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The Six Faces of a Die
Juan Sepulveda Sanchis
Translated by Claudia Diaz
“The Six Faces of a Die”
Written By Juan Sepulveda Sanchis
Copyright © 2014 Juan Sepulveda Sanchis
All rights reserved
Distributed by Babelcube, Inc.
Translated by Claudia Diaz
Cover Design © 2014 Juan Sepulveda Sanchis
“Babelcube Books” and “Babelcube” are trademarks of Babelcube Inc.
The Six Faces Of A Die
THE SIX FACES OF A DIE
1. Ganda’s game
2. Summer’s cinema
3. Bitter surprises
5. The 72 in Cartagena
6. The lightened room
Juan Sepúlveda Sanchis
Original Tittle: LAS SEIS CARAS DE UN DADO
Juan Sepúlveda Sanchis 2013
Printed in Spain / Impreso en España
Printed by SELEER EDITORIAL 2013
Cover Design: Juan Sepulveda Sanchis
Legal Deposit: MA 33-2013
Printing: ESTUGRAFF IMPRESORES
The 72 in Cartagena
The Lightened Room
Since we’re feeling so anesthetized
In our comfort zone
Reminds me of the second time
That I followed you home
See you at the bitter end
Brian Molko, singer of Placebo
I suddenly sat on one of the plastic seats and, as I recovered my breath, I looked around languidly. I saw it all by fits and starts, everything was moving at a different speed, as if I was seated in an amusement park. Seated by my side, there was a young man with rastas in his hair and huge headphones with which he was listening to music at a really high volume. His ears were full of piercings, and he was wearing baggy, shredded pants. His whole body was covered with tattoos, metallic bracelets, and scars. I stared awestruck at his shoes, the thick white shoelaces were full of coal dust.
At that time in the early morning, when the sun had barely come up, two different realities met at the subway: those who were going to work, and those who had been partying all night. The young rasta man looked ambiguous because he stunk of alcohol and, at the same time, was reading some notes. Nobody looked at him, I was the only one looking at him with a slow and blurred stare.
Suddenly, the subway stopped at a station and the movement made me slide towards him. The young man, with an ugly face, quickly shoved me away. Immediately, he stood up and left the subway car cursing. With all the movement, everything started spinning again. I closed my eyes trying to stabilize my head, I felt sick and I knew I could throw up any time. After a few minutes I finally managed to relax and when I opened my eyes I found a sheet of paper between my feet. It most certainly belonged to the young man.
I bent to pick it up. I focused on reading the page. I took a deep breath and thought for a while, I wanted to know what that page was about, but I could not focus. It was weird, it was full of numbers and apparently unconnected formulas, but it seemed to be pretty intuitive. Evidently, because of the illustrated wagons it represented a game taking place in the subway. But I could not figure out how to play it. Looking at the drawings, I realized that each seat at the wagon had a position number. I looked around at how the wagon was arranged in order to find out exactly where I was. I was confused, the alcohol did not let me focus, my head was moving in circles and, unstable, I fell to the floor. I angrily squeezed the paper and stood still for a while in pain. Then, I slowly opened my eyes. I had a blurry perspective of the real world, everything seemed to be upside down and constantly moving. Suddenly, under the seat, I saw a glint, it looked as if there was a brass plaque in each space. I approached, dragging myself, and I found out that it was a numbering. It looked as if there was a number under each seat. A simple code placed there by the manufacturer. I approached as much as I could and I checked what the number under mine was. The other passengers looked at me confused, watching me drag myself along the floor as gum and papers stuck all over me. I read the number three on the brass plaque and went back to my seat. I smoothed out the paper and tried to find out if there was a way to apply that number. After turning it up and down a few times, I figured out how to make the illustration fit with the wagon I was in. The shape of that wagon, considering the distribution of the seats, metallic bands and doors, coincided with one of the wagons in the drawing. With that seat number I had to be able to do something, but there were lots of formulas and I had to check them one by one. Finally, after all the possible operations, I found one which worked only with my seat number. I introduced the number in a new formula which said “number of action”. The operation was simple and I could figure out the result mentally. This time, the result was the number four. Now I had to find out what to do with that number of action. Everything was very confusing and I was not sure I was using the information correctly. Who was that guy? What kind of game or paranoia were these numbers? I started to feel intrigued by the game and I kept thinking over and over about the information on that piece of paper. Any notation could be a valid clue for me to deduce how the game worked. The problem was that there were no other formulas that provided that data so I decided to turn the page looking for an answer. That number had to be connected with something, I should be transcribed somehow (? Don’t understand the previous sentence). And there it was, I found a long list of things to do. The list thrilled me and made me smile at the same time. The asterisks had to be related to the number, as every word had a different number of asterisks.
That night I was coming back from a club called “La Palma”. A place of smoke, pork rind, and electronic music. I had spent hours there seated next to my best friend telling him how a five-year relationship was unexpectedly over. Between one drink and another, I had detailed the last days of my relationship with Verónica and how she had destroyed, from my point of view, all the bonds we had.
