Vignette / World speaking out

A hand’s lines – Julio Cortazar

The following story is a wonderful example of a resistance vignette. I’ve translated it from Spanish.

From a letter thrown on the table, a line extracts itself and runs along the pinewood then goes down a leg. If you look closely, you can see the line continue along the hardwood floor, climb the wall, enter a metal plate that is reproducing a painting by Boucher, trace the back of a woman reclining on a sofa, and finally escape the room by the roof and descend a chain of lightening rods to get to the street. It’s difficult to follow it because of the traffic, but if you focus, you’ll see it climbing the wheel of the bus parked on the corner that goes to the port. There it gets off the bus on the nylon stocking of the blondest passenger, passes through the hostile territory of customs, and crawls and zig zags to the wharf, and there (its difficult to see it, only the rats follow it to get on board) it gets on the boat with the loud turbines, runs along the first class deck, overcomes with difficulty the main porthole, and enters a cabin, where a sad man drinks cognac and listens to the farewell siren. It climbs the lining of his pants, then his vest, and slides along towards his elbow. Then with one last effort, it takes refuge in the man’s right hand palm, which in that instant starts to close on the butt of a handgun.