And then, one morning, after a quiet night's sleep, you realize there are just two kinds of travelers.
There are those who depart, and there are those who return.
The former wander around maps, the latter look for themselves in the mirror.
And then, one morning, after a quiet night's sleep, you realize life is a journey.
And you need to figure out what is that you have in front of your eyes.
Mirrors or maps?
Maps or mirrors?
And then, one morning, after a quiet night's sleep, you let go one tear and draw a bittersweet smile.
And then, one morning, after a quiet night's sleep, you wake up.
Is there someone there?
And then, one morning, after a quiet night's sleep, you realize there are just two kinds of travelers.
She walks to the left, restless. Looks down, worried. Sighs. Looks up, hopeful. Walks to the right, eager. "I don't know," she says.
He stays still. "What is it?"
"Oh, you know..." She kicks the floor with her left foot.
He does know.
"Don't look at me," she rubs her hands together.
They listen to the loud silence. The walls of the living room fade. They feel uncomfortably comfortable. They have been there before. It is happening again. Once again.
He rushes towards her and kisses her on the lips. He should not have. That is the tipping point.
They kiss and hug and caress and clumsily walk to her room. She closes the door. What they are stays outside. It is just herself. It is just himself. Naked. In a desert island surrounded by blues. Two merging rainbows.
When they open the door again, their paradise sinks. Layers of life that keep them away from themselves. That fade the colors. Only then, the reasoning, the rules, the logic.
"It's cold out here, isn't it?"
Alguien me dijo en una ocasión que de personas había de tres tipos, los que no lo hacen nunca, los que lo hacen sólo una vez, y el resto.
"¿Qué hay de los que nunca se lo plantean?" Dije yo.
Cuando la conocí escondía su cabello, entonces pelirrojo, bajo una boina de lana morada. Vestía una camisa marrón a juego con su manera de mirarme y unos pantalones tejanos negros rotos por las rodillas. Su rostro no era para nada convencional y a pesar de no usar maquillaje resultaba maduro y elegante.
No había dos mesas iguales en el cineklub. No había tampoco dos sillas iguales. Me atrevería a decir que no había dos de lo mismo, sofás, sillones, taburetes, espejos, cuadros, esculturas, y un sinfín de cosas inútiles a la luz de una pretérita pantalla en la que proyectaban películas de Hitchcock, de Godard, de Allen, de Wenders, de Herzog, además de cortometrajes de directores de cine anónimos. Pero si en algo era diferente el cineklub era en que la mayoría de los que allí se reunían lo hacían por separado. Al cineklub la gente llegaba sola y se iba sola. Algunos huían, otros no.
De pequeño, además de aprender a querer ser mayor, descubrí el placer de dirigirme a un desconocido que no volvería a ver. Hay cosas que se aprenden de pequeño y se olvidan después. Eso nunca lo olvidé. De ahí que fuera incapaz de recordar un nombre, un rostro. Lo imprevisible de la interacción, ni el antes, ni el después, eso es.
Yo no iba al cineklub en busca de pasado, de futuro, yo iba en busca de lo efímero de una colección de ahoras. Así fue como la conocí, un año y dos meses después de haber comenzado a ir todos los jueves por la noche. Un año y dos meses después de haberme mudado a un dúplex en Sol.
"Te gusta Frank Capra?" Me preguntó mientras George Bailey recorría las calles de Bedford Falls.
"Me gusta Pottersville."
Era nueve años más joven que yo. Su manera de mirar, de sugerir, sus maneras todavía vírgenes. Un bálsamo. Con diecinueve años me había enamorado de una mujer de veintiocho que me abrió los ojos. Con veintiocho me enamoré de ella. Mientras caminaba solo hacia el metro la luna se escondía detrás de una solitaria nube consciente de que por primera vez el cineklub me había regalado algo más que un ahora.
Cuando llegué a casa ella estaba dormida sobre la mesa de su escritorio, rodeada de planos y maquetas como tantas otras noches. Se desperezó mientras me desnudaba. Mis ojos no mienten.
"Lo siento," dije yo.
"No lo sientas, tarde o temprano tenía que pasar," susurró ella, resignada, triste. "Al fin y al cabo, ¿qué me hace a mí diferente de las anteriores?"
"Es injusto para mí, pero ése eres tú. No te odio. ¿Quién sabe? Quizás esta vez sea diferente. Pero no, no lo será. Dentro de un tiempo, al igual que yo ahora, también ella tendrá que dejarte marchar. Porque bicho," acarició mis labios con los suyos. "Eres aceite."
Posted by :jorG at 14:20
"I know you don't believe me. I know you think I'm joking."
"You'll probably be married by then, but when I finish, before shaving, cutting my hair, or even getting a shower, I will ride to your door and ask you to marry me."
"I know it'll be too late, but some things just have to be done."
"Here, happy birthday," she gave him a handmade book.
"My life before you," he whispered the title.
She had been working on the book for the past five years. Among its pages, polaroid pictures of random useless things, pictures of a younger version of herself surrounded by younger versions of family and friends, love letters never sent, pink, green, red, blue, and black journal entries, drawings, hearts, unicorns, and stars, and the photo booth picture they took of themselves on their third date in the last page.
She could see his heart smiling for the first time in a long time. They dived into a deep embrace. Tears and smiles.
In bed she felt naked, empty, relieved. She stared at him all night while listening to her loud and incisive heartbeat.
He had not notice her shoes were not on his way to the bed as they always were.
The following morning he woke up in an empty bed and unsuccessfully whispered her name and stood up and clumsily walked to the bathroom and stepped on a left foot green Carolina Herrera shoe and fell down.
"Breakfast is ready," he could hear from the kitchen.
The ambulance driver drove as fast as he could through the still busy streets, even though it was already late. When they finally arrived to the packed emergency room he was covered in love and still bleeding despite of the effort of the paramedics. He was bleeding love all over. The doctors could not help him. He urgently needed a transfusion but his love type was unique. They could just helped him die. It was painless.
no aguanto tus manos,
no aguanto tus ojos,
no aguanto tu sonrisa,
no aguanto tu presencia,
no aguanto que te escondas,
que ahora estés,
que ahora no,
no aguanto tus runrunes,
no aguanto tus abrazos,
no aguanto tus promesas,
no aguanto tus parasiempres,
no aguanto que me hagas esperar,
no aguanto que me mires,
no aguanto que me digas que me quieres,
no aguanto que me digas que no,
no te aguanto,
y no me aguanto sin ti.
