Optic Nerve by María Gainza (Translated by Thomas Bunstead):
It’s inevitable. You talk about yourself all the time, you talk so much that you end up hating yourself. When I get tired of me, of the constant mental gymnastics, it strikes me that ending up as a ghost wouldn’t be the worst fate. I mean the kind of troubled spirit that’s at the bottom of the phantasmal pile, the dumb blondes in the hierarchy of specters and poltergeists, tasked basically with frightening anyone unfortunate enough to live in an old building. “Rappers” is an old English word for these spirits. And I think that, if there were any vacancies, Fabiolo would be at the top of my list of people to spook. Go and shake his curtains on still nights, draw big question marks in toothpaste on his bathroom mirror, turn on the kitchen taps, and anytime he spoke to a girl on the phone (those dirty bitches, they should keep their hands off), mumble curses in my best Aramic. I know, I’m terrible. To be a troubled spirit, to somehow disembody onself—to dis-whatever my plodding brain, above all, and cast out my morose thoughts, the constant seething in my heart, to return to a state of mere energy, the random glimmering of the paranormal . . . To not think for a while, at least: that would be nice.