Rolando Pérez


Plateau 32

Zeus, Roland and Alice Anew

I.

I saw them.

Two bodies connecting and disconnecting at the same time.

Two conducting bodies producing enough electricity to light up the whole desert.

His was made of an invisible surface, on which many, many epics were projected:  from The Odyssey to The Song of Roland.  Hers was made of a blue and orange substance, and through her arms I saw Alice.

II.

Who did these bodies belong to, I wondered.  Who had created them?  Had they perhaps created themselves, like Captain N’s “self-propelled wheel”?  Were these the bodies of new translucent heroes?  What was it that made them so beautiful?  Alice, Roland, and Zeus were waving good-bye.  But such sad faces, I thought.  Don’t they know that they have entered the new bodies of the universe?  Don’t they know that beneath their warm, empty space, there are thousands of armies—some larger than others—waiting to execute them?  If they want to save themselves they will have to move from one body to the next, and never occupy the same body for more than 10 days.

III.

Their lives depend upon the openness and the acceptance of all conducting bodies.  Without a certain level of energy they run the risk of extinction.  They must keep in mind that they must never stop changing:  so that Zeus will rule a different nation… so that Roland will fight a different war… so that Alice will live in a different book.  In the end, only their names will remain the same, everything else about them will be different.  It’s just not possible to predict the energy level of a conducting surface.

Rolando Pérez, from The Odyssey, “Part I:  The Desert Book”

Copyright 1990.  Brook House Press.  By permission of the author.