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14 May, 2020


It’s been an hour or more that I am endlessly pacing around. I look like a merry-go-round moving without going anywhere. I’m uncomfortable. I arrange the paper sheets. I check my notes. I find excuses to not write. I write and I cross the words. All of the sudden, as I imagine things I ask: what is a ghost?

I think about the senses. In the previous post I write about the ethereal of the smell and how it can generate different feelings, pleasures, smiles and fear. Sight, I tell myself, is more real. It allows me to observe. To see. To perform my profession. Memories are images so some images may not be real.

Sometimes it happens to me that when I sleep I have very vivid dreams. They could be movie scripts. Most, though not all, could be B movie material. However, I enjoy the idea of daydreaming a lot more. As I sit on the balcony I am drinking a coffee. It’s that time of the year in Madrid and the sun’s hitting hard. I close my eyes.

In that moment my thoughts take me back on top of the bike. I see the road. The cold wind hits my face. I love that early morning caress that awakes me. I look at the horizon with the endless road ahead and boredom strikes me. The tedious seemingly never ending kilometers ahead. The journey isn’t always great. So I change the landscape as if you change the channel on TV. Now I am in a mountainous area with plenty of bends. In my imagination I draw the best route to take. It’s fun. A smile draws itself on my face as Athena and I swing and zig zag across. I change the landscape again. The road is mostly straight and only slight bends. I am surrounded by the vastness and far away mountains. I stand and I dance with Athena on the rocks.

In real life, as I ride on the bike, I must control the thoughts that generate images of danger in my head. But in those fictional images based on my memories, my projections, there are also ghosts. Not based on the riding, but on the current situation we are in due to this phantasmagoric virus. They give me irritating messages such as a never ending lockdown and travel restrictions will continue. Or that when travelling will be possible there will be a lot more restrictions. That we may not be able to travel until a vaccines is developed. Or that we may have to spend other lockdowns in other countries. That maybe crossing a border will be a never ending odyssey. That my temporary-import permit for Athena will expire and I will not be able to take her out of Bolivia. Of all, the last one worries me the most.

As I think of these ghosts I try to face them. But they grow. They get larger every time. I try to defeat them in their own turf, but they are very resilient and persistent. They are still spectres, however. I cannot materialize them.

Imagine the world whichever way you want and experience it whichever way you want, I tell myself. Trying to read something, the letters dance around me. I can’t keep them in place. They become spectral. There are ghosts everywhere. How can I make these cloudy visions disappear? Now I imagine; if I could materialise these into a physical body I could break them and make them disappear. Mince them. Turn them into dust and let the wind scatter them far away. Looks like a good option but I don’t know how to realize it. I continue thinking of other ways.

As a last resort, I think of a common photographic technique that freezes movement. And so, I increase the shutter speed of my imagination.


  1. Marilyn Smith says:

    So well expressed, the mix of boredom, anxiety, uncertainty and restlessness we are all facing…and the mental exercises we need to keep trying to stay well in such difficult conditions. Thx for letting us see a glimpse of this part of your journey.

  2. Rolly Reyna says:

    Aunque no sirva de consuelo: Quizá seas el último hombre que estaba dando la vuelta al mundo en moto. Hay fotos y en cada una de ellas sonríe la libertad.

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