Posted by :jorG at 17:46
you space out
you get in the water
you wait for the deafening siren
what will i be thinking about for over six hours?
you start swimming
you swim under the scorching sun
you keep swimming
your shoulder hurts
your head hurts
your eyes hurt
you keep swimming
you try to remember
what was i thinking about over six hours?
it is easy to lie to myself, to live a different life in my mind. it is easier when i am surrounded by blues, unattached from my so called life. there you are, waiting for me at the finish line, your eyes smile, so do you. you are anxious, you are worried, you are excited, so am i. but when i step out of the water, my smile is the only one i can see, and i am happy, and so you are. the sky is bluer today, and the clouds smile back at us. even when we are this apart.
I cut open a cuddly teddy bear with a sharp scalpel and substitute the light stuffing by tiny lead balls you can get at any ironmonger's. I sew it back with care, a needle, a thimble, and thread. All I need to do now is get ready for bed and lay down upwards in a bed with the once light, now heavy cuddly teddy bear on top of my chest. It is not your weight I feel anymore, but it works as soon as I switch off the lights and close my eyes. Sweet dreams...
"I love you."
"I love you too."
"There's something I have to tell you."
"You are married, aren't you?" Smiling. "Just kidding!"
"Well," he looked down before looking up again. "I am."
"It's not what it seems."
"You better have a good explanation for this one!"
"I am married to another man."
"Are you gay? Who is this man?"
"No. I needed to stay here so I got married to him two years ago to get a green card. He's my friend."
"This is just ridiculous!"
"Well, will you get a divorce, now?"
"What do you mean you can't?"
"He's been in a coma for the past year. He was in a car accident..."
"I think I'll have a whisky," sight and brief sedative laugh. "And this won't end here... I am really mad at you right now!"
I open my eyes after a long night of sleep remembering when I was not able to dive into Morpheo's realm. Sleepless nights with her but without her. She is no longer here. She never really was. I probably should stop letting them in at night, the flying pink elephants. There are always collateral damages. Always. Black sheets, red pillowcases. I am naked and in need of a shower. She used to complain about my sticky skin every morning. I used to brag about my soft skin every night.
I like cold showers. I like the feeling of being under the water. High pressure. The echo of yesterday words fades. It is not just you and me anymore. As it was yesterday. As it will be tonight. Daylight slaps me in the face and I cannot longer pretend there is nothing else. The same words that make me hope, now hurt. You are in your island. I am on mine. No matter how much I swim against the tide. Smoke signals on a windy day.
I have breakfast on the counter. Cereal. Chocolate milk. In a purple bowl. I will see you today but I am not allowed to look at you. Not the way I am meant. Chocolate milk is one of my favorite things in the world.
I ride my bike to the office, where I pretend to work for a couple of hours before going to the pool. I swim, and swim, and swim. Meditation. I am you. I am me. Surrounded by water I imagine conversations we will never have. I hate to roll every twenty five meters. A wall that keeps me from getting closer to you. I hate to swim indoors. I am loosing my tan. I sit on the concrete outside the pool after five thousand meters and enjoy my lunch. The same girl every day. She smiles at me. I smile back. Tomorrow I will ask her her name. That I said yesterday. That I will say tomorrow. I am not ready.
I take a nap in the office. I dream. I snore sometimes. Afternoons are long. I keep waiting for a signal. An email, a phone call, you. But most of the time nothing happens. And if it does, I do not care the same as if I was alone, sitting on the swing in my porch, under the Christmas lights. And the moon. And the stars. In my island.
A run, a bike ride, a soccer game. Anything that keeps me away from the inertia. And makes me tired. I like to have dinner when I am exhausted. Sometimes I do not like being alone. Sometimes there is nothing else I want. A second cold shower.
The flying pink elephants are back. The swing creeks. Melancholy. The reflection of the lights in a glass of wine. The smoke. And then you again. It is difficult to fight my drive. My drive towards you. But we both want the same. Everything else fades again. It is just you and me. Subjectivity. Living a sedative lie that will no longer exist tomorrow. I do not care. I do know the rules of the game. And, no matter what, I will keep playing. And I will win. And we will find a shade of gray that is neither black nor white.
I sleepwalk to bed. I am no longer aware of what it is and what it is not. Tomorrow morning you will be gone again. Only to be back, though. Meanwhile, my heart beats in slow motion...
I needed some cash for my monthly deal. I love those pink elephants flying around my tiny colorful apartment. It was late but I got in my bike and rode to University Avenue. I do not usually step out of my bike when I am in front of an ATM. Debit card. Secret number. Withdrawal. Fifty dollars.
He looked sketchy.
"Don't worry. I just want to ask you something."
"I just want to ask you something."
"Yes? What's that?"
"I have this new backpack. Would you be interested in buying it? I need the money for food. I haven't had a proper meal in a while."
"That's a nice backpack you have there, but I have already more than I need."
"What about some cash? Don't make me pull out what's inside the backpack."
"I don't think you wanna do that..."
"No? Why? Don't tell me what to do or not to do."
"There's a police car coming down the road," I had nothing better to say.
A police car passed by. Serendipity. Got the money. Got the card. The police car was gone. The knife was out.
"You have cash now!"
"Yes I do, I have cash and legs."
I started pedaling.
"Enjoy your dinner!"
The pink elephants flying around my tiny apartment could not care less about what happened. I could not help it but laugh. In any case, they help me when it is time to sleep...
He always liked when he could not tell if she had her shining tiny eyes open or not.
His lips whispered something only an inch away from her lips.
"Look me in the eyes," silence. "Actually... do not... it is impossible to look me in the eyes... you will always be choosing one... just one..."
They stayed on the edge of a delicious uncertain abyss for an everlasting instant.
They enjoyed a white silence, before...
They dived into a sea of sweet doubts, before...
They, for the first time, felt one, before...
They kissed each other, clumsily.
They joined their hands, smoothly.
They trusted each other, blindly.
They closed their eyes before opening them again.
They let themselves fall into the pleasant unknown...
And then, then finally, the light...
- I need you to give me some space, to step out of the picture.
He nodded. He stared at her. Silent smile. "What do I do when your words ask me something but your eyes ask me the opposite?"
In any case, it might only be in his mind... Sandcastles and hope...
Something is wrong when you wake up with a hungover as a consequence of the embrace of a lonely night in your porch.
Something is wrong when you have breakfast in the same bowl over and over again even if it does not belong to the one you thought.
Something is wrong when you sit alone in a dark theater on a Saturday morning surrounded by parents and children to enjoy the adventures of one of the heroes of your childhood.
Something is wrong when the hero says: "There were a few, but they all had the same problem... They weren't you." And you look at the empty sit on your left.
Something is wrong when you go back to the future and wonder.