The hours went by but I could not stop thinking about it. With a scotch in my hand, I kept on narrating in detail our last conversations and asking myself why it had finished that way. In the climax of what seemed to me to be a cruel story, as unpleasant as it was to remember it, something happened. My friend realized that there were some of our friends nearby, apparently they had been there quite a long time, but they had not stopped to say hello yet. As I was absorbed by my anguish, I did not pay much attention to them, and I kept on talking about what had happened.
After a few minutes, my friend grabbed my arm abruptly moving me closer to his seat, wanting me to see something. Without understanding what was going on, I approached him unwillingly. On the other end of the bar, there was Verónica fooling around with a very stocky man. I quickly returned to my place, trying to go unnoticed.
I felt confused and sad. After a few seconds, I looked again, I could not believe it. I half-closed my eyes trying to watch her in detail. The smoke, and the stroking lights with the rhythm of the music made it hard for me to watch her. Just then, when I managed to focus my vision, the guy grabbed her arm and suddenly kissed her. My friends and I all saw the scene out of the corner of our eyes. After that, a feeling of disgust filled my body and I felt that something had broken inside of me.
She had broken it, and now she was expecting me to tell my family and friends that it was over. That was something I could not accept, I could not conceive my life without her, and I did not understand the humiliation she had caused me. All my wishes were focused in her direction, and without her, nothing made sense to me. I knocked my drink down at once and ran out of the bar, avoiding my friend’s insistence. He wanted me to stay, to forget about it all by drinking more and more. But I could not put that scene out of my thoughts. I was offended and frustrated. Nothing made sense to me, and watching her so happy, as if she had suddenly forgotten our relationship, was unconceivable.
When I left the bar, I immediately felt the cold and windy weather. Out of control, I hit a lady, and right after, a man. I jerked until I went down the stairs in the first subway entrance I found. I rushed down, as the strong wind worsened. I felt sick and my head was spinning. I jumped the barrier, ran, and sneaked onto the train that had just stopped at the station. I was completely drunk, moving my head from side to side as I repeated to myself “it’s never going to be the same again”.
With the paper in my hand I tried the formula again, it was clear that my action was SEDUCTION.
I decided to play the game, I had nothing to lose, I wanted to end up with everything, taking things to the limit. It was the only to get attention, of something happening (? I don’t understand “of something happening”). They had to know what she had done to me, so they could see me. I looked again at the paper in search of a formula which I had seen before, the one which would give me a goal, a person. Mentally, I calculated the number; it was seven. I lifted my head and looked all around the wagon until I found the position of my goal.
There she was; she was a slender girl with a pale complexion and blue eyes who was wearing a long black coat. She had a distant look and small eyes. Her lips were thin and her hair straight. Lost in thought, she was listening to music with her eyes glued to the window.
I had to find a way to speak to her, but I could not do it right now. It would be better waiting for her to get off the train, where we could talk away from the curious looks of the rest of the passengers, who now remained quiet and tired.
Time went by along with the stops but the girl was still there. The prototype of the suburb girl was beginning to make sense, but something made me think differently. Her discrete makeup, her classic hairstyle, and a smooth skin pierced only by two pearls which gave her a student look belonged certainly to a wealthy family. There was also a fine touch in her manners, the way she looked around with prudence and respect, smiling widely to any passenger who barely touched her with his bag or his coat by accident. Vain, with small and skinny hands, she combed her hair from time to time, mirroring herself in the window.
The train ground into the curves when it left the city, the touch of the road produced a rhythmic sound. Morning sounds. The sun was rising and the sky was blue, an intense and dark blue. A bubbling silence of metallic sounds surrounded my mind. People entered and left the subway, every time we were nearer to her stop. I could not take my eyes away from her. Y should not (?I don’t understand previous sentence). I had a goal to fulfill and everything else was not important, not any more.
Suddenly, aware of my look, she moved discretely to the door; her stop was near and she felt observed. I pretended to tie my shoelaces and suddenly I got up. I walked slowly and finally grabbed one of the handles hanging from the roof. I felt dizzy, my blood was rising to my head again and I could barely keep my balance. She looked at me sideways nervously, she pretended to be distracted. I liked this game, I was letting fate decide my destiny.
The train was full of darkness. It was a tunnel with no exit, a bitter end. A convoy which was carrying my inner self from side to side to the beat of the music, a music only present in my head, a rhythm in myself. Noises, lights, opening and closing-of-the-door-sounds, together with my whispers, music and the sounds of the storm all at the same time.
She was the one who had chosen fate and whose road was about to meet mine. She would change her luck mixing it with mine. She was a few inches away from me. I looked at her again. And she looked back at me in return, cold and frightened. She pretended to be unaware of my presence, but I knew she was; she did not know who I was, that is why she was scared. She saw me as a stranger, and I saw her as someone I wanted near. She had a destiny and I was about to step in.