The Last Ones

[translated fiction]

The first thing he recognized were José Luis’s mannerisms. He remembered
the way he’d sit on the bench and chew the little pink eraser on his pencil. Maybe
if he tried hard enough he’d be able to remember every part of the school: the sticky
hallways, the fossilized gum stuck under the long benches, the scratchy, pinching sleeves
of the uniforms. He could feel it all come rushing back at once in El Feeling nightclub, which was doused in fluorescent lights that danced on the tables and soaked in the bitter stench of urine that ran down the walls. Giovanni tried to light a cigarette, but his hands were shaking. When he finally got it lit, he distracted himself by looking at the artificial light diffused through the smoke he pushed from his mouth. His coworkers were off dancing in a private room. They’d all pretended to be drunker than they really were so someone might dare to suggest ending their bender at El Feeling.

Giovanni laid his head down on his hands, on top of the food-flecked tablecloth. He had a headache, and from somewhere through the pulsing murmur of the club he was able to make out a man’s booming metallic voice. The man was gigantic, monumental, even, with round legs and violet heels, and if he hadn’t been dressed as a woman, Giovanni thought, he would’ve made a handsome man. Giovanni was never really that way, but he’d had a few partners. He remembered how one had fallen in love with him, Gabriela? Or Jenny? He’d kissed her eyelids as she shivered underneath him and he ran the warm tip of his tongue over her thighs—those wide thighs like the woman’s at the table in front of him now, with her purple-painted lips and platinum hair past her waist. It was then, as she was chewing at the curve of her fake nails, that he recognized her furtive expression—as if she was waiting secretly for something inevitable. The first thing that made him recognize José Luis were his mannerisms. Besides that, she looked just like any heavily made-up woman leaning back on a Corona-brand plastic table.

The first thing he recognized were José Luis’s mannerisms. He remembered the way he’d sit on the bench and chew the little pink eraser on his pencil. Maybe if he tried hard enough he’d be able to remember every part of the school: the sticky hallways, the fossilized gum stuck under the long benches, the scratchy, pinching sleeves of the uniforms.

José Luis looked at Giovanni for a second, stunned and stuck in his seat in the middle of the dark club, his dress speckled with crumbs and beer. He let out a cackle as he clumsily got up from his table.

“Giovanni? Ideai! Well, look who it is.” She sauntered up to him and her hair covered her breasts as she crisscrossed one leg in front of the other. She leaned on the table. Giovanni invited him to sit down, but instead she hugged him, clinging to his shoulders. He found José Luis’s scent hidden under the perfume and then Giovanni was back in the hallways of the school—that evening alone on the bathroom floor, surrounded by all that blinding-white sadness. “Luisa, I’m Luisa now. Check it out, Papi, I got my chin and tits done. Although look… I still need work on my booty and dick.” She bit her lip. “But you know how it is, some guys like it, it’s a real pain in the ass! But I have my very own boy-toy now! Can you believe it? One of those for-real real boyfriends. Oh, and I have my salon, which is super successful, over on First. It’s called ‘Zielo.’ Sounds like some high-class stuff, right? You know I always liked exclusivity, because of my aunt. You remember her? What do you mean no! Yeah, she was the wife of a congressman, one of those real legit-lady types, with her roots always touched up, and my family—we were poor, I mean poor, but we all turned out cute and pretty feisty. And you? What’ve you done?”

Giovanni poured her a beer without being able to shake the memory of how José Luis had come into the bathroom that afternoon and said, “I’m a woman in the body of an ugly man.” He took out a little tube of lip gloss from his backpack and edged up close to the mirror. He must’ve seen Giovanni by then, sitting on the floor next to the urinals, his gaze drilled into the intricate blue pattern in the tile floor. Giovanni had just learned that his father finally died and had been sitting there a long time. To be honest, it was a relief for everyone—it was a relief for Giovanni. No more mopping up the black vomit, no more spending every night at the hospital, no more holding his icy yellowed hand and pretending not to be tired and pretending that they still loved him. He didn’t remember how long he’d been sitting there, looking at the line of filth collected in the grooves between the tiles, or how many boys had come in and asked if he was all right. He couldn’t remember if he’d answered them. It was then that José Luis had come into the bathroom, swinging his hips just like he was now, here in this fag nightclub.

