Song to Walk on the Waters

Hernán Rivera Letelier


In the last months of Allende’s government, Brando Taberna and his friend Cristo Perez, in the sensual company of the buxom Jerónima Monroe, converge on Arica in northern Chile, after leaving their homes and home towns to live as tramps and have experiences.The fate they have lined up is just an excuse and they are in absolutely no hurry to find out what it holds. On their wanderings Brando discovers books and gradually develops his poetic calling by writing continually. Cristo on the other hand shows a breadth of cultural learning that leads Brando to wonder who his friend really is: at times he sounds like a hopeless mystic; at others not quite so crazy despite his odd appearance. During Pinochet’s coup Cristo disappears after being arrested but the rumour reaches Brando that he has been seen in uniform, dressed as a milico. Just who was Cristo Pérez? A soldier incognito? A snake in the grass? A traitor? Will Brando ever find out the truth?


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