One time he called home and he himself answered the phone. He couldn’t believe it, and hung up. He tried again and again heard his own voice answer. Then he gathered the courage to ask for himself and his own voice told him not to keep insisting because he was never coming back. “Whom am I speaking with?” he asked, finally, and heard, dumbfounded, what he should never have heard. What did he hear? Nobody knows, but it must have been something terrible because he could not control the laughter rising in his throat, suffocating him. The next day the news wasn’t in the papers, a shame if you bear in mind that all true journalism consists in going beyond appearances, to total truth, and even more if it perhaps had to do with a metaphysical problem in the telephone company. You could inquire into the reality of this event, exposing yourself—it’s true, at your own risk—to the possibility that all the telephones might conspire against you one afternoon and silence you, definitively.
Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.