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hoguaș by Letiția Despina (a fragment)

in Ark Review by


[ ˈhɒgwɒʃ ]


i’m doing the finishing touches on the walls of a house. who cares it’s built with earth and straw, for sure not the little piggies, their business with the wolf was done, and i did not care either, i was there to forget and to build muscles. after that last tiring workday i went to the sea, i pedalled for a few kilometres, passing fences, cars, trees, fields, rocks, a mill, a hill, clouds, cats, kids, their parents, lots of gravel. i grovelled in distress when my bike wouldn’t climb uphill. i saw a ramshackle pontoon entering the sea. it was cold and nearly not cloudy, but the water was fluttering friendly with warmth and salt. i don’t get to say to myself ‘i love this life, it is good, i like everything, i am fine, thank you’ and get the waters’ kiss when my phone beeps of text message. i read it, my knees become softer than the sea could have been on my lips, whatta’ life, i think to myself, this boy loveloves me, it couldn’t get better, this is probably the fulcrum of my human happiness, ever, ever, i’ll leave my bike here, not to slide so fast on the deep steep slope ‘acoming.

he had been travelling for a couple of months, and we had little communication, save for some long emails that (int)erupted from my side. from his then-spot, a portuguese peninsula, through distant short message service, he asked in what to me was an unusually retro-romantic formulation, if there wasn’t a slight chance, if he waited there for a bit, watching the sun disappear behind a hill, that i could somehow materialise from back there, with auburn hair and a soft heart, made from striated tissue and myocardial cells.

i went back to copenhagen the next day. i hit the beach with s. and p. we had no work. we had no worries. we were some sort of centaurs with adolescent heads, beatnik necks and 20 something year old bodies. it was almost cold, truly windy, yet i radiated. i hadn’t dealt with the text message, left it unanswered so as to live in the fulcrum potential a little while longer. some restlessness settled in. the kind with red wood ants in the stomach and the legs. i called him. his phone was dead. my brain scanning at high speeds through all the collection of semi-retarded, unrealistic rom-coms i have ever seen, sent back some electrical impulse. i translated it. i bought a one-way ticket to lisbon. i was to fly in two days. love conquers all.

i don’t see and i don’t hear anything. i don’t even listen to my intuition. i’m set. i’m the fish crawling out of the sea growing legs on the way, i am puffed rice, i am the fat milk on top, i am the most beloved of earthlings. i have no way of seeing he’s so well anchored in the self-generated image of a serious but fun, wise, well read, different, special creator, kind and pure, that he’s got no idea how lost he really is. that he’s got no idea what prickly pear of an existential pickle he’s putting us in.

i didn’t either. because the truth is, i believed unquestioningly like a true follower of my own disorganised ideology, nobody really wants to know the real you so just build a new one for survival, until of course you meet that one ideal-soul-mate- androgynous-half -severed-from-you-by-some-zeus. because he would, he will like you for you, accept this without giving it more thought, grandpa Disney and grandma rom-com will help you, television is your friend, don’t be a sucker with sweaty palms, grit your teeth, close your eyes and hope, wait for it, develop on this ideal, maybe make him be a little like your dead father whom you never really got to know as a human and don’t accept anything else, and when you meet him, don’t try to get to know him too well, just assign him these features you think you see in him and then take it from there. until that happens, just play the role, adapt, don’t be weird, be social, maybe he’s out there in the world pretending, too.


A fragment of Letiția’s text, hoguaș, to be published soon via Gotta Let It Out. Release partey, of the book as well as of her newest cassette, How?Why? – Don’t cry, you shit!, will take place at ark books on June 28th. Come around, here more!

what can i say now, all grown up, when others are doctors or people who seem normal in the head who have pockets where they keep their bus pass and get meal tickets and they go home every evening to eat dinner with their families and when they look out the window and feel a jab of lust for something there’s no lingering on the inner voice that says, in chinese, what’s the deal, dude? is that all there is? i have nothing to say and i need to say it.

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