Giovanni looked at him. He looked like a woman, and his lip quivered when he spoke. Luis was barely recognizable, but Giovanni recognized in him his familiarity, his caring nature, same as that day when Luis had stood in front of him with his backpack hanging off one shoulder and his hand on his hip. Giovanni remembered Luis’s instinctive need to comfort him. The water from the sink had been leaking towards the drain in the floor like a bitter cold comet-tail of clear water. José Luis had crouched down at his side, touched his shoulder, and called him by name in his fake and effeminate voice. Giovanni pushed him over. He remembered the sound of him falling down on the freezing-cold tiles. José Luis got up, but instead of leaving, he sat there next to him, watching the light pour in through the tiny bathroom window.

Giovanni could feel the close heat of his body. He intuited the weight of his clothes and searched for José Luis’s skin, the wetness of his tongue, his lipstick viscous with glitter, the tickling of his eyelashes against his cheek, his false scent. Giovanni shook with fear. He saw Luis now, transformed into a mass of curves with a bough of yellow roses tattooed on his wrist, and he thought about that day on the bathroom floor. How he’d forced his tongue into his mouth, and how they’d fooled around, fighting each other until the disgust and feverish trembling of his body overcame him. He’d thrown up right there, right on the pants of José Luis’s uniform.

No more mopping up the black vomit, no more spending every night at the hospital, no more holding his icy yellowed hand and pretending not to be tired and pretending that they still loved him. He didn’t remember how long he’d been sitting there, looking at the line of filth collected in the grooves between the tiles, or how many boys had come in and asked if he was all right.

“I’m not mad about the puke thing, Gio.” Luisa placed a hand on his thigh and batted her long fake lashes. “But make sure to tell your lady to go to my salon. Ugh, my Gio, don’t act all surprised. Yeah, I know all about it. It even showed up in the newspaper with all those fancy-ass people, right? Yeah, she’s pretty. I saw that it said ‘Mirta Diaz de Macuspanni,’ and I said to myself, what other Macuspanni is there in Tuxtla besides you, and I saw the photo of the baptism of your kid—what a cutie that little pichi of yours! So cute! I’m so damn happy to know you’re doing good. You were… like, the first guy I fell for. Oof, if you couldda seen me, the moment you stepped into that classroom, just seeing you made me wanna chew on the end of my pencil.”

“His name is Enrique, like my dad, he’ll be one next month. My wife is planning a party with her sisters—can you believe it, they want to make the local front-page news.” Giovanni didn’t know why he felt the need to mention this, maybe because he liked to imagine Luisa lifting up that little magenta dress, touching herself while looking at the photo in which he appeared with his wife, carrying his baby, in the house they’d just moved into.

He saw Luisa’s lipstick on the rim of her Styrofoam cup. He saw the fake breasts squeezed into her dress. He thought about his wife’s, also fake, but Luisa’s were glistening with sunflower oil. He felt suffocated by the music, by the time. He took off his blazer and sighed several times for all the lives he’d never live. He knocked the table as he stood and the beers rolled off and shattered on the floor. Luisa got up with him, and they tried to maneuver their way out between the club-goers. It was like a carnival with all the bodies convulsing to the music, and the singing queen on stage started to intone a tango. Someone threw a bottle at her that exploded into a thousand dazzling pieces around her heels.

As they walked along the street it smelled even more like urine than it had inside. They ducked around the corner to stay out of sight. Giovanni lit another cigarette, leaned against an unlit lamppost, and Luisa rested against his shoulder, whistling a little tune.

“You know, Gio, the other day I had a dream. I was dyeing a client’s hair, I think maybe it was the chemicals, because I dreamt about a man who was dying. I thought it was my dad, ’cause it’s been a super long time since I’ve seen him; but no, he’s still alive and kickin’. But the dream was so real. I dreamt about a man dying and puking up black stuff, and then I was the puke. I was your puke on my pants in the bathroom, which I hope you remember, Hum!”

“I don’t know, I don’t really dream, José Luis. I don’t have much time for that anymore.” Giovanni leaned against the wall. He didn’t want to go home, and he stroked his wallet in his pocket and then his keys. A key for the locked house where a woman slept with a child, in a room clouded by the sugary scent of vanilla candles.

