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Pandemic chronicles: A Perfect Vacuum

Adaptation by me, images added by me.

Illustration for article titled Pandemic chronicles: A Perfect Vacuum

According to its most widely accepted definition, a prologue is a short text that serves as the preliminary taste of a book. There are no strict rules as to who should write it. It can be written by the author or by any other person chosen by them, the editorial, or by good luck. I mention good fortune because the prologue, in a sense, justifies the work’s existence, and -most importantly- guides a would-be reader into getting engaged by work or author. Some die-hards -even- try to catalog prologues as its own literary genre with all its specifications; but I wouldn’t go as far. With very few and bold words: the prologue is nothing but the very first part of a literary piece that lets the reader judge the key structural aspects of the piece they’re holding in their hands for the first time.

I’m profoundly reflective about this topic for two obvious reasons; the first of them being that I have too much free time looking at the ceiling, and the second: I need to find a creative way of naming my current emotional state. and not go crazy.


I am unfathomably enamored of a man that lives nine thousand kilometers from home. I met him exactly six months ago and if I added up all the time we’ve spent together, we would be talking about a month and a half of everyday coexistence. A MONTH AND A HALF. Unless we were talking in dog-years, our experience as a couple that tries to know each other, understand each other, and like one another has been meager. I have had to learn how to deal with my emotions tied up by red flags: forget your expectations and continue your path down the next road. However, listening to what little sanity remains inside me has been impossible. I cannot, I do not want to, I resist.

After two weeks of attempted reading, I grabbed one of my favorite books in my collection: A Perfect Vacuum by Stanislaw Lem. I never thought one of Lem’s book would contain the answers I needed to take account of all of my affliction.


A Perfect Vacuum is a collection of scientific and literary criticisms. It’s a scathing reflection, a brilliant rigmarole, and an authentic literary experiment because all the books reviewed by the Ukrainian writer were imaginary. A Perfect Vacuum narrates things that are desired but impossible to get. It’s a book about dreams that are never realized. An authentic masterpiece.

While reading A Perfect Vacuum I thought about an ideology that might result possibly idiotic, but effectively explains what I’m living through. A relationship, no matter its romantic depth, that is superficial, failed, or victorious (Is there such thing as a successful relationship, vraiment?) is a goddamn book. The book’s thickness, the dimensions, the proportions, the cover, letter-type, and the run depend entirely on a plot written, obligatorily, by four hands.


The exercise I’m carrying out by maintaining a long-distance-relationship with a person that no one knows when I’ll be able to see, due to the tragic and widely known circumstances, is nothing other than A Perfect Vacuum. Together we’re writing the prologue to an imaginary book. We’re using this particular exposition tool without any expectations that it will lead to publishing our book in the future. We’re imagining in fragmentations. Together we design new stories that sometimes surprise us because we don’t know how to handle ourselves or how to commit.

Illustration for article titled Pandemic chronicles: A Perfect Vacuum

On my behalf, I’m exclusively using the most sincere emotional resources I have. Sometimes I’m crude, others I’m sentimental and rarely, I’m grandiose about the would-be structures of a book that is not an essay, but neither a novel. Characters look -but aren’t- made up: they laugh loudly, binge-watch TV series together, they entertain themselves with ingenious trivia, and they keep the tradition of getting wasted together. But, above all else, they keep each other company during their moments of creative sterility and push each other to never stop growing, and stay together in unimaginable ways.

I desire more of you in my life

You’re all over my eyes

My eyes, imagining sleepless nights,

effervescent for you

Memories come avalanching

It’s the snowball effect

which brings me to your arms

My heart is frozen in winter

I forgot about the spring long ago

I don’t know what will mend me

What I’ll do. Hoshi*-

In this deep, there are more questions than certainties in my pockets. Literature has always been an alternative reality to life itself. Why can’t it be the other way around for once? Do androids dream of electric sheep? The imaginary creators of the prologue write synchronous or asynchronous novels?


For the time being, our creative process is in a slow-cooker. If I may be honest, I don’t give a flying fuck about the resulting genre; what I care deeply about is if life will give us a chance for a second edition.

America Pacheco

America Pacheco is a Mexican writer who specialized in chronicles. Pacheco is also an international business expert.

Op-ed writer at animal politico


*: Hoshi is a French artist, the excerpt is from the song “Comment Je Vais Faire.” In Pacheco’s publicaton it was cited in french.

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