The guest

by Guadalupe Nettel

In the streets the blind might look like the members of a sect. The way they walk, their facial expression… it’s like they’re taking advantage of every second of silence to lose themselves in meditation on what they cannot see. All blind have something in common, like a talisman, but there are differences within this similarity. Some of them walk down the street with a slow and calm rhythm, as if life was a long stroll. There are those who proceed with haughtiness, with majesty, and those who seem to float. Some of them are trying to recognise the streets, but do not have a precise destination, nor a schedule. Among them there are the blind who walk with big dogs leashed to their wrists, those we find in the parks and can sit on a bench for hours on end, contemplating the day in a mysterious and somehow endearing manner. There are also the athletic blind, wearing sneakers and a tracksuit; those who pretend they can see; those who consider blindness as the burden that will make them earn heaven and stand out from the average human being; the blind who are studying at college and are generally good students, well-focused. The elderly blind, who became blind and took it as a stage of the aging process, as a calmer way of understanding the world. The beautiful and blind women, who know well the pleasure of shocking passers-by and know they are being observed. The kids who partially see, those who never saw and live a dark childhood, they own their toys, talk with animals. The blind of the tavern, those of the brothel, the blind sculptors, masters of shapes, the blind musicians, the pianists, the blind beggars, the blind misshapen men, hunched over, the blind with dark glasses, the blind monks, the blind murderers, the rapists, the blind mothers, the blind billionaires, surrounded by servants and loneliness, the blind blacks, kings of rhythm, the nuthouse blind, the blind writers who, after all, are always the same. I had observed and classified them, especially after my arrival at the Institute, but they still felt elusive to me.

El huésped, editorial Anagrama