“In my dream there was a city, I don’t know if you know much about dreams, I do, maybe it’s because I’m a Gemini and I feel drawn to the mystic and change, it’s on account of my cosmic ascendant: but anyways, in my dream there’s a city and I was out there workin’ it you know, just a broke-ass ho, but I was still just a little high-school brat, and I had a key that opened all the houses in town. I went into this old house and started making the bed. You know how? Like how they make the beds in hotels, like, tucking the corner of the blanket under the mattress.”

Giovanni loosened his tie. His coworkers would already be fucking someone by now. He bit his lip and let his cigarette butt fall to the ground. It bounced against the concrete, once, twice; its restless little light still glowing. He was like that cigarette, carrying inside himself a tiny ember that consumed him, small, but incandescent.

“Mmmm, so check it out, you’re not even listening! In my dream, it was like when I was still doing my show. They used to call me La Garoputa, but I actually went by Garota, which is like ‘girl’ in Brazilian. I was in high school when I did my show here, but before it was El Feeling it had another name, it was owned by don Iván and it was called… Butterflies! Ooh, I must’ve been about sixteen. I started out singing Emmanuel, but I really liked singing that one song, El Día que me Quieras. Oh, and hey, by the way, I lied to you earlier, the truth is I don’t have a boyfriend, well, I mean… not a for-real real one, anyway.” Luisa stepped a little closer and her platinum hair wound around the buttons of his shirt. She smelled like peanuts and onions, and Giovanni put his arm around her waist. “But in my dream, I was La Garoputa again, and I had a house and a crib with a baby in it and you opened the door and you said to me, you said…”

He imagined his father again, alone and facing that paradoxical clarity of death, and without even closing his eyes very tight, Giovanni could really remember it. He squeezed Luis and pulled him nearer until he held him so close he could see his wrinkles and eyeliner. He listened to the thick murky sound that escaped from El Feeling and the hissing of the few cars that crossed the avenue. He leaned his head on Luisa’s shoulder and rested his lips on her skin. He could hear her breathing, and her voice took on another quality, manly and cavernous. Giovanni felt her body come undone as he ran his hand along, stroking her uncovered back. The gritty sidewalk under the soles of her shoes, the icy slick floor of the bathroom, the smell of bar food on her breath, the locked door of his house, his child inside wrapped in a star-patterned blanket, twisting like unburying himself from the sheets, like his father in the starry blankets of the hospital. He wound his arms around José Luis tighter and tighter until he heard his stilted breathing and masculine voice that whispered in his ear, “So in my dream, you have my voice and I have yours, and you tell me, ‘El día que me quieras, baby, we’re gonna fuck this world right up its ass,’ and you look at me, just like you’re lookin’ at me now, and you tell me your blood woke you up this morning, boiling.”


Los últimos

Lo primero que reconoció de José Luis fue su gesto. Recordó la forma en que se sentaba en las bancas y cómo masticaba la cabecita rosada de su borrador. Quizá si lo intentaba, recordaría cada uno de los lugares de la escuela: los pasillos pegajosos, el chicle fosilizado debajo de los mesabancos, el escozor de las mangas del uniforme. Sintió todo de nuevo en el Feeling, rodeado por las luces fluorescentes que bailoteaban sobre las mesas y el hedor agrio de las marcas de orines que escurrían de las paredes. Giovanni intentó prender un cigarro, le temblaba la muñeca. Cuando por fin pudo encenderlo, se entretuvo viendo la luz artificial difuminada por el humo que expulsaba de su boca. Sus compañeros de trabajo estaban bailando en un privado; todos habían fingido estar más borrachos de lo que en realidad estaban, para que alguno propusiera ir a terminar la borrachera al Feeling.

Giovanni descansó la cabeza sobre las manos que posaba en el mantel moteado por las sobras de comida; le dolía la cabeza, pero en medio del murmullo, alcanzó a distinguir la voz metálica de un hombre que retumbaba en el antro, era monumental, con piernas redondas y zapatos púrpuras, de no estar vestido de mujer, pensó, hubiera sido un hombre apuesto. Giovanni nunca lo fue, pero había tenido varias parejas. Recordaba que alguna se enamoró de él ¿Gabriela? o ¿Jenny? Le besaba los párpados, mientras tiritaba debajo de él y Giovanni recorría tibiamente sus muslos con la punta de su lengua, esos amplios muslos como los de la mujer de la mesa de enfrente, que tenía los labios pintados de púrpura y el cabello plateado por debajo de la cintura. Fue entonces cuando reconoció ese gesto furtivo como el de esperar algo inminente a escondidas, mientras mordisqueaba la curva de sus uñas postizas. Lo primero que reconoció de José Luis fue su gesto; por lo demás, daba la impresión de ser sólo una mujer con mucho maquillaje, reclinada sobre una mesa de Corona.

José Luis lo observó por un segundo: perplejo y clavado en su silla en medio del antro oscuro, con la camisa salpicada de comida y cerveza; comenzó a carcajearse mientras se levantaba ruidosamente de su mesa.

— ¿Giovanni?, ¡ideai! —, se acercó a él, su cabello le cubría los pechos, caminaba cruzando una pierna frente a otra, se reclinó sobre su mesa. Giovanni lo invitó a sentarse, pero ella lo abrazó colgándosele un poco de los hombros; sintió el olor de José Luis debajo del perfume de mujer que lo enmascaraba. Giovanni volvió a los pasillos de la escuela, a la tarde en la que se quedaron solos en el baño sobre el piso, rodeados de toda esa blanquísima tristeza.

—Luisa, ahora soy Luisa. Velo papi: me puse mentón y me implanté las tetas. Aunque mirá… me faltan las nalgas y el pito —se mordió el labio—. Pero ya sabes, a algunos les gusta, ¡es un estorbo! Ahora tengo un cola, ¿tú crees? Uno de esos novios de deveritas. Ah y ya tengo mi salón, es de éxito, ahí en la primera. Se llama “Zielo” suena como de ricos ¿no? Ya sabes que a mí siempre me gustó lo exclusivo, era por mi tía, ¿la recordás? ¡Cómo que no! Si era la esposa de un diputado, una señorona de aquellas, con las raíces siempre pintadas, y eso que mi familia era pobre, pobre. Pero salimos chulas todas y tantito arrechas. ¿Y vos qué hicistes?

Giovanni le sirvió un vaso de cerveza, sin poder olvidar cómo José Luis había entrado al baño diciendo “soy una dama en el cuerpo de un hombre feo”, había sacado un tubito de brillo labial de la mochila y se acercó al espejo, debió ver entonces a Giovanni sentado detrás suyo, junto a los mingitorios, con la mirada clavada en los azulejos del piso. Había estado mucho tiempo ahí, desde que supo que su papá había muerto por fin. En realidad era un alivio para todos; en realidad, era un alivio para él: no más trapear sus vómitos negros, no más esperar hasta tarde en el hospital, no más agarrarle la mano amarillenta y gélida y fingir no estar cansado y que aún todos lo amaban. No recordaba cuánto tiempo había estado sentado ahí: observando la línea de mugre acumulada en la zanja que separaba los mosaicos, ni cuántos chicos habían entrado y le habían preguntado si estaba bien, no sabía tampoco si había respondido. Recordaba que José Luis había entrado al baño contoneándose como ahora en el antro de putos.

Giovanni lo observó. Era lo más parecido a una mujer, pero le temblaba el labio cuando hablaba, apenas podía reconocerlo. Identificaba su cercanía, su consuelo, tal como ese día cuando se había quedado de pie frente a él, con la mochila colgándole de un hombro y una mano sobre la cintura, observando su insaciable necesidad de consuelo. El agua de un grifo se escapaba por la coladera, una estela transparente de agua helada. José Luis se hincó a su lado, le tocó un hombro y lo llamó por su nombre con su voz artificiosa y afeminada. Giovanni lo empujó. Oyó cómo cayó sobre el mosaico helado y límpido. Él se incorporó, pero en lugar de irse, se quedó junto a él, observando la luz que entraba por la pequeña ventana del baño.

Giovanni sintió el cercano calor de su cuerpo, intuyó el peso de su ropa y buscó la piel de José Luis, la humedad de su lengua, el labial viscoso con diamantina, el cosquilleo de sus pestañas sobre su mejilla, su olor falso, tembló de miedo. Lo observó ahora, transformado en un bulto de curvas, con el tatuaje de un ramillete de rosas amarillas en la muñeca y pensó en ese día en el piso del baño, en cómo había arrasado su lengua dentro de su boca: juguetearon, batallando hasta que lo sacudió el asco y el temblor febril del cuerpo; había vomitado ahí mismo, sobre los pantalones del uniforme de José Luis.

