Letter to the Mayor of Vuitonia

I have just turned fifty and, after an exhaustive medical examination, I can say that my physical health is exceptional. My doctor even gave me a hug to congratulate me on what he believed a biochemical miracle. The unusual thing is that I do not take care of myself in the slightest: to paint you a picture, I can tell you that for as long as I can remember, whenever I go to a restaurant, before asking for the menu, I always ask for a salt shaker. I think I would be very happy trying any soup cooked with the salty waters of the Dead Sea. All my life I have smoked like a chimney, and I have been admitted to the emergency room of the medical clinic more than once for the occasional ethyl coma. I sleep in woolly socks in summer and bare feet in winter. I never reject the drugs that my old party friends offer me. And since this city has become the home of horrendous sport events, the only physical exercise I do is fruitless falconry with my parakeet. And despite everything, my heart is as healthy as a fawn’s and my liver as fresh as a calf’s fed on Alpine grazing.

But although my physical health is enviable, my mental health is deplorable. These last few months I have fallen prey to a terrible melancholic state; I am so lost that I do not know whether to look out of my internal gallery window, where I can only see the inhumane regions of myself, or to look out of the window that overlooks the streets of this city, sickened by a psychiatric epidemic evangelised by transgenic horchata and those cancerous clouds provoked by the combustion of the Fallas. And I wonder if this bitter distress is because I, too, have been an actor in this pitiful variety show in which I made my money building niches for the living and palaces of polished gypsum for the dead. I, too, have showed off my olive tan, dressed in Armani suits, worn Loewe shoes, and sunk my teeth in the lurid udders of this Arcadia of waste and the brick tyrants next to the beachfront. Your excellency, Madam Mayoress, I invite you to be sodomised by each of the gargoyles of our civil Gothic. Oh, my beloved Valencia! Why have you hypnotised those faint of heart with these big events and then forced them to wake up in foam parties?

Raise your hand if you want to condemn our public television to 30,000 hours of test cards. Must we pay the enormous salaries of these wholesalers of stupidity with public money? How long will we have to keep supporting these leaders who seem to have stepped out of a blend between auto sacramentales and the worst films of the Spanish erotic cinema? My most Honourables, negotiate a petition now so we can hold a World Expo in 2050 with the unique theme of sewage waters. Councillors, I do not want your counsel. I will not be the one who climbs on the prepaid base of pedestals to watch the Pope’s papist papacy parade. The formula for atrocity: speed equals developable space divided by government time. Formula 1 is the song of songs. Melancholic vicar, stay on Valencia’s moon with your Saturnian priapism! Madonna, do not bring us your methadone! I would rather commit a moral suicide than register blindly in your expansion districts.


Text: Letter to the director —signed by the character Grao— included in the work Soothing the Soul, by Lluïsa Cunillé and Paco Zarzoso (Big and Small collection). Image: The Gilda sisters, by Vázquez: Hermegilda with Leovigilda’s hair.