The Alabama, Goatman [In Spanish and English Now]

“He sat in the bookstore–pen in hand, thought about goats–don’t ask me why, goats Mr. Soderman that is what he was doing, and he was looking at some magazines, and talking about building a goat ranch.

“He signed the paperwork for the purchase of 4000-acres in Alabama; he’s also going to build a fence around it, its all on paper though, at the bookstore, on napkins first he wrote it out, then he pulled out some official papers from his briefcase, yup, that is exactly what he did, Mr. Soderman,” said Mark Costello.

“He never seen the land I do believe, picked it out of a magazine, the one I think that was by his side, it had a few pictures of it, of the land in Alabama that is, he underlined the the words ‘land,’ called on his cell phone, talked to someone, ordered a fence to be built around it. As if everything would take care of itself thereafter. He lives here in Minnesota, and the land is in Alabama, unbelievable.

“His drawings on the napkins kind of helped him know what kind of fence he wanted I suppose, because it is what he ordered, described to the person over the phone. I noticed the table was green, and very clean, not sure why I noticed that, and I noticed he was eating a piece of coffeecake, with a strong looking latté, funny I wasn’t hungry, I just kind of looked; anyhow there I was at his green table, and here I am talking to you, and there he was looking at all this stuff, sight unseen, and I asked him: ‘How can you do this–buy a goat ranch, sight unseen; how do you know things will be ok, work out as you are planning them? I mean, perchance, this is land the devil himself doesn’t’ want, did you ever think of that?’

“That is what I told him Mr. Soderman, loud and clear, and he just, just looked at me as if I was not even there, not a worry in his face, not a moved eyebrow, or twitches of his nose, or deep sigh. A flat look, and here again I say, pen in hand, and he started writing out checks. Yes indeed, checks for the land, and the goats, and the fence.

‘Here,’ he says to me. Combining all the checks together, and handing them to me.”‘

“What did you do?” asked Mr. Soderman.

“Do, what did I do, what could I do, I was his lawyer, I took the checks; do you think I’d get out of bed at 2:00 AM, run down to this café and not–I mean…?”

“Changing the subject Mr. Lawyer, why are you telling me all this?”

–Mark sat back, facing the window at Mr. Soderman’s back, his obvious humorous back.

“Is that all you have to say Mr. Costello?” said Soderman.

“Sure,” he spit out, adding, “he had them goats in his mind and he knew they were…actually, he lived this before he said, yes levitra orosolubile that is what he said, it was a repeat, now I remember, that is what he said, a repeat, his life, that is what he said, a repeat! He had to live it over and over until he got it right–so he said.

“What then does that make you and me if he is living a repeated life, over and over until he gets it right?”

“Dead,” said Mr. Soderman–

Mark looked at him, fading: pale, a fainted look, fogy like, he became, right in front of him, then said,

“He must have gotten it right this time”; Mark still looking out the window, everything around him fading now, melting into nothingness, even himself.

Written at the bookstore, while having coffee and coffeecake, 1-11-06, Roseville, Minnesota.

In Spanish
Translated by: Nancy Penaloza

El hombre de las cabras de Alabama

“el sentado en la librería-lapicero en mano, pensando acerca de cabras- no me pregunto porqué Cabras El señor Soderman eso es lo que el estaba haciendo, y el estaba mirando algunas revistas, y hablando acerca de construir un rancho para cabras.

El firmo el papeleo para la compra de 4000 acres en Alabama; el también iba a construir un cerco alrededor de esto, esta todo sobre el papel pienso, en la librería, sobre servilletas primero, luego el extrajo algún papel oficial de su portafolios, Si, eso es exactamente lo que hizo el Sr. Soderman”, dijo Mark costello.

El jamás vio la tierra yo creo, lo eligió desde la revista, la que estaba a su lado pienso, había pocas fotografías de esto, de la tierra en Alabama, el subrayo la tierra, llamó a su teléfono celular, hablo con alguien, también ordenó un cerco alrededor. Como si todo podría tomar cuidado por el mismo. El esta aquí en Minnesota, y la tierra esta en Alabama, increíblemente.

“El esta dibujando sobre las servilletas, una forma de ayudarse a saber que clase de cerco quería, porque esto es lo que el ordenó, describió a la persona en el teléfono. Yo noté que la mesa era verde, y muy limpia, no estoy seguro porque note esto, yo note, que el estaba comiendo un trozo de pastel de café, con un late de apariencia fuerte, gracioso yo no estaba con hambre, yo solo miraba en cierto modo; de toda maneras allí yo estaba en su mesa verde, y aquí yo estoy hablando contigo, y allí él estaba mirando toda su mercadería, visión a ciegas, y le pregunté: “Como puedes hacer esto-comprar un rancho de cabras, a ciegas; ¿Cómo sabes que las cosas estaban bien? ¿Salir bien como tu estas planeando? Es decir, posiblemente, esta es la tierra del diablo, que el mismo no quiere, ¿alguna vez pensaste en eso?”.

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