What We Do Not See. (Laparoscopic Coronariography)

Ezequiel Suárez

From: Suárez, Ezequiel. “Lo que no vemos (coronografía paroscópica),” Lo que venga, año 2, no. 1, La Habana, Cuba, 1995.

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What We Do Not See (Laparoscopic Coronariography)

by Ezequiel Suárez

“Life is often confused with action. The largest part of human life is hidden.”

A. Gormley

We see a woman lying on an operating table, her head slightly tilted, her mouth warm, misty, static, panting, incomprehensible; her eyes placidly sunken in their dark orbits. The woman is not dead and is not naked. Neither is she intact: a thin rubber tube comes out from a puncture in her groin, at a side of the antonymic reality: vulva, cunt, swamp, watering whole…

We see a man inconsolably approaching… and with two fingers get hold of the soft hose which sinks, with all its weight, into the lying body. We see him bend, inhale, groan, set a purple eye on the cold hole of the hose and look in. We do not see what he sees but we desperately know by intuition. At the end of the corridor, of the bloody hallway that doctors and anatomists call “femoral artery,” a strange floating orb – not just any bundle, not a minor planet – TANIA BRUGUERA’S LONELY HEART…

Pushing in the tube a little more into that narrow, engrossed heart – skirting the gigantic clusters of blood that frequently develop inthe coronary cavity when a simple and passing affliction is risen to the rank of Immense Pain – we suddenly bump into a strange room full of leaves… of real leaves, silhouetted against a sky that is also real!!!…Prickling up the ears, containing emotion (putting the ear really near to the ominous edge of the hose to hear well) we perceive a deep clamor coming from afar, something like… I don’t know, perhaps a… a… Yes! (we suddenly find that noise in our memory) a waterfall! Behind those leaves there is a waterfall: abundant, vertiginous, as unstoppable as a bullet!

We go nearer (that is, the hose goes nearer, the light on its tip and the eye looking), and more, and more, and more… until the eye almost touches the leaves and the water. At length, shamelessly, we stop to see. This is what we do not see:

  A large torrent of water falling delicately, implacably, on the scorched stones bellow (our own petrified heads).

  Sudden, ungovernable, self-willed water, cyclic like a wave, and at the same time slow, imperceptible, almost held up.

  A liquid perpetually boiling always about to spill but never, never, achieving it.

  A waterfall that drips.

But this, naturally, is what we do not see. What we see is something else: a woman lying on an operating table.