I am the one who keeps the secret about his death.
I’m reporting from the Highgate cemetery in London, where Karl Marx is resting. In this time, the rain pours on his funeral the prayers of Muslims. Right now he’s laying over there, inside the coffin made of thick oak wood, designed specifically to keep away radiation. I know this is useless: radiation will find a way to penetrate through the wood of the coffin, in the ground and bounce back into the air, through lungs and into our skin and flesh. Radiation originates from one body to find other bodies. Everything is a question of time. Even the secret.
The rain pours heavily as if to wash the coffin. The only white rose on the coffin lid emits a sense of purity as if it is immune. Yet in a while the petals will turn into powder. Even the people wrapped in covers attending the funeral, the people who just walked by and said their farewell and leaned down to kiss the coffin lid, their bones and flesh will deteriorate like the dirt disintegrating beneath my feet. That is their fate, the betrayers, betraying the nation and betraying the belief. We respect all religions, but whoever turns their back to the belief of the organization deserves to die.
I’m reporting from the bar in the Millennium Hotel, and at the same time reporting from the Polonium restaurant – the Polish restaurant has become visibly busy since his death. The whole world is looking for the person who served him gin and tea, the person who prepared the last piece of sushi he ate that afternoon – the sushi probably was the best piece, the most delicious and raw piece of fate (Polonium-210 has certainly maximized the taste, the favor was so delectable that it caused insanity as the savor was intensified so many times and traveled all over the body: from the tongue muscle to the center of the nervous system and deep down inside the marrow. The savor was able to turn a person into a giant tongue that only knew how to grow thorns to enjoy that savor).
The British police come to the bar and interrogate the people who are drinking with me, and they take us to the hospital. The police are polite but extremely cold and arrogant. I take their orders, I understand, on one hand they are my colleagues, on the other hand they are doing their jobs as international law enforcement.
The thing that I’d like to stress in the report is: the whole world is looking for the murderer? But how? By testing the radiation exposure levels on the bodies of everyone in the world?
I’m reporting from the laboratory, I wear lead underwear as well as a hat and a mask to protect against radiation, like the medical specialists.
I read in the confidential medical report: The people he had seen, the ones who shook his hands and talked to him about business; the ones who just passed by him on the streets, the ones who cleaned his room, the ones who delivered his mails, the people who emailed or called him on the phone, even the person who fixed tea and gin for him, the person who prepared his last sushi…, they had all been infected with the same poison. It could be said that, the poison had radiated from his body to their bodies.
He himself, Alexander Litvinenko, is the culprit who caused the recent chain of radiation poisoning.
I’m reporting from the headquarters of the Federal Security Service(**).
We did not destroy the evidence. We only scattered the evidence everywhere. Fraudulent evidence is a lesson from the American courts of justice that we have extremely favored and have put to practice. International police are slowly backtracking the journey of Polonium-210 to find its origin. They speculate the radiation has traveled from Moscow to London. They are mistaken. The traces of Polonium-210 will never end. Just like the list of suspects and victims will continue into eternity. Radiation will wash away the sins of humanity. Our ultimate objective: causing humans to lose their ability to differentiate between victims and culprits.
I’m reporting from the Kremlin Hall.
Putin has also been infected. Putin is throwing up. Putin’s hair is falling out and his complexion is becoming pale because his red blood cell count is decreasing. Putin is hemorrhagic, but it is also possible that his nose is bleeding. Apparently, Putin has seemed heavily infected. But Putin will not die. In short, Putin has not sinned. I’m not saying that Putin has ordered his murder. But even in that case, then Putin has only done so because Putin is Putin. In other words, Putin has done that to continue being Putin. That’s it. If Putin has never existed, then Putin wouldn’t be responsible. The culprit is the one who created Putin. But who is that?
I will report about That Person in another report.
(*)Polonium-210: name of a radiation agent used to poison Alexander Litvinenko
(**)FSB: the abbreviations of Federal’naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti – roughly translated to be the Federal Security Service.
Đặng Thơ Thơ
Translated by Đỗ Lê Anhdao/.
In a Span’s Space
We used to play the game of accidental probabilities.
The first time we met at a golf course we admired each other’s talent because of those beautiful strokes. A desire suddenly arose when we stood on the green hilltop. With the flapping wind making our clothes stick to our bodies, we felt aroused for intimacy, but tried to resist the urge. It was not because of that moralistic anxiety, but it was because we were loyal to the game of accidental probabilities. Well then, we thought of a way.