Is there something wrong? It is not, and that is why you draw a smile as you ride away from the theater under the raising sun.
I woke up in the nude in the middle of the night. My body was covered in sweat. He was there, my other half, naked, sat in the white leather armchair, staring at me. We both knew what was going to happen. We walked together to the bridge. We did not say anything. My feet were hurting, bleeding by the time we got there. I looked at him. He looked at me. I dived into him. He dived into me. I cried. He cried. We both knew what was going to happen. I promised him not to look back once he was gone. I held his hand as he was standing on the railing in front of the most beautiful of the dawns. The last one. A linen cloth in which blues, reds, oranges, yellows and purples fortuitously sprinkled an exhausted igneous Sun. The bay was uncomfortably calm. The distant siren of a fishing boat. I hesitantly let his hand go. We enjoyed an everlasting white silence before. We drowned in a sea of bittersweet doubts before.
He jumped. I closed my eyes and walked away.
As I was getting away my stomach melted and I climbed up the railing and I saw him drowning and my heart took over my self and I jumped and I opened my eyes and I cried and I felt the impact with the water as if ninety one thousand two hundred and twelve pins were piercing my body at once and i swam towards him and I grab him and I swam and I swam and I swam and I cried and I swam and I made it to the shore.
I was exhausted. He was unconscious.
"There's nothing to be sorry about," he softly mumbled as he opened his eyes.
"I couldn't let you go."
"Yes... you did. Yes... you did."
And only then we were one again and I was talking to myself. (❦)
He walked her to her car after an everlasting evening that none of them wanted to end. He kissed her goodbye. She got in the car and started it. She could not leave. The window was open. He kissed her goodbye. He knelt down. He kissed her goodbye. Both knew that had to stop. She needed it to stop. He understood but was not ready to let it happen. Neither she was. She stepped out of the car. They sat on the curb. They smoked a clove cigarette. He kissed her goodbye. They stood up. He kissed her goodbye. She got in the car again and raised the window. He asked her to lower it. He kissed her goodbye. He walked backwards while staring at the beautiful image of her fading. He stumbled. He kissed her goodbye. She started the car and left the parking spot in reverse. He kissed her goodbye. She drove away. He started walking to his bike. She stopped at a stop sign and did not start again. He walked towards her. He kissed her goodbye. She turned right. He run after her. He kissed her goodbye. He started walking away. She drove but the light was red. He turned one more time and saw her stopped. He run towards her and got in the car. He kissed her goodbye. He asked her for a ride to his bike one block away. He kissed, embraced, caressed her goodbye.
She kissed, embraced, caressed him goodbye.
They still crossed their paths one more time a few seconds later. She was driving. He was riding. They did not stop but they could feel the pull.
"What was that?" He repeatedly mumbled once home. The night was gorgeous and calm. At his porch, sitting on the old creaking swing that kept missing her, under the Christmas lights, he thought he had never been as certain about something as uncertain.
- how do you know?
- i do, as i know the sun will shine tomorrow
- but how do you know it won't change?
- i do, it will shine, even if the clouds don't allow us to enjoy its caresses
- i can see that's how you feel now, but i'm not so sure about tomorrow
- i used to feel that same way
- not anymore
- it's just a part of me now, as it is your chin
- don't be silly
- that's another thing i'll always be
And thus my knee was broken.
It hurt. I could not remember anything as painful. I could not imagine anything as painful. I cried. It was not only the pain. It was the uncertainty. The uncertainty, above all. I knew right away it was not just another injury. I was certain.
The surgery went well, they told me. It is a matter of time. I was on a hard cast for a few everlasting months. It was tedious, boring. My friends kept stealing smiles from me. My pillow was wet every morning. I could not handle the impotence of not being able to move by myself. Lack of freedom. Stones.
Physical therapy came later. Having to learn again. Frustration and hope. One fall after the other. Stand up and try again. One more time. All of a sudden, the glass is not half empty anymore. All of a sudden, the glass is half full. Of a dark purple full bodied wine that opens with an aromatic menthol like bouquet with faint hints of cherry, and feels very smooth as it enters the mouth and quickly dries out the palate. Savory.
Once everything was over, it was still not. I missed the one I were. I was still afraid and it still hurt. It takes time and strength to let oneself be vulnerable again. I did not want to push myself to the limit. The fear was always there and I did not want it to happen again. Not again.
And then, suddenly, it is as gone as it is not, as it is always with you. And I remember it with a smile every single time I look down and see the stitches on my knee. I know that was for real. It is. I know it will never go away. Some wounds are forever. Just like the notch you leave in my heart. Just like the one I leave in yours. Magnetic fields and uncertain paths. And by the end of the day, the wondering, and the puzzle pieces. The damn puzzle pieces that are nothing without each other...
what if the white is black?
and the black is white?
what if there is no gray for us?
what if our eyes give away
the smile we try to hide?
what if we fight back?
what if we listen to the everlasting silence?
what if it is so loud
that we can see it?
what if we drown in the smoke from the burning cloves?
what if a fractal is caressing us?
what if we flow?
what if feeing led us somewhere only we know?
what if we are already there
waiting for each other?
what if we cannot hide?
what if we are afraid of the shine?
afraid of the dark?
what if i walk away?
would that help?
what if the fog wolfs me down?
what if we are late?
what if you are happy now?
what if we never left?
what if it is now?
what if the feathers lightly touch our skin?
what if we are meant to be?
what if enough is not enough?
what if it is love?
i do not know
and so i close my eyes
and there is only one
one if (❦)
and she drove back home,
and he rode back home,
some goodbyes are meant to last,
some goodbyes are meant to be a part of us,
they would see each other again,
but the full moon would never shine like tonight...
tonight it burns,
more than the sun.
Naked, in front of the mirror, he feels naked for the first time.
Yesterday he willingly undressed his self in front of her, beautiful her, without agenda, with hope. His heart did the talking. No more manufactured words. He felt like a cliff diver falling free. And then, then the fresh water. The fresh water and the sparkling liberation.
His reflection in the mirror. He is selfish but generous, restless but calm, egotistic but modest. Only then he understands happiness is not the opposite of sadness. Now he is aware of his love for her the way he is the sun will shine tomorrow. Even if it only does it above the clouds.
He closes his eyes and finds a way back (❦) to somewhere only they know (❦), a place he should have never left.
And thus he waits.
- I can't. I want to. But there's something still missing...
He grabbed her hand and walked her to her car and drove her to a cell phone store nearby.
- I want a cell phone that can only get and make calls to her number.
The shop assistant handed a cellphone to him. He dialed her number while looking for the shine on her eyes. There it was, only to go away. She run away.
Alone, he felt empty. He was just skin, creasing skin falling slowly. He let go the cell phone. Silent tears.
Ring tone. Pause.
Before hitting the floor he caught it.
- It's me. I had my cell phone in the car.
The rainbow before waking up to an annoying alarm clock.
Once upon a time there was a white leather armchair in one corner of a living room of a small student apartment, where Mr. and Mrs. Román spent their time each day before and after school.
One night he happened to end sat in the white leather armchair after letting his being interact with pink elephants. On board of an empty and transparent Air India Boeing 777, together with the captain and Mr. and Mrs. Román, they traveled across Asia, crossing the Himalayas, between India and Nepal, above the Pokhara Lake towards Kathmandu. Cabin depressurization. Free fall. Symbiosis.
When Mr. a Mrs. Román left, in search of their dreams, nothing was left behind. Only an empty student apartment with the white leather armchair in one corner of the living room. Rumor has it that the white armchair was waiting for him. He found it there before a farewell party, surrounded by silence. He dived again into its embrace. It was his.
She gave him a ride home after the party. She sat on the white leather armchair in the corner of a small bedroom in a big house on the outskirts. He fell for her shy smile. He fell for her smooth breath. He fell for the shine on her eyes. Looking at her, sitting on the white leather armchair, he fell for her. But he never said.
He loved her later, but never shared with anyone the tickling. Not even her. Never shared that when he saw her comfortably sat on the white leather armchair he went back to Asia, to the Himalayas, to India and Nepal, to the Pokhara Lake and Kathmandu. He flew again. But not alone, she was by her side. They fell together. For the first time, he felt love. But he never said. Maybe he did not know.
Time passed and they missed each other. Crossroads, u-turns, and no outlets. He could still see her sat on the white leather armchair. White leather armchair that moved once, twice, thrice. White leather armchair that embraced other people. White leather armchair that made him forget. White leather armchair that went away, forever.
But forevers are not, and one day, when he had already said goodbye, the white leather armchair was back in the corner of a small bedroom in a small house, his. And every night, before falling sleep, he closed his eyes and wished she was there, sat on the empty white leather armchair...
- It was what you wrote...
Her words crossed her heart like two hundred and thirty seven pins. Heart beat. Bloody geysers. Then the flood. Diving in a red that fades to find himself surrounded by all those things he thought he knew. He did not. He did now.
All those written words arose from within. Some of them from his heart. Some of them not. He had been using himself to fight his fear. His fear for love. The one he once found. The only one which would never go away. Forever seems always too long. It is not. But it does not come alone. Splashed with insecurities. He finally understood the wrinkles in his stomach. It was her. Just her. Written words hurt. They do because of their shade. Some are getaways. Get away from those. Some are not. Those are the ones. Smiling heart.
Only then he compelled himself to breath before writing. Inhale. Exhale. He could not take it anymore.
- I am sorry, and I am afraid...
Writing not as a getaway. Writing as a way to a source eight minutes and thirty one seconds away. Time machines and randomness. He did not need his written words anymore to justify himself. He was happy. Ready to be weak. And to melt.
They had not looked at each other for over a year. They had seen each other, though. Unfortunately seeing hurts. Time shapes feelings. It does not sweep them away.
He woke up early and everything he did was waiting for her. Had a long lasting shower. Listened to the game on the radio. Read a traveling magazine. Random useless things.
She missed her turn the first time she went by.
"Hello," she quietly said.
"Hello," now, that was slightly awkward. "Welcome to my house."
One year has three hundred and sixty five days. That is eight thousand seven hundred sixty hours. That is five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. That is thirty one million five hundred thirty six thousand seconds. Enough. Enough time to hate each other. Enough time to love each other. Enough time to feel yellow, red, blue. Letters never written and letters that should have never been.
"Are you hungry?"
He clumsily cooked without paying attention to what he was doing. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. They were able to dribble the initial awkwardness. Other people's issues, beers and boobs. That always works. The food was good, so was the company.
Time stretched. Urgency committed suicide and they decided to walk together to the ice cream parlour. Randomness kept them comfortable, as they would have always been if they had known better, if he had known better. Sunshine kisses. Breeze caresses. Chocolate, mocha, strawberry, cappuccino, and movie quotes.
They walked to the park and sat down under the shadow of a generous smiling tree. It only happened after she was attacked by a fierce insect he bravely fought with.
"I was really mad at you..."
Only then, it was their hearts who were talking. Only then, they were ready to listen. Only then, they were able to look at each other far from the mouth of the river they once descended.
"Can I hug you?"
His foot was bleeding from the fight. His heart was not, anymore. She was sad, she was happy. Before they decided to walk back he asked again.
After their rise they went back to the reign of randomness.
"I will see you soon."
He walked back. A smile drawn on his face. The smile of a triumphant soldier after scaring a fierce insect away. He imagined her smiling as well. Sometimes it is easier that it seems. And better with ice cream.
1. Hace un sinfín de veranos, junto a un primo cada vez más lejano y un amigo que ya no lo es tanto, por no decir nada, nos dedicamos a explotar un número indeterminado de petardos en las bocas de un número indeterminado de sapos que estallaron en un número indeterminado de pedazos.
2. Nunca fue nuestra intención pero, junto a dos amigos, consideramos la opción de, por las molestias, asignarnos un sueldo por organizar una fiesta de San Juan. Finalmente no sucedió, y, la verdad, me alegro de que así fuera.
3. He sido infiel de pensamientos y, casi, de manifiestos.
4. Sí hay algo que me saca de quicio, aunque siempre negaré que tal cosa existe. ¿El qué? Eso serían dos confesiones en una, ¿cierto?
5. Cierto día me probé todos y cada uno de los pantalones de mi hermana para descubrir que marcar paquete, a pesar de lo interesante del colorido del ente opresor, no iba conmigo. Desde entonces, mes arriba, mes abajo, visto siempre pantalones cortos y/o anchos. Vuelta y vuelta.
6. El primer beso en la boca se lo di a una niña de nombre Alicia, yo tenía cuatro años, ella tenía cuatro años. Su hermana, a la que le gustaba enseñarme las bragas, tenía seis. Al año siguiente se fueron de Barcelona a Sevilla y mi corazón se rompió. Llevo el resto de mi vida buscando pegamento.
Me he enamorado cuatro veces, de cuatro personas diferentes, y sigo enamorado de todas y cada una de ellas, lo que me permite afirmar que el amor, tal y como yo lo entiendo, no tiene nada que ver con todas esas otras cosas que inundan las aguas de telenovelas, comedias románticas, tomates y otros pozos varios. En realidad, sólo una de las veces fue un amor ridículo, inconveniente, apasionado y no-puedo-vivir-sin-ti. Y lo dejé escapar.
