I have a mania read interviews with writers. Since I was a teenager, when I read someone, then I spend days looking for everything that author has said. I’m especially interested in that always ask them about their routine, as if everyone had to have one. As if the exercise of writing could not simply be chaos.
Because of that nosy streak, I know how Hemingway, Cortázar, King wrote … The vast majority count that as if it were important. And I suppose it must be when those details are always asked of them and there are people like me who want to know them.
Then there is inspiration, which some say has to catch you working, although I think that is not necessary. Inspiration is given to me by laziness, wasted days, those idle hours in which what I want to tell is piling up without my knowing it inside of me and then, another day that seems just as lazy, it turns out that I have to do it, now yes, now he goes out alone and that afternoon, that night or that morning he leaves of being unproductive because everything has germinated while I felt guilty for not writing a letter.
I tell all this because I have remembered the first column that obsessed me. I was a teenager who lived in a house without books in which newspapers were not read either, only Sport (every day, my father). I don’t know how, I came to a surreal column that told the story of a man who had gone to the doctor’s office and in the waiting room had an epiphany and found out she wanted to be a laying hen. He recounted all the tedium of waiting with fine humor and at the end, he told you: I want to live outdoors and happily like laying hens. I want to be a laying hen. He ended up leaving the office flapping and cackling.
It was a cool, perfect, round column. And difficult, because it was humor, and nothing is more complicated than humor. I was about 16 years old, I remember that I cut the column and laminated it (something very rare for me, I never keep anything). Many times I have looked for it to share it but I cannot find it. If anyone has it, please send it to me. It was published in this newspaper, ABC, in the 90s. It was from Chumy Chúmez. If I ended up writing columns, I think it was because of him. I also want to be a laying hen.