Of History
Still the vague certitude remained, as my trolley was wheeled down the corridor, a forest-green corridor with stretches of camouflage and bottle green, toward an operating room dilating in time, as History announced its birth with raucous cries and the doctors diagnosed my anemia in whispers, but how are they going to operate for anemia, I wondered. I barely managed to whisper, Am I going to have a baby, doctor? The doctors looked down at me, wearing their green bank-robber's masks, and said, No, as the trolley accelerated on its way down a corridor that was writhing like a loose vein. I'm not going to have a baby, really? I'm not pregnant? I asked. And the doctors looked at me and said, No, Ma'am, we're just taking you to attend the birth of History. But what's the hurry, doctor? I feel dizzy! And the doctors replied with the patter they use on the dying: The birth of History can't wait, and if we arrive late you won't see anything, only ruins and smoke, an empty landscape, and you'll be alone again forever even if you go out and get drunk with your poet friends every night. Well, let's get a move on, then, I said. The anesthesia was going to my head, overwhelming me as homesickness sometimes does, and I stopped asking questions (for a while). I fixed my gaze on the ceiling and all I could hear were the rubber wheels of the trolley trundling along and the muted cries of other patients, other victims of Pentothal (that's what I thought), and I even felt a pleasant, gentle warmth creeping up my long, frozen bones.

--- From Amulet
Roberto Bolaño
Chris Andrews, Translator
©2006 New Directions
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