—No te guardo rencor por lo de la vomitadita, Gio —Luisa le colocó una mano sobre el muslo y parpadeó con sus largas pestañas postizas.

—Pero decíle a tu mujer que vaya a mi salón. Uuuy mi Gio, no te sorprendás, si yo todo lo sé. Además aparece en el periódico con la gente nice ¿no? Está chula, es que vi que decía: Mirta Díaz de Macuspanni y qué más Macuspanni en Tuxtla que vos, eso me dije, y vi la foto del bautizo de tu niño, ¡qué pichi tan chulote! ¡reeechulo! me alegró harto saber que te va bien. Fuistes…como el primero del que me enamoré. Uuuy si vieras, desde que entraste al salón, de puro verte mordisqueaba mi borrador.

—Se llama Enrique, como mi papá, cumple un año el mes que viene. Mi mujer le prepara una fiesta con sus tías, imagínate, quieren un reportaje de primera plana. — Giovanni no sabía por qué tenía que mencionarle eso, quizá porque le gustó imaginar que Luisa se masturbaría levantando ese vestidito magenta, viendo la revista en la que él aparecería junto a su mujer, cargando a su hijo, en esa casa a la que se acaban de mudar.

Observó la marca de labial de Luisa en el vaso de unicel. Vio los pechos falsos apretujados en su vestido, pensó en los de su esposa, también operados, pero los de Luisa estaban rociados con brillantina tornasol. Se sintió asfixiado por la música, por el tiempo, se quitó el saco, resopló varias veces, por todo lo que no viviría jamás. Se levantó de la mesa, la golpeó al pararse, las cervezas rodaron hasta quebrarse en el piso. Luisa se levantó con él, intentaron salir entre la gente excitada. Le pareció un carnaval, los cuerpos estaban convulsionados por la música, aunque el mampo que cantaba había comenzado a entonar un tango, alguien le arrojó una botella de vidrio que estalló en miles de pedazos resplandecientes cerca de sus tacones.

Caminaron sobre la avenida, pero olía más a orines que dentro, doblaron en la esquina, para que no pudieran verlos. Giovanni encendió otro cigarro, se reclinó en un farol fundido y Luisa descansó en su hombro silbando una tonadita.

—Vieras Gio, que el otro día tuve un sueño, había estado tiñéndole el pelo a una clienta, yo creo que fue el líquido del tinte, porque soñé a un señor que se moría, pensé que era mi papá, como hace harto que no lo veo; pero no, ese anda aún vivo. El sueño fue bien real, soñé un hombre morir vomitando negro, y luego el vómito era yo. Yo era tu vómito en mi pantalón en el baño. Bien que te acordás ¡hum!

—No sé, yo no sueño José Luis. Ya no tengo tiempo para eso. —Giovanni se reclinó en la pared, no quería llegar a casa, palpó su cartera en el pantalón y las llaves. Una llave de una puerta cerrada, en una casa donde dormía una mujer con un niño, junto a un buró donde se consumía el olor dulce de unas velas de vainilla.

—En mi sueño, hay una ciudad, yo no sé si sabés de eso de los sueños, yo quizá porque soy géminis me siento inclinada a lo místico y al cambio, es por mi ascendente cósmico; pero bueno, en mi sueño había una ciudad y yo estaba ahí de puta perdida, arrecheando, pero aún era cuatito de la prepa y tenía una llave que abría todas las casas. Entré a una y me puse a hacer la cama de una casa vieja. ¿Sabés cómo? Como se hace en los hoteles, metiendo la punta de la cobija debajo del colchón.

Giovanni se aflojó la corbata, sus compañeros debían estar cogiendo ya con alguien, se mordió el labio, dejó caer la colilla de su cigarro, rebotó sobre el concreto: una, dos veces, con esa lucecita intranquila aun brillando. Él era como ese cigarro, cargaba una brasita pequeña pero incandescente que lo consumía.

—Mmm vélo, pues, ¡vos ni me estás pelando! En mi sueño, yo era como en los tiempos de mi show. Me decían “La Garoputa”; bueno, yo me hacía llamar “Garota” que es como “chamaca” en brasileño. Ya en la prepa hacia mi show aquí, pero esto antes de llamarse el Feeling tenía otro nombre, era de don Iván y se llamaba…Butterflies ¡Uuuuy! Yo tendría mis dieciséis. Entré cantando al Emmanuel pero a mí me gustaba más cantar esa de “El día que me quieras”. Oí, te mentí hace rato, la verdad es que no tengo novio, bueno no de deveritas. —Luisa se acercó más a él, sus cabellos plateados se enredaron en los botones de su camisa. Olía a cebolla y a cacahuate, Giovanni la rodeó por la cintura.

—Pero en mi sueño, yo era de nuevo la “Garoputa” y entonces yo tenía una casa y un bebé en la cuna y tú abrías la puerta y me decías, me decías…—Giovanni imaginó de nuevo a su padre, solo, ante la claridad inverosímil de la muerte; pero ni aun apretando muy fuerte los ojos, podía realmente recordarlo. Estrujó a Luis, lo jaló hasta tenerlo tan junto que podía verle las marcas del delineador y las arrugas de los ojos. Oyó el sonido brumoso que escapaba del Feeling y el siseo de los pocos coches que transitaban la avenida. Reclinó la cabeza sobre el hombro de Luisa y descansó los labios en su piel, podía oírla respirar; su voz tenía otro timbre, una voz cavernosa y varonil. Giovanni arrastró su mano acariciándole la espalda descubierta. Sintió su cuerpo deshacerse: el piso grumoso debajo de sus suelas, el piso helado del baño, el aliento a comida del bar, la puerta de su casa cerrada; su hijo dentro, envuelto en cobijas celestes, retorciéndose, como desenterrándose de la ropa, como su padre entre las cobijas celestes del hospital. Rodeó a José Luis con más y más fuerza, hasta oír cómo su respiración se entrecortaba y su voz de hombre le susurraba en el oído.

—Entonces, en mi sueño, tú tienes mi voz y yo la tuya y me dices: “El día que me quieras, chula, vamos a clavarle la verga al mundo” y me ves, así como me estás viendo ahora, y me decís que amaneció la sangre rabiándote.


Translator’s Note:

“The Last Ones” posed several fascinating challenges on both narrative and socio-linguistic levels during my translation process. This story takes place in a nightclub in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico, and follows the narrative memory of Giovanni, a closeted man who is recalling his first romantic encounter with someone of the same sex. These memories, which are deeply entangled with the memories of the death of his father, are brought back to life after running into Luisa, who has since transitioned into a woman. Luisa’s dialogue was a particular challenge when translating this story, as the voices of Giovanni and Luisa are quite distinctive in the original Spanish. Luisa uses the second-person vos form, which is typical of countries in Central and South America, but also sometimes present in the state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala. Their register is also quite different. As I was translating, I worked hard to maintain these speech patterns while being conscious of the risk of creating a caricature of transgendered women.

Another challenge this story presented is that it is written as a close third-person narrative. Because of this, the reader is often presented with perspectives that come from the point of view of Giovanni, who is a deeply closeted man. Giovanni’s internal narrative only acknowledges Luisa as a woman about half the time, through the use of feminine pronouns. Because Giovanni often refers to Luisa as “he,” there are some instances when the actions of the two main characters seem to be indistinguishable. This narrative technique beautifully portrays some of the internal conflict that Giovanni is experiencing in this story, such as the painful longing for a life distinct from the one he is currently living, the confusion and shame of being queer in a highly masculine society, and the nostalgia of reuniting with a schoolyard love. The last paragraph of this story wonderfully captures the heartbreak of being able to peer into the window of what could have been. It also provides crucial commentary on the life of queer and transgendered people, and the societal repression they face around the world.


Allana C. Noyes is a literary translator and writer from Reno, Nevada. She is currently an MFA candidate in literary translation at the University of Iowa. She translates from Spanish and French, and her literary and journalistic translations have been published by Mexico City Lit, the Trans-Border Institute, and Solis Press.


Claudia Morales (b. Chiapas, Mexico, 1988) holds a BA in Spanish language and literature from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and she is currently a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Morales is the author of the book, Hospitalidad (2014), and her first novel, No Habrá Retorno (forthcoming) received the Rosario Castellanos National Award for short novels in 2015.