except for Aian. She is new to the group and she does not recall in which moment that became true.
When Aian arrives she sees everyone sitting down and laughing over something Fabrizo did. They sit in two white pearl sheets that hold fruit, cheese, bread, a basket, wine, and a bottle of champagne. Aian walks towards them, focused.
The ancient sun is barely escaping through the oak leaves above. Those patterns simmer down on every single of their spines. Aian takes out her camera and takes a photo. It all reminds her of a different world. One that doesn't belong to this time.
“Aian” Stela waves her arms and they all stare towards Aian with a smile.
She now runs towards them. Says hello to everyone with a kiss on the cheek and sits next Julia. Julia is always dressed beautifully. Today she wears a sheer pale pink dress. And it fits her precisely as if her body lines were made for it. Aian stares at Julia admiring every inch. She stares for a while and slowly realizes there is something else she is looking at. There are the beating veins between Julia’s chest and collar. And slowly turn into dark purple circles that erupt her flesh. It is all noticeable through her sheer dress. Aian can not stop staring, and Julia feels her eyes. She grabs her cream shawl and hides her chest. Aian looks at her eyes expecting her to look. But Julia doesn’t.
“Aian, you must try this wine Fabrizo bought today” Julia pours a small glass.
“Es un clásico” Fabrizo winks.
“What is it like?” Aian asks.
Everyone looks at Fabrizo to answer.
“It is like everything you've loved in one cup” he takes the glass out of Julia’s hands and extends it towards Aian.
She grabs it and sips. The maroon moves down her throat like foul language. It all makes her think of everyone who has come into her life. Every fleshy spirit who came to know her. Who left sleeping and dreaming towards temples, only to leave her in a lingering silence.
“What do you think?” Fabrizo asks.
“It’s amazing” she takes another sip.
They all begin to eat baguettes after baguettes. While the weather becomes yellow and repeats a high afternoon sound. And the wind is pulling everyone’s hair towards the living center. That center is the pond. If there was anything that Parque Plopaze was known for it was the pond.
Aian moves her head towards it. She watches it thicken with leaves as they fall. It feeds on the death of those leaves. It all looks like a tragedy. A built-in tragedy for everyone to see.
“So what is the story of the pond?” Aian asks.
“We are not sure” Jimel lights a cigarette.
“They are too many stories to really know” Julia looks towards the pond.
“Well, which one do you all believe in?” Aian looks at them, and they all stay quiet to think.
“There is one. One I will always believe in” Fabrizo pours more wine “Although I could live with the fact that it might not be true”
“And which one is that?” Stela says.
“Is it the one of the farmer who asked for a miracle?” Jimel inhales
“No it is not” he responds.
“What is the farmer one about?” Aian takes another sip of wine.
“Why don’t you tell that story Jimel,” Fabrizo says.
“Well, they say there was a drought long ago, and a farmer prayed to God or something like God for water. Nothing happened for weeks, but he kept on praying. And he kept asking others to pray with him. After a while, maybe months after, more and more people joined to pray. And although it hadn’t physically rained, there was still something happening” he inhales.
“They say it rained prayers, don’t they?” Stela asks.
“It rained prayers alright. One day while everyone was praying, words started to form in the sky and began to come down. Slowly they all turned into water, but only fell in one spot. There” he points at the pond with his cigarette.
“Do you believe in that one?” Aian asks Fabrizo.
“Yes, but that isn’t the one I am speaking of”
“Which one is it then?” Stela moves closer to hear. And they all move closer to hear.
“It’s one my father used to say” he sips his cup, “And he used to start it the same way each time”
Aian looks at him. His eyes are moving, and within them, she can see the story.
“He would say, ‘There is evil as much as it is good. Everything carries itself within a scale. Balance exists without numbers’, and I was never sure why he always told me that”
“Maybe because you needed to come out of this world to really listen” Julia pulls her leg up and wraps her hands around it.
“Perhaps” Fabrizo answers.
“What was your father like? I only hear of him occasionally” Jimel holds his cigarette out his mouth.
“He was a man and that is all I can say about it. I knew more of his imagination and madness. And he believed in more in those things that could not be measured, and where numbers didn’t have to be real”
“So, he didn’t believe in time” Stela lifts her glass.
“More like he refused time. I think he knew in the existence of it, but never acknowledge it”
“Then he believed in something that was nonlinear?” Aian asks.
“Then he believed in something that was nonlinear?” Aian asks.
“Something like that, yes. That's the only world he lived in, a mad nonlinear one” Fabrizo looks down at his cup.
They all stare at him. And realize how Fabrizo finds himself in that same world like his father. Not because he wants to, but because his developed world was expanded to be that.
“Well, what is the story?” Jimel turns off his cigarette.
Fabrizo clears his throat,
“Long before Cordero was Cordero, and there was no straining reason for existence, there were these meadows that reached the heavens. But, there where the pond sits now was an endless movement in which life could come in and out, without escaping one single breath” he stops.
“It almost sounds like your father was a poet,” Julia says.
“He wasn’t” he responds, “My own words have changed the story. It is too easy to manipulate words”
“For you maybe” Jimel says.
Aian moves her body down to the ground and closes her eyes. She sees these words move around in her head, and she tries to split, add, and manipulate these words. And she finds herself doing it for a while until they all collapse and her mind goes black. She opens her eyes. The sky is ever-changing.
“What was this movement in the story?” Aian asks.
“He never truly said. I always imagined this intangible sphere just floating in the sky”
“What could it do?” Aian asks again.
“It sourced everything anyone would think of after a laugh, a cry, a second of enlightenment” he put his glass down.
“Sounds like a source of energy” Stela says.
“It was something like that I guess. My father said that the world could have been in pause, because of this thing. And the only real notion of liberty was inside that sphere”
Aian lifts herself with her elbows and looks at the pond. She sees how naturally gated it is by thick oak trees. It is blue and lucid for millions of years. And it’s skimmed edges touch land. Swallowing the scratched grasses and leaves, sinking them into purification. Aian thinks of walking around those edges, wondering if that water could do the same thing to her.
“What happened to the sphere?” Jimel pulls another cigarette out.
“My father said it was time. Time was what happened. People learned how to count and numbers became more important than oxygen. And one day it cracked. It opened itself like an egg and it’s yolk dripped down, therefore that water in the pond”
They all stay quiet and refuse to look away from the pond. They imagine the merit water as everything Fabrizo said. But all they see is the leaves drown.
It is a complete tragedy. And everyone is watching.