It's unclear if these two stories are meant to be linked. They have very little thematically in common, except for a certain morbid quality, though the one element that seems to link them is significant enough that the latter (El lecho) may be intended as a febrile vision from the former (Visiones).
Visiones is the story of a woman who wakes up in a hospital bed. It's unclear why she's in the hospital or how long she has been there. Her consciousness is fractured, she believes she has awoken in her own bedroom, and so she is confused by the fixtures and objects in the hospital room. The interactions with the nurse are strange, but the nurse reassures her she will get better. As the story reaches it's conclusion, the narrator begins to think of beds (lechos), their relationship to birth, sex, life, and death.
The story that follows, "El lecho" ("The Bed") is a brief story of a couple, whose relationship has its troubles but who find an escape from their problems when sharing a bed. One day in bed, the woman smells smoke and suggests a fire. The man says it is an olfactory illusion. The woman says she hears the fire, which sounds like a flowing river. The man says it is auditory illusion. When they both see that the room is brightly lit by the blaze, the woman says that if they hold each other tight, the fire will only burn their backs. The man says they will be burned throughout. And so ends the brief and creepy fever dream.
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago