Essay Excerpts: A Man and His Tuba


By Dolores Dorantes
Translated by Jen Hofer

This is an image of love though it might seem to be the image of a dead person. We drive with dirt on top of the glass, with the sun cutting across the dirt we drive. We arrive when everyone disappears. We defend nothing. We defend it from no one... They have hired us to remain standing in this silence. Someone is building a city. A beautiful city that is going up in the country. Living cupolas inside its body. We keep watch. We protect it from no one. Someone gives us money to keep our eyes open in the middle of this night. Something keeps us awake when the wind strolls the sound of a band. A box of music and of mourning. Of fiesta and of silence.

This city is decorated with living memories. With the photographs of heads when they were still whole. With weapons in the hands of the owners of this city. This city is more alive than the body where it's going up. Hot. Lulled by sun. This safe city.

Our eyes are open for whom? We protect for whom? Who keeps everything calm?