We drew each other into lying down and rolling our bodies down from the top. It seemed certain that in rolling down we would touch each other, and one would lie on top of the other, accidentally (we wanted things to happen so naturally as though it was to no one’s intention). So together we counted: One two three – Roll! After loops of rolling we finally lay down, dizzy. But ironically, we did not lie on top of each other, not even manage to touch each other! We lay there, one on stomach, the other on back. The space between us was a hand span. The definition of a hand span was to endure those feelings and to surrender to chance.
We wanted to be tightly close to each other, but what to do? Of course we could lean in and throw our arms into embrace, but that way love was not an accidental probability. We lay and waited for something, or some big event that would happen and shorten the space: an ant crawling into one’s pants, a chunk of wood falling down one’s head, a long slide of the earth’s crust, a violent earthquake… We would hold to each other tightly, sticking to each other solidly because of fear, or feigning fear would do the same.
Then it really happened: the grass underneath us began to tremble, like a bed was shaking during an earthquake. But it was not fiery; the trembling was gentle, rhythmic, like the rhythm of a love making through earth. The sounds of earthquake were a moan and a breath: moan – breath – moan. Those were the sounds let off from our bodies, without our control. Thus we really did it. Or we were just thinking that we-were-doing-it. Or we were doing it by thinking?
In the end when we stood up and walked back up the hill, we were still unclear whether we did or did not do it yet. Turning back to the place where we just lay, we saw that span’s space – the extended bodies of us two – was lying on grass and beginning to tremble.
An Escape for Ted Haggart
translated by Do Le Anhdao from Lối thoát cho Ted Haggart (damau.org 13)
They have just finished the last exercise in “101 Sex Positions”. Minister Ted Haggart puts two hundred dollars on the dining table, says goodbye to Mike and drives in the direction of the Evangelical Cathedral. This was a shameful practice: he has to unleash all of his lust onto Mike before each sermon, thus his body can be relieved and focused on God.
Outside the gates of the church, they have raised an empty and extravagant cross, covered with the American flag. In a little while, they will pretend to crucify him onto this cross before thousands of people. They will sign their names on a petition that he has prepared. This petition will be sent to the Parliament Against Same-Sex Marriages.
He steps into the room of prayers behind the church. The room is simple and painted in white. Darkness silently spills over the shape of a person who appears to be kneeling and praying. The man looks up at him with sadness, a look that is fathomless and lonesome. Ted Haggart steps towards the man and kneels down with him:
“I have just slept with the most beautiful gigolo in the city. I have loved and been addicted to that person. And now I am in despair. What am I supposed to do when my body needs a man, my soul needs God and my future needs power? Please show me a way.”
The man replies, “There is no formula that combines all of those three ingredients; but if your soul and your body cannot accept each other, then your future is an inescapable abyss.”
Ted Haggart bashes his head on the ground and desperately cries for help: “How can it be that person who believes in God is also a homosexual, and how can it be that a homosexual also believes in God, which truth is more absurd and ghastly? My soul despises the lust of my body. And yet my body despises the hypocrisy of my soul. I live between two abhorrent lifestyles, like a path between committing a sin and confessing a sin, between books of pleasure and sermons, between power and male hookers. Would the best way to conquer lust be submitting to lust? Or should I destroy my body?”
The man replies: “Your body is not sinful and your soul will be saved, but you will have to pay a price. Do not expect anything from mankind because the ones who think themselves pure are also the ones who are incapable of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not witnessed by the bible but witnessed by actions. And Jesus will use his own body to erase your sins.”
The man rises, takes off his coat and they make love to each other with a righteous love between two men. Ted Haggart cries. He has never cried like that before when he made love to other men. People only cry when they have been forgiven, they do not cry when they are sinful. Before they let go of each other, the man says: “Now you should go forth and testify to this fact. This is your only escape.” Jesus’s tears fall crimson like drops of blood on his cross.
Ted Haggart leaves the room. In the yard beneath the cross, a few members of the Republican party have gathered. Outside lies a different kind of world. That world will decide his fate.
For Ted Haggart
Đặng Thơ Thơ – 11/26/06
translated by Đỗ Lê Anhđào/.
translated by Le Dinh Nhat Lang from Ở KHOẢNG GIỮA MỘT GANG TAY (damau.org 11)