The Story of the Cold Foot and the Hot Foot


To the National and International Press.

October 27,1995.

Sirs,

Here goes a communique. We are not going to run away anymore. By custom we run once a year and we already did that in February, 1995. With regards to the judicial police, they deserve the national prize of agronomy for their ability to "plant" evidence. (Any way you see it, the key question is: Who gave the orders for the arrest? And from this question comes others, for example: Who benefits by the failure of the dialogue process in Chiapas? Send the answers (if somebody has them) to the Secretary of State, where they already know them. They only need to corroborate it. By now they have already ruined the October classics for me, although in baseball (as in politics) the best does not always win. If you don't believe me, ask Castillo Peraza. No, it's better not to ask him anything. He is capable of thinking that it is a flirtatious compliment. What ignorance illiteracy is capable of!

Health to you and make yourselves always walk with a notary public at your side to certify that you don't carry any more "arms" than what God has given you.

>From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.
Insurgent Subcommander Marcos.
Mexico, October,1995.

P.S.: That accepts all the admonitions which don't come from the mediocre arrogance that leads in certain political parties.

The dawn barely begins to appear. The cold and darkness cover the wake of a gallant knight-errant and the sorrow of his wretched squire. As for the moon, nobody finds her and the lightening is followed by thunder. Mud renews itself with rain and wheat with a kiss. Durito reviews the newspaper, bites his pipe and looks at me with reproach.

So you have caused an outrage like those that make history! He says while putting down the newspaper.

Me? I say pretending that I am veeery busy with my torn boot.

Definitely! Who else? You have demonstrated once more that by talking you have the same ability as a stampede of elephants inside a china shop. And not just that. Your clumsiness has allowed an avalanche of mediocre people to declare one and a half foolishness about the half foolishness which you said...

I... What happens is that they did not understand me! I did not want to say what I said, but to say what I did not say, and that is why I did not say what I wanted to say and said what I did not want to say...I defend myself while hiding my shame in the hole in my-- does anybody doubt it?--left boot.

Rubbish! This reasoning has the same logic as that of a PRI congressman explaining their vote against the reduction of IVA.

I remain quiet and start to draw spirals and little circles on the ground with a short stick. Durito feels sorry for me and pats my shoulder. To do this, Durito must climb on my arm and loosen his chin strap. He sits on the side of my neck, and says "Oh my dear and clumsy squire, speaking is slippery and problematic. In reality, it's only worth the trouble to speak to a woman -- the only being with which it is gratifying to be slippery and get into trouble. To talk to a woman, one must do it close to her ear. This way, it does not matter what one says, but the warm closeness to the neck. The words in politics, contain many traps and tangles, and it is not only the words spoken to us, but the words that we say. And now that we speak of politics, it reminds me of a story that could be helpful for the book that you are preparing, and which is titled, if I don't remember poorly, "Stories for a Night that Asphyxiates."

I sighed, resigned to tolerating another of Durito's stories, but he thinks that it is because of the sorrow of the declarations against Don Porfirio, so he continues. He clears his throat and orders me to take pen and pencil, and I write while he dictates the story that he calls...

"The Story of the Cold Foot and the Hot Foot"

The two feet were once together. They were together, but not united. One was cold and the other one was hot. And then the cold foot said to the hot foot, "You are very hot." And the hot foot said to the cold foot, "You are very cold." And they were both doing that, which means fighting each other, when Hernan Cortes arrived and burned both of them.

Is it over? I ask unbelieving.

Of course! It is a story, not one of your press conferences. He answers me.

I look at him with reproach.

He says: Enough. It's fine. Let me think... Mmmmh, Mmmmh, I know! At the end write: "And Hernan Cortes lived very happy. and that's not the end of the story."

It isn't? I ask him while I put the paper in my pocket.

Of course not! There are still many cold and hot feet, so Hernan Cortes would end up having a veeery disagreeable surprise.

Speaking of disagreeable things, I interrupt, they are complaining about you in some newspaper.

About me? Who dares complain of the knight-errant for whom many damsels, of all ages, long for, of whom many big and small children dream of, and who is respected and admired by all the noble men who have existed in the world?

Well, they don't precisely complain about you. They only say that enough of Durito being everywhere. Anyway, they suggest that I leave you out of my epistles and that...

Durito does not allow me to continue and shouts in my ear. Shut up insolent evil! Only a ragamuffin like you could think that respectable people would not enjoy the stories of my great feats, of my undeniable sympathy,and the profound wisdom which is plentiful in my discourse.

But Durito! It is not I who has thought of such absurdity! Consider that some person could exist, it's a hypothesis, who does not respond with the same enthusiasm as...

Durito interrupts again. Well, I concede that is possible that some being exists that could not be interested in me or my wonders. So we would do something to determine the rating you, insolent yokel, have and the one I have, high knight-errant.

I agree with the "errant," but allow me to doubt that of "high."

I am talking of the high ideals, cretin.

Well, what do you propose?

A consultation.

A consultation? But Durito... They are going to say is a joke...

Not another word! A consultation will be. National, International, and interplanetary. And these will be the questions: First. Should the Sup eliminate the Durito stories in his letters? Second. Should the despicable being who dares to demand the disappearance of the Durito stories die in the midst of an inferno that would make the one of Dante's look like a freezer? These are two questions to be answer "yes," "no," "I don't know."

And where should the ones who want to respond they send their answers? Skeptical, I ask.

To my office: "Don Durito of the Lacandona, Hoyito of Huapac number 69. Mountains of Southeast Mexico, Chiapas, Mexico.

I see that Durito is very determined, so it's better for him to clarify some matters.

What are the minimum and maximum ages to participate in this "consultation"?

Minimum is six months old. Maximum is a minute before expiring the last sigh..

But Durito, do you think that at six months old somebody could answer these questions?

Of course! At the age of six months I was already composing those sonnets that make storms in a humid and feminine womb which paradoxically also brings calm.

But you are a beetle!

Even more in my favor! No more discussion! Elaborate the convocation and add that all females could attach to their ballot their best sigh... Although, on second thought... No, it's better not the sighs... Because for sure with so many sighs that will arrive here that they will turn into a hurricane which will leave Roxana in the category of "inopportune breezes." It's better that they send red carnations. Maybe we can do business and exploit them... Well, what do you think?

I think you are delirious. You have gone mad. I say to him.

My dear and wretched squire! The dawn can only rise up with a certain doses of delirium and craziness... Durito says while he goes back to his place and he covers himself again with the little leaf of huapac, not before drawing a great and resounding "69" on the top.

Let me know when the answers start arriving. Hell! I won't be able to get to sleep because of this sweet wait... Durito says seconds before starting to snore as if he were a motor saw with no exhaust valve.

I remain quiet. I light up the pipe and inhale slowly some memory. The dawn above me dilutes its last and dark grays, far away the day takes a bite of the horizon and the cold turns into lukewarmness here... in the mountains of the Mexican Southeast...

Vale again.
Health and that the craziness and the delirium multiply.

The Sup yearning for the flower with which October decorated the Ceiba.


La Jornada, October 30,1995.
(Translated by Eduardo Vera, member National Commission for Democracy in Mexico)


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