excerpts from Tres by Roberto Bolaño


After a dream (in the dream I’ve extrapolated the film I saw the day before) I tell myself autumn can be nothing but money.
Money like the umbilical cord that connects you to girls and the landscape.
Money that I’ll never have and that by exclusion makes me a hermit, the protagonist who suddenly goes pale in the desert.


It’s hardly surprising that the author’s room is full of allusive posters. Naked, he paces around contemplating the peeling walls, where he begins to make out signs, nervous drawings, out-of-context phrases.
Ringing in the kaleidoscope, like an echo, are the voices of all those he used to be, and this he calls his patience.


I brush my teeth, wash my face, arms, neck, ears. Every day I go down to the post office. Every day I masturbate. I devote a large part of the morning to cooking food for the rest of the day. I kill time sitting, flipping through magazines. I try, over repeated cups of coffee, to convince myself that I’m in love, but the lack of tenderness—of a certain kind of tenderness—suggests the contrary. Sometimes I think I’m living somewhere else.
After eating I fall asleep at the table.


I dreamt that in a forgotten African cemetery I came across the tomb of a friend whose face I could no longer remember.

I dreamt that one afternoon they were banging on the door to my house. IT was snowing. I didn’t have a stove or any money. I think they were going to cut off the electricity. And who was on the other side of the door?

I dreamt of Carcasses and Forgotten Beaches.

I dreamt that the corpse was returning to the Promised Land riding a Legion of Mechanical Bulls.

I dreamt I was coming back from Africa on a bus full of dead animals. At some border crossing a faceless veterinarian appeared. He features were like gas, but I knew who he was.

I dreamt that a storm of phantom numbers was the only thing left of human beings three billion years after Earth ceased to exist.

I dreamt that no one dies in the eve.