My God is a Gun, translated into English in 2013 by the late Melvin Milo Melbern from a Spanish translation of an anonymous and untitled Quechuan text, is an anomaly in the history of translation.
The heat in the office was stifling, the young women working in Project C glancing over at each other periodically to exchange raised eyebrows accompanied by hand-wafting gestures towards their face. Being in Project A, Lance Helbark’s desk was as far from the air conditioning as possible, and as such he was much worse off than the girls in C.
I had to find myself: that, I knew, but I had only the slightest, mistiest and most oblique inkling of how to do it. I had only just started to realise how lost in it all I truly was, and how time was catching up with me in a manner that could be considered hostile. My grandfather’s voice in my ears: explore, excavate, delve deep – when you have done that, you will know that you have found yourself.
I met somebody at work today. There was something about his eyes that rang hollow like the kind of expression I imagine people see me to have.
The collar of my shirt is soaked through, and my feet are sweating so much that it feels as if I’m walking through a swamp. The girl behind the counter asks me for ID, and I take out my provisional driving licence.
Drawing near to the end now. I’m ready for it. I think. Been waiting for them to come for me for a while now. It’s a nice room – not too cold, not too warm. Full air conditioning, what a rarity – and it’s quiet for miles around.
Somebody knocks on my door and I try to stand but fall back down. I try to stand again and this time my legs grace me with regular use and I stumble to the door with the bottle of beer in my hand. I open the door.