8. Robé una moto para recorrer los doce quilómetros que separaban el pueblo en el que me encontraba, de cuyo nombre no quiero acordarme, y Zorita del Páramo. La robamos entre tres, uno de Barcelona, uno de Madrid y una de San Sebastián. Tuvimos un pequeño accidente sin más. Bocadillo de San Sebastián. Dejamos la moto en un puente donde su dueño no tendría problema alguno para encontrarla. Dejamos también quinientas pesetas por las molestias. Fue uno de los veranos más productivos de mi vida.
9. Pues sí, durante mi emancipación sexual fui capaz de atrocidades tales como hurtar preservativos a mis padres y asfixiar con ellos mis tempranas erecciones. En fin, una atrocidad por la que deberían condenarme. Todo el mundo sabe que es mucho mejor usar un calcetín.
10. Soy capaz de invertir el noventa por ciento de mi tiempo laboral en distraerme. Entiéndase por distracción lo siguiente, entre muchas otras cosas que no es cuestión de confesar a estas horas de la tarde: (i) escribir cosas tan inútiles e improductivas como ésta, en éste u otro de mis blogs; (ii) buscar en Google a uno de mis amigos y/o enemigos con el único fin de leer una información que mi memoria de pez se encargará de borrar de un plumazo en menos de lo que canta un gallo; (iii) visitar as.com del orden de cuarenta y siete veces al día, y es que el mundo del deporte es, a ver que lo piense bien, ¿volátil?; (iv) verificar que hay gente que pierde el tiempo visitando las páginas en las que, de alguna u otra manera, participo; y (v) un largo etcétera de distracciones tan verdaderas o falsas como las cuatro anteriores.
Posted by :jorG at 08:08
“Yo no voy a tomar esta decisión por ti,” concluyó Ramón. “No, porque carezco de toda la información.”
“¿Qué te ha pasado?”
Bajé la cabeza primero y le miré a los ojos después.
“Vete de vacaciones. Piensa en qué te ha pasado y sólo entonces podré tomar una decisión por ti,” silencio. “Si tú no lo haces antes.”
“Gracias,” me levanté. “Gracias.”
Caminamos juntos hacia su despacho. Allí nos cruzamos con Boris, de quien nos despedimos fríamente. Ramón se reunió con Claudia, que había estado esperando, y se fueron. Yo me senté en mi silla y permanecí allí durante trece interminables minutos. Quise llorar.
Conducía tranquilamente mientras Sophie hablaba de su higiene facial.
Sucedía de repente, sin avisar.
“¿Sabes a qué se deben tus manchas faciales?” Interrumpí de repente.
“¿Por qué me interrumpes?” Molesta. “¿A qué?”
“A una reacción alérgica,” reí con maldad. "¡A una eyaculación!"
Me miró a los ojos, incrédula. Rompió a llorar, en silencio.
“No,” dijé yo, consciente de mi error. “No llores, lo siento.”
“¿Por qué?” Indignada.
“No lo sé, no lo sé,” mi voz.
Llegron a casa.
“Si no te fueras mañana…”
Sophie y Amber me acompañaron al aeropuerto.
El avión salió con retraso de Orlando y perdí mi conexión en Londres. Allí coincidí con un grupo de españoles que, como yo, deseaban llegar a casa antes de Navidad.
“Trabajo como camarero,” acento madrileño. “Estoy estudiando inglés. Estudié empresariales y, antes de casarme con mi trabajo, decidí darme una vuelta por aquí.”
“Bien,” asentí yo.
“Mi mejor amigo ha hecho lo mismo pero en lugar de a Londres se ha ido a Japón”
“¿Y eso? Siempre he sido un enamorado de Japón.”
“El padre de un amigo común tiene un bar de copas allí. Si quieres te puedo poner en contacto con él.”
Escribí mi dirección de correo electrónico en una servilleta y se la di.
En el ultimo año Cesc se había comprado un coche y un piso.
“¿Cómo te va con tu novia?”
“Bien,” contestó Cesc. “¿Y tú qué?”
“Yo no soy así.”
“¿Qué quieres decir?”
“Ni yo lo sé. La vida en pareja, hoy por hoy, no está hecha para mí.”
“¿Estás sólo ahora?”
“¿Alguna vez lo he estado?” Pausa. “No me enamoro con facilidad pero me maravillo continuamente.”
Siempre había conocido a Cesc. Alto, delgado, con gafas de pasta azules y blancas. Siempre habíamos estado ahí el uno para el otro a pesar de que nuestra relación había pasado por mejores y peores momentos. Cesc siempre, o casi siempre, estaba de buen humor, dispuesto a dibujar una sonrisa en el rostro de cualquiera. Era autónomo y se dedicaba a la distribución de productos de hostelería. Su carácter era su mejor arma a la hora de enfrentarse a un cliente. Con las mujeres, por el contrario, nunca había tenido mucha suerte. Hasta ahora.
Llegaron puntuales a su cita.
Hacía tiempo que no había coincidido con Cesc, Lorenzo y Zack en la misma mesa. Lorenzo, como casi siempre, fue el responsable de la reunión.
Había conocido a Lorenzo en la universidad de forma casual gracias a los X Men. Bajo, flaco, con gafas de pasta azules. Cuando decidí estudiar astrofísica me mudé a Canarias donde, deliberadamente, decidí pasar desapercibido. Y lo consiguí, hasta que Lorenzo se fijó en mí. Lorenzo y otra muy buena amiga, Esther, me integraron. Lorenzo descubrió su homosexualidad mucho después de nuestro primer encuentro, aunque yo lo había sospechado desde un principio. Era profesor de instituto y dibujante de cómics. Todo el mundo adoraba a Lorenzo, era todo corazón.
Cenaron sobre una conversación superficial. Lamenté el distanciamiento.
Había cruzado el océano en busca de una respuesta. Respuesta que esperaba encontrar en compañía de mis amigos. Después de aquella cena, dudé. Mis amigos no compartían mi presente, ya no.
Después de cenar llegó Mónica. No la había visto desde que había roto con ella, un año antes.
Nuestra historia había sido mágica. Ella en España, yo en Estados Unidos.
“¿Fumas?” pregunté yo mientras Mónica se encendía un cigarro. “¿Desde cuándo?”
“Hace un año,” aventuró Cesc.
“Cesc,” Zack, incómodo.
“No creo que sea el momento.”
“Comencé a fumar de nuevo después de…” aclaró ella.
“Me voy a dormir,” Lorenzo, oportuno.
Besé a un apagado Lorenzo en la mejilla.
“Oye,” todavía dormido.
“Dime,” Zack al otro lado del teléfono.
“Que no voy a ir, que me he dormido.”
“Ya me lo he imaginado.”
“He puesto el despertador pero no recuerdo haberlo escuchado.”
“No pasa nada. ¿Nos vemos otro día?”
“Seguro, tengo que hablar contigo.”
El Zack con el que hablaba no era el Zack que había conocido ocho años antes. Alto, fuerte, ojos verdes. Yo tampoco era el mismo que Zack había conocido entonces. Cuando lo conocí, Zack era un chico introvertido, ensimismado, tímido, cuya única preocupación era estudiar. Por aquel entonces yo sobrevivía en clase cada semana con mis ojos puestos en el viernes por la noche. Teníamos poco en común y eso fue precisiamente lo que nos unió. Decidimos aprender el uno del otro. Ahora Zack era un físico de éxito, mujeriego, extrovertido, aunque, simple, generoso, sincero.
“Hola,” voz desconocida.
“¡Noemí! ¡Cuánto tiempo!”
“Montse me dijo que venías a pasar la Navidad y decidí llamarte.”
“¿Cuánto hace? Ni lo sé. ¿Qué es de tu vida? ¿Sigues trabajando en el Nit d'Estiu?”
“No, no, lo dejé. Ahora soy policía,” silencio.
“¿Por qué no quedamos y nos ponemos al día?”
Con Noemí había perdido mi virginidad en el asiento trasero de un coche mucho tiempo atrás. Hacía varios años que no coincidíamos.
Abrió la puerta. Montse. Mis ojos encontraron a los suyos y el tiempo se detuvo. Sucedía una y otra vez. Su forma de mirarme. Mi forma de mirarla. Acababa de regresar de Estambúl por lo que decidimos pasar la noche en su casa hablando de su viaje, de mi regreso, de la vida. Estaba enamorada de mí, y yo de ella. Pero nuestro amor era altruísta. Entre nosotros, no existía el después, no existía el antes, sólo el ahora, un ahora generoso, sincero, real.
Soledad. Decidí cargar un libro conmigo. No tenía nada en común con el sinfín de gente con la que me cruzaba. Familiares y conocidos que veía una vez al año y que una y otra vez me bombardeaban con las mismas preguntas inútiles. No me gustaba fingir interés. Me escodía detrás de las páginas de un libro, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Cuando llegaba a casa, me seguía sintiendo solo. Infinito. Deseaba con todas mis fuerzas que alguien se percatara de ello, pero no había nadie. Nunca antes había pedido ayuda. Mis amigos venían a mí en busca de consejo y lo encontraban. Yo, nunca antes los había necesitado, no de la forma que los necesitaba ahora. Me imaginaba en frente de cada uno de ellos exponiéndoles mi situación. Ilusión. Una y otra vez esa sensación. Lágrimas invisibles.
Posted by :jorG at 14:14
one day you realize
forevers are not forever
and only then you fall
for all those forevers you had
and only then you fall
for all those forevers you await
one day you realize
you are perishable
and although neverending
infinity hides a notch
deep in your heart
only then your eyes smile back
as they did at dawn
and your soul dances
to the music of colors
water your gifts
before they become givens
your eyes closed
embraced from behind
in your wrist
So he remembered. It had to be a day like today. The Moon will not shine tonight. The Moon will not draw the shape of the bear. Without Moon, there is no bear. There is just darkness.
But then again, a New Moon is just an early announcement of yet another Full Moon, and so on...
Meanwhile, the bear, will no longer be...
Someone told me once that allofasuddens did not exist.
- I'm stopping here.
- Are you? We're almost there.
- I can't. I'm stopping here.
- But once we're there it'll be easier.
- You go! I can't. It's hurting too much. You have my support.
- But, I don't know if I wanna go by myself, alone.
- Of course you do! Otherwise you've been wrong all this time. Within, you should find your motivation. The real one. Only then, you can enjoy everyone else's company. Including mine. I just can't.
- I'm sorry.
- I am. Let me know when you're there. I'll be waiting for the good news.
- Thank you for everything.
- No, thank you. Now, go! I'll be fine.
And they split.
The last one to make it in is usually a kid. Bright eyes surrounded by dirt. I close the door after him. Sometimes right after switching off the lights, before I open the valves, I think about them. They do not know. I do. Am I a monster? Somebody else would close the door. Somebody else would switch off the lights. Somebody else would open the valves. I have a wife. I have a son and a daughter. They tease each other all the time. I miss them. First the silence. Have you ever listen to it? Whenever this ends I will be back home. As it is for now, I better be on this side of the door. I hate myself. This is my job. One day my son is going to ask. One day I am going to lie. Am I the only one? She likes to dance. She is dancing around the house all the time.
- What's wrong with you? You're like gone. Open the valves and let's go have some dinner before the cleaning.
It started as a tiny lie. Not even that. It was not even a lie. It was a hidden truth. But that was a while ago. Little by little the tiny lie became more and more. Snowball effect they call it. It was too late now to undo what he had done. That is what he thought. Too late to tell her. He was not ready to take her reaction. He did not want that responsibility. The feeling would kill him. He could have thought about that before, couldn't he? Only then he understood how thin the border between sanity and insanity is. Thin and red. He saw himself killing her. Problems can be faced, ignored, or deleted. Deletion did not look impossible anymore. He could poison her. She loved chamomile tea. He could get rid of the body overnight, cut it into pieces and let alligators finish the job in the everglades. Black waste plastic bags. The worst part would come later. And the Oscar goes to. Was he crazy? As crazy as all those people in the accident and crime reports. What is the difference between thinking about it and not? A red thin line, maybe? Was he already insane? It started as a tiny lie. It just started as a tiny lie. He stopped pedaling.
"Hello," she was waiting at the door.
"Hello! I went for a ride," walking his bike towards her.
"I bought ice cream."
"Ice cream sound delicious. How was your day, darling?"
"Nothing new. I brought also chamomile. Last time I finished it," he kissed her briefly in the cheek.
"It's curious how I was just thinking about chamomile..."
Hacía tiempo que no se iba de vacaciones. Recordaba con nostalgia tiempos pasados en los que había recorrido el mundo a bordo de un espíritu humanitario que ahora vivía ensimismado. ¿Por qué New York City? Ni él mismo lo sabía. Tenía buenos recuerdos de la ciudad. Dos veces se había perdido ya en ella. Una solo, la otra acompañado. Recuerdos agridulces mientras pisaba la quinta avenida por tercera vez. La marabunta. La vio por casualidad, su teléfono móvil en una mano, su café en la otra, un bolso a la espalda.
