Durito's Return

To the national weekly "Proceso"

To the national newspaper "El Financiero"

To the local daily "El Tiempo" of S.C.L.C.,

Chiapas: June 30, 1995


Here go communiques and letters to their respective destinations. June left after playing it would become May as it became July. In fact, according to the "efficient" PGR, supposedly June is the month of my birthday, and according to the complicated computers of the PGR, I should be 38 years old..I solemnly declare that I have not received (yet) not a single coin of gold of the 38 to which I am entitled. Camilo laughs and says what-38-you're-more- like-83. So, it should be 83 coins of gold or its equivalent in UDI's.

Vale. Health and about that jigsaw puzzle, it's my opinion, that its solution is a measure of...shame.

From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, Mexico, June of 1995.


--No, no and no--I answer Durito who has begun the conversation with a brief description of an encounter with Merlin, with a skull's face and a skeleton's body, in order to reveal the secret of the bewitchment of Dulcinea of the Lacandon. --Why do you say "no" if you still don't know what I am going to ask?"--says Durito.

--Because I know that story from Part 2 of the Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha, where Merlin tells Sancho Panza that he should give himself 3,300 lashes on his buttocks.

And then I remember not Sancho's donkey or the winged "Clavileno Aligero.." whose name rhymes with wood, and with the peg he has on his head, and with the swiftness with which he walks; and so, in terms of the name, he could compete with the famous "Rocinante"1, the mount upon which the noble knight defeated the gigantic and bewitching Malambruno. I remember instead the mounts which he suffered with in previous adventures: El Salvaje, who, like his name loved to take off into the thickest bushes when he wanted to be free of his mount, or he would throw himself on the ground and get rid of saddle and cargo whenever both bothered him.

El Puma, that famished horse, as skinny as a hatrack which barely serves to keep others company, and who, so they tell, died of melancholy in a pasture. El Choco, who, if seniority were worth military rank, would be a comandante. Old and noble horse, with a blind right eye who maneuvered with his left in order to clear steep banks and mud heaps, which were abundant in the routes of those days. El Viajero, vivacious and high-stepping burro. El Tractor, a brilliant black male with an elegant and helpful step, a gentleman on the hills of smooth stones filled with the promise of missteps and falls.

P.S. SO HE TELLS HOW CRITICISM AND SELF-CRITICISM...IS FORMATIVE? A heavy cloud rest among the trees and the moon pierces it with thousands of white pins. Some caterpillar, who forgets that it is June, makes his way dubiously between the campfire and the red-gray of the cigarettes. Any dawn, any mountain, any men somewhere and...a beetle?

--You have a beetle on your shoulder--Camilo tells me. I remain still and answer:

--And you have a tick on your neck and the other Me a spider on the ear, and I say nothing. At any rate it is not a beetle but a parrot which speaks in french...Durito looks at me, surprised, but he is not intimidated and subsequently begins to recite:

Me pauvre muse, helas! qu'as-tu done ce matin! Tes yeux creux son peuples de visions nocturnes, Et je vois tour a tour reflechies dut ton teint La folie et l'horreur, froids et taciturnes.2

Then he adds, loudly:

We are not ten, nor a hundred,

There are about three of us, count us well!"

The "cell" of three are meeting and Durito has decided to add his stubborn tendency to have nature imitate art so he joins the session.

--Weren't the three musketeers four?--Durito asks me when I protest his presence at the meeting. I defer and Durito interprets that as approval so here we are..the three of us are four.

The first point of order is to give the cell dedicated to political study and cultural activities a name. In honor of Etore Scola we call ourselves the "dirty, bad and the ugly". There were protests. Camilo says we may be dirty and ugly, but that about being bad is simplistic and Manichaeistic[a dualistic philosophy dividing the world between good and evil; translator's note]. Camilo wants to change "bad" for "smartalecks" so now we are the "dirty, ugly, bad and smartalecks". Criticism and self-criticism always provoke a profound silence which reveals complicity.

But today there are too many mosquitos, and threats of rain, and no one wants to leave the fire and the smoke so my other Me begins a session which promises to be like a dialogue between the e-zee-el-en and the supreme government. "I make this self- criticism because I went to gather firewood when it was the Sup's turn and so I have fomented his laziness and his lollygagging with his stories about beetles and gallant knights". I remain calm and answer with a conciliatory "I make the self-criticism that I am always picking up after my other Me and I foment in this way his laziness, procrastination, and royal fuck-ups". Camilo makes no criticism or self-criticisms, he just amuses himself listening to my other Me and yours truly exchange criticisms disguised as self-criticisms. We would have been there all night had it not been that it began to rain. The wood got wet, the fire went out...

The secretary of the cell did not get named because Durito, or the parrot, alleged that the electoral registry should be purged. P.S. he declares: I received a writing booklet (which they say was sent since April) with a reproduction on the cover of an oil painting by Pablo Picasso called Woman with Yellow Hair. On the first page it says: "For sonnets and other things. Take care of yourself". I inaugurated the booklet with the following: "If I knew how to write sonnets I would not have taken up arms, and if I took care of myself I would not be here. Signed, the Sup" and I've gone on to use the booklet for "other things".

Vale once again. Health, and if the eyes shine, what does it matter if the night drowns us?

The Sup blowing out the candles on the cake, just to show he can still blow..(Durito says you can't put out candles with sneezes. I told him you can't have cakes of mud in order to thicken the soup for the pee-gee-are [PGR, Mexican justice department; translators note].

1)Chapter XI. "Of things which concern and touch this adventure and memorable history".

2)"La Muse Malade", in Les Fleurs Du Mal. Charles Baudelaire.

Translated by: Cecilia Rodriguez, National Center for Democracy, Liberty and Justice, an affiliate of the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico.