The Elementary Particles

Today the air of this city is full of smoke. Somewhere near a forest burns. Grandpa will join the Fire Department: he had a prostate surgery last month and has been uranating with great power.

A few years ago, I told my compadre he should read Michel Houellebecq's The Elementary Particles . I believe it was the only book I recommended to him. It’s one of the novels I have read the most. My memory is bad selective. Every time I read I book that I've read before, I am able to enjoy it as if it was the first time. I do not lie. I just exaggerate a little bit.

La nata densa y gris sigue invadiendo el aire. Me recuerda al lugar de donde vengo. Me hace pensar en China. El planeta se incendia. Quizá esto esté llegando a su fin. Esto sí lo recuerdo: la novela comienza en un tiempo después-del-ser-humano: habitan otros seres que –con algo parecido a lo que nosotros llamamos sadness— they talk about the humans and the way in which we used to live on Earth.

It’s one of those books that makes me feel in good company. When I started living here, I got a second hand copy. I lent it to James but we no longer talk to each other after a little disagreement. I don’t know if he read it. He didn’t return it so hope is not lost. My compadre, in his time, didn’t follow my suggestion. Now it’s late.

Houellebecq would also be a good element at the Fire Department. He must be a spark, fire, smoke and ash expert. He never leaves his cigarette. Smokes one after another. Chain smoking.That's how they say here. Maybe he set that fire. Or someone that smokes like him. If that's what it was, I hope that that someone can write novels as good as him. I would like to read them as well.

Photo by Martin Canova

Abel Ibáñez G.

Director and editor of ERRR Magazine. Musician and writer. Born in Mexico City and moved to Australia some years ago. Likes beans and olives.