"¡Tú!" No se percató y continuó su marcha.
"¡Vanessa!" Entonces sí, se giró.
"¿Juan?" Sorprendida de verlo.
"Sí, soy yo. ¿Me recuerdas?"
"Sí," tímidamente, contradiciendo el entusiasmo contenido de sus ojos.
"¿Qué haces por aquí?"
"Trabajo en la Universidad, ¿y tú?" Un breve suspiro de incertidumbre antes de mirar el reloj.
"Estoy de vacaciones. Volví a España hace mucho tiempo. ¿Cuánto hace que no nos veíamos?"
"Lo siento Juan, me tengo que ir, he quedado con mi marido y llego tarde, como siempre. ¿Estás solo?"
"Sí, pero no te preocupes. En cualquier caso, ha sido un placer cruzarme contigo. De verdad, un placer," su voz, nostalgia.
Ella agachó la cabeza incómoda y se despidió torpemente. Él la vio alejarse.
"Nada, que te quiero, pero eso ya da igual," susurro a gritos.
Dio una patada al suelo y se acercó a él y le besó en la mejilla. Sonrieron una última vez como cuando el tiempo los erizaba y las nubes no eran nubes.
"Yo también, pero como tu bien dices, eso ya da igual."
Se alejó de nuevo, esta vez sí, para siempre.
Posted by :jorG at 17:55
Primero debe uno sentarse delante de un espejo. Es mucho mejor sentarse, sobre todo si es la primera vez que uno lo intenta. Es difícil mantenerse de pie si uno no tiene práctica. A partir de aquí la idea es sencilla. Primero contempla tu imagen en el espejo para inmediatamente después cruzar tus ojos en busca de tu nariz. Mantén esa posición hasta que deje de ser incómoda. Deberías todavía ser capaz de ver, que no mirar, tu imagen borrosa en el espejo. A continuación, en lugar de volver a la posición inicial de tus ojos, sigue cruzándolos hasta que tu imagen borrosa en el espejo desaparezca por completo y te reciba la oscuridad. Oscuridad que, eso sí, dura bien poco. Un esfuerzo más antes de finalmente gozar de lo nunca visto, uno mismo. Cabe destacar que muchos de los que lo han conseguido no han vuelto nunca a su posición inicial, y no por imposibilidad, sino por voluntad propia. Otros, los verdaderos expertos, van y vienen. La mayoría, por desgracia, nunca lo consigue.
Posted by :jorG at 09:35
Su vida huía zigzagueando a través de una heterogénea pulsera pasión.
El teléfono comenzó a sonar.
Tumbado boca abajo se dejó seducir por el omnipresente reclamo.
"Sé que estás ahí..."
El tic tac de un pretérito reloj de pared.
"Coge el teléfono..."
El incesante zumbido de un frigorífico vacío.
Una espita que llora gotas insípidas.
Se levantó del frío suelo y caminó hasta el teléfono e intentó sin éxito aferrarse a él. Cerró los ojos para hacer frente a lo que una vez fue y nunca más volvería a ser. Allí seguía él, tumbado boca abajo.
"¿Y ahora qué?" Se preguntó mientras lágrimas invisibles violaban su mirada.
Posted by :jorG at 22:28
There he was. A seven miles bridge ahead. Riding above the calm water, below an infinite blue sky scattered with inspiring clouds. Blues everywhere. It was worth the ride.
A couple of hours, and two flat tires, later he finally arrived to Key West. Once there he did not know what to do. He had been there before twice. He checked in a motel and went for a walk along Duval Street. He had a frozen chocolate key lime pie for dinner and went back to dive into bed.
The following morning he rented a car and started a sad way back. Sad because he was in a car, sad because it was over, sad because he had not find what he was looking for.
"Why did I ride my bike all the way down here?" He kept asking himself while covering the route backwards on the comfortable seat of a sport utility vehicle.
Everything would be as he left it. Yes, it would. And that thought made him smile. The only thing he needed to be happy was to pedal. He knew then. And pedaling, pedaling is just an attitude...
Redemption Song by Bob Marley, his soundtrack on the way back.
the end and a beginning
He crossed over to the keys early in the morning. From then on he would be surrounded by water. The ride from there would be easier. He was sad the end was close. He really was. He did not want to go back. Back to his office, where he used to face his computer and a wall full of memories from the past. Memories that he liked to collect. Pictures, cinema tickets, postcards, post-its, anything would make him feel better. Anything would let him travel far away while heating up his chair with his butt. A tan he was getting because of the radiation of the screen of his computer.
He aimed to be done earlier than usual. He only stopped once, at a small beach. There, he was hypnotized by the beauty of small things. The sea breeze brought to life the surf that was embracing the rocks. As if every pile of surf was a creature trying to get away from a deathly fate. He felt sorry for himself. The wind would soon pull him back to the sea, where he would not feel alive anymore.
"What does to be in love mean?" He thought out of nowhere.
He stayed at Long Key State Park, under a shelter away from everyone. Primitive camping they call it. It was paradise for him. The shelter was by the beach and had an outdoor shower. He run naked, he dived naked into the water.
He went to bed early. He wanted to get to Key West as soon as possible the following day, and that meant an early start. Only then paradise turned into something else.
They were not insects. They were extraterrestrial tiny robots. They were all over his face. They divided his face into an infinite number of microscopic pixels. They were changing his face pixel by pixel. He tried to get rid of them with his hands. They would be gone but soon back. They were never going to stop. His mobility inside the sleeping bag was limited. One of them got into his ear and walked towards his brain. Once there it looked for the hypothalamus and attached a string to it. They were trying to fight him back. He touched a different nose first. A different mouth. He was scared. All of a sudden he could not fight back anymore. The one who made it to his brain started throwing sexual stimuli at him. He got horny first. His arms stopped moving. They were succeeding at changing his face. He would be someone else by morning. Then, it came the relief.
The following morning he woke up and got up and run towards the restroom half a mile away and opened the door and stood still in front of the mirror. He sighted when he saw his reflection on the mirror. He looked as he remembered. Unfortunately, the other half of the dream turned to be something but a dream, and he was in need of a shower a change of underwear and Relax by Mika.
to be continued
Silence is what they hear when they are ready to listen.
"What are you thinking about?"
Only then the tightrope becomes wet grass they step on barefoot and get goose pimples.
Silence, and hugs that hide from the future.
Silence and hopes, rather than expectations.
Silence blinded by the sun.
Silence they feel comfortable riding.
"What did you say?"
"I'm sorry. I thought you said something."
- El trabajo dignifica al hombre...
- Bien, en ese caso, aquí tienes una lista con mis deberes. ¡Toda tuya! Por supuesto, te regalo con ella mi dignidad, o la dignidad que le quieras asociar...
- No te preocupes, yo mientras tanto, me dedicaré a la vida contemplative, que no dignifica, ¡pero sienta de bien!
Posted by :jorG at 08:38
He stopped at a red light. On his left there was a yellow Lamborghini Diablo, and behind it an also yellow Porsche 911 Carrera. They probably were fans of Tweety. He gave the Lamborghini's driver a fake defiant look. The driver arrogantly smiled back at him while putting his foot on the accelerator. The music was beautiful. The light turned green. He sprinted for four hundred and eighty three yards before letting go, laughing. They beat him, they won, good for them. There, he had no doubt that he was happier on his bicycle than two unknown drivers in his flamboyant cars. No matter how much his butt was hurting.
Riding from West Palm Beach to Miami had little to do with what he had been doing previously. The cars were nicer, people walking in the streets, surrounded by buildings. The nothingness was gone. He would still feel alone, though. There was no physical link to the reality which surrounded him. He was there, but far away at the same time. At least, from then on there would always be a phone nearby, water, food. Even a local bike shop. He felt somehow relieved, but at the same time he missed the dangerous neverending lonely roads that had brought him there.
"This is Hollywood!" He shouted out loud while riding into Hollywood, FL.
He still did not know the real reason of his ride. He, somehow, did not care anymore. He resigned himself to not find his reason for running away, for a desired standby. Sadness punched him in the stomach. He indeed was happy on the road. But he felt that happiness would be gone once his journey was over. Did it need to be over?
In Downtown, Miami, he dived into the fresh grass and took a nap. He was closer to his final goal. He felt sorry that the only way out from Key West was backwards. Forwards, just water. Two more days still.
While lying he saw an extremely obese man walking on a steep sidewalk. Twelve steps. Rest. Water. Twelve steps. Rest. Water. Twelve steps. Rest. Water. He admired him. Essentially, they were not that different. They both were challenging themselves. Timescales should not place people in different categories.
His white jersey was not white anymore. It would never be again. He did not care anymore about his appearance. The only thing that mattered to him was how in shape his legs were, and they were certainly in good shape. His right forearm was still hurting more than he would have liked, but he had learned how to handle the pain. He imagined himself living on the road. Forever. How long does forever have to last to be forever?
The day was smooth and as it rose it set. A nice sleep before leaving Miami and throwing himself into keys.
"Can we take a picture of you?" the gas station assistant asked after he told her his story.
In the picture, the charming lady, her generous husband, a friend of them that happened to be around, and himself. Good times, good night surrounded by an inexplicable melancholy, and In the waiting line by Zero 7.
to be continued
quizás me engaño...
quizás mi compromiso delata tan sólo el cariño...
quizás sean los pingüinos en la cama...
el cariño por una erudición que me hacía sonreir...
pero ya no...
y en una ocasión alguien...
alguien que me respira...
me dijo que no se me daba bien hablar...
que lo mío era escribir...
y por eso escribo...
y no digo...
y quizás disfrace mis partituras...
disfrazo la angustia de melancolía...
la melancolía de optimismo...
y el optimismo lo desnudo...
lo desnudo y se evapora...
detrás de una explicación...
explicación cuyo eco...
se suicida un lunes...
Posted by :jorG at 18:24
He slowly wakes up. Somewhere the sun is setting. The evening light drags itself through the blinds before dying. He walks to the bathroom zigzagging about. The cold water kills his laziness. Once showered, he dresses in a dark green apron and starts cooking. Exotic fruit salad. Vegetarian lasagna. Crêpes. Colors. Smells. He sets a lonely table. An aromatic candle. A bottle of exquisite red wine. He goes back to his bedroom. He dresses in a trendy dark suit, fancy and elegant. Back in the living room, he turns on his iPod speaker station. Nostalgic quiet jazz floods the room. Seduced by the music, he sits down and enjoys. A pleasure for the senses. Once finished he looks down. Sadness is back. A grimace precedes the invisible crying. His hope wrinkles. Fire. The drive is gone. Apathy. He walks towards the night table, opens the only drawer and strangled his future. In front of the huge living room window he draws a resigned smile before opening the blinds. Sprinkled darkness. The lake. Two moons. Staring at the fake one while rising his arm and opening his mouth and pulling the trigger and listening to the deafening racket and closing his eyes and collapsing. Red.
He suddenly wakes up. Agitated, he runs towards his walk-in closet and looks for a suit he had never bought. There it is. Anxious, he runs to the kitchen and opens the black refrigerator looking for the ingredients of a meal he had never planned. There they are. Scared, he runs back to his bed and stands still in front of the night table. The tears he cries. He opens the only drawer. It is not empty. Inside there is. There is a rose. From who?
Only then he realizes he is trying to remember something that has not yet happened.
When they went back to the car, it was covered in bird pooh.
"So, are you already enjoying your new environment?"
"Yes! Little by little," she looked down and then up again. "Definitely more than your car... I'm going back again this weekend."
"Again? You know what?" he started looking around, keeping intermittent eye contact with her. "When I moved to this country there were still many attachments back where I came from... I could say that, somehow, I wasn't here at all! I was looking forward to go back as soon as I could for as long as I could... But then one day, the feeling wasn't strong anymore. I still missed my friends and family, my secret corners..."
"I bet there are many of those..."
"There are some..." a mischievous smile. "They faded. But they didn't disappear! They faded into something different that would always be there... Only then I realized that it was the same with everyone, no matter the time I would spend with them... Even that stranger I meet in a plane. As long, of course, as they're able to make an impact on me. And not only people... Also places... I'm good at getting drunk of them, have a little hangover, and move on without regret, enriched. Some people are, some aren't... And, don't get me wrong, everyone is right..."
He draw three dots on the wet rear window of the car with the fingertip that made him different from everyone else, unique. One in the center. One one inch to the south. One one inch to the east.
"You grew up in here," he said pointing the southern one. "You learned how to look through people's eyes up north..."
"And you're learning now how to not miss them anymore..." He paused. "And this is just the beginning. The car is huge, so is the world. Bird pooh also, but full of unknown places and people for you to experience. Some of them you'll miss, some of them you won't. That, amiga mía, you decide. You decide how deep you dive... And be sure that every now and then you'll also find bird pooh!"
He kissed her on the cheek and embraced her. She, without hesