Don Borges Nobel Prize, damn

to gift Borges the bread of Nobel Prize it was burned, over and over again, in the oven door. The High Blind was amused by this annual frustration. We, every October, were left withered. Today we know that the prodigious writer went to breathe differently. But the frustration does not subside. Question: Why does this “absurd wound” caused by the non-Nobel persist? Could it be that we Argentines find it unbearable not to be ecumenical champions of something? The proximity of the World Cup aggravates this neurosis.

Flower for the moment this one to reflect on our virtues, defects, tricks… That’s where we discovered that we love, to the point of desperation, being world champions. Being runners-up is embarrassing for us. Said in sidewalk language: Here, the one who is not a world champion of something is an asshole. Not only that: when we are given a world champion we consider it God’s decision. Because -remember- God is Argentine from father and mother.

But reality, the only truth? It has been warning us that Argentines are not “the best in the world.” But watch out for the louse: we are not “the worst” either. Being Argentine is something that can happen to anyone. Anyway, stubborn, we think we are the best. And we find comfort when the Vargas Llosas tell us that we are “the most inexplicable”. Always, “the most”. Luckily, the Nobel Prize, so stolen from Borges, saved his native ego from a fucking relapse. Attention: are we saved from relapse? This October, we once again suffered from the reflux of discomfort because Borges did not win the Nobel Prize. That wound bleeds, bleeds. We gave birth to Fangio, and to Maradona… gosh, the divine triangle would have been sealed with Borges.

Stubborn: we do not heal. The No Nobel Prize is a pending colic crouch. We must do something to exorcise that mourning. For my part I will resort to the lie of fiction; I invite you to imagine what happened in the country on the day Don Borges DID win the Nobel Prize. Let’s go to the truth of fiction. Excuse me, this would have happened:

Dawn. Don Borges in his home on Maipú street. His hands rest on his heart; beats, he thinks: “Apparently I’m still alive… today they announce the Nobel Prize for literature. They will not give it to me, I will declare that “not giving me the Nobel proves the wisdom of the Swedes.”

Don Borges notes that he has begun to covet the prize. He is ashamed… The doorbell rings. Doña Ubeda, his resigned maid for three decades, warns him: “Swedish Telegram”. The old man groans: “Mother, my mother…”

The telephone rings. Pay attention. A voice in English tells him: “I am Arthur Lundkvisy, from the Swedish Academy. I have the honor to inform you that you have won the Nobel Peace Prize.” Don Borges ironically replies: “You are confused. If it is the one for La Paz, it must be for Mr. Sábato, he suffers so much.” Lundkvisy corrects himself: “My apologies, Dr. Borges, you have won the Nobel Prize for Li-te-ra-tu-ra.” The stutter is aggravated by a fit of hiccups. Don Borges manages to say: “Undeserved hip accolade… My complete hip works are just a handful of hip miscellanies.” And hangs up and mutters: “Mother, my absent mother, look what is going to happen to your liar…”

In half an hour, I ring again. Doña Úbeda opens the door to see who she is and a barrage of journalists, cameramen, photographers enters, shouting: “Big teacher!” “Idol!”, “Monster!”, “Borges, damn it!” Don Borges slumped on an armchair, prays that Bepo, his cat, be saved from the tumult… Plagued by microphones and clapping, he breathes with difficulty, his hiccups do not subside, two Federal police officers enter to dampen the invasion, but are overwhelmed, and have to back down. . The writer’s department is overflowing with journalistic hysteria. Suddenly, a loud voice: “They are killing Borje. Get back, damn it!” It is the voice of Andrés Selpa, a former boxer who used to be an Argentine champion and who now works as a street photographer. He puts in a couple of punches, Selpa, and persuades the mob.

Don Borges gasps and explains: “This hip Nobel laureate… proves that hip mediocrity prevails in the world…” Asked what his ultimate ambition is now, he replies: “Go to the bathroom immediately.”

The retreat of the pack of journalists through the elevator and the stairs begins. Almost everyone takes some “souvenir”, they dismantle the library. Don Borges does not see, but he feels an unbearable cold… he vanishes.

To all this, the boxer Selpa, who has a lot of street, standing at the door of the building yells, didactic: “Whoever walks out of here wearing a book, I’ll kick my teeth in.”

A couple of hours later, through a neighborhood radio, Don Borges finds out what is happening in the vast homeland: in offices, factories, workshops, furrows, schools, men, women and children interrupt the day. Many are added to an endless column. Are we facing a new October 17? The date makes the writer gag.

Three p.m. since two hours Mary Kodama accompanies Borges. Bepo, curled up on the couch. Kodama looks out of the sixth floor window and sees a crowd with flags, banners, and, oh my, drums! claim to Borje, to go out to the balcony. Kodama goes down to impose silence. Nothing less. And she is won over by the crowd. Then Don Borges goes for her and they also lift him up, and they are already carrying him on a litter down Florida Street, towards the patriotic obelisk. From there the firefighters will move him, with a river of people behind him, to the River field.

Already in the stadium, Don Borges appears through the tunnel, trembling. A double line of Philosophy and Letters student girls make a path for him. The multicolored pieces of paper are raining. The full-throated crowd chants: “Borges / Plato / a single heart”. A sportscaster with his tonsils ripped off shouts: “And with us… Luiiiiis Borjeeeeee, new world literature champion!!!”

At ten o’clock at night Don Borges returns home. Maria Kodama, hospitalized, with a broken collarbone. Now the austere dinner is shared by the boxing photographer: grits soup, bowl of rice, water. Don Borges appreciates the company. Selpa says goodbye with a kiss: “Thank you, teacher, for treating me to your meal.” Borges thinks: “How strange, a man has kissed me and he is a boxer…”

The day comes its night. Already in bed, Don Borges alone with his loneliness; from his blindness spells the deep abyss. He pets his companion cat, tells her: “Bepo, come closer, it’s October but it’s cold, let me keep you warm… can I use your first name? Please, stay with me, son… Look what’s going to happen to me, now I’m a Nobel Prize winner. I swear to all the gods: I didn’t want to be world champion… And now?

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Don Borges Nobel Prize, damn