by Pedro Cabiya
May 31, 2012.
Dear Pablo Guardiola:
It’s been several months since I received your message. Your petition, persistently reiterated throughout this whole time, seems to me annoying, impertinent and futile. If I don’t respond to you now I suppose you will find a way to track my new email account, as you have already done five times, so I figured the only way to get rid of you is by giving you what you want.
I don’t know why I am doing this or what could I say to you that I haven’t already said to hundreds of journalists. I am not a farmer. Having a house in the countryside and being a farmer are quite different things. The house that I have in the mountain range is my vacation house. It’s true that I have several acres of land dedicated to grow some basil and passiflora; it’s true that I own livestock, some chickens, guineafowls, goats and a horse. From that to being a farmer there is still a long way to go, I would say. So that part of the information that keeps circulating on the Web is false.
Unfortunately the rest of it… well, the rest is the rest.
His name was Tito.
Being a grateful man, a neighbor gave him to me after I had alphabetized his grandchildren. He was small, hairy. He was cute. He told me, the neighbor, that they live deep in the woods that cross La Calandria, at the other side of the river, and that sometimes they find lost or abandoned cubs around.
His head, his features, signaled the tools of a skilled predator, softened by his infancy. His claws were surprisingly adept and I do not lie when I say that he possessed some sort of opposable thumb. The tongue was agile, restless and tubular, snake like.
He was the ideal pet. Obedient, intelligent, clean. He would slurp his food through his tongue. Now I understand, too late, that he was a liquid-vore. Now I understand, also too late, that the geographical accidents that separate the towns near the chasms of La Calandria have greatly benefited us.
I never took him to the city after my leisure days at the countryside were over. He spent most of the time with the custodians that most certainly mistreated him while I was gone. He reached adulthood abandoned and starving. Goats were his first victims. The name wasn’t my idea. The moniker was the result of a joke made by one of the boors that work for me when we discovered the first dead ones.
We never saw him again. Just as cats regress to a feral state after several months of abandonment, Tito survives with what he has. We have not had any contact ever since. The police have not been able to prove me anything.
Without anything else to add,
Multiple accounts attest that farmer Pedro Cabiya, in the summer of 1994, anointed El Chupacabras (the Goatsucker) with its infamous name. The creature was first sighted in the early 1990’s in the Puerto Rican countryside. Coincidentally around those years Pedro Cabiya was initiating his writing career, publishing his earliest works in the few literary journals that existed in the Island at that time. Due to his early taste for interventions, pen names and intercontextuality, I always suspected that El Chupacabras was his most important work. After years of research and infinite attempts to have direct communication with him, this letter, that I share now with Set to Signal’s readership, is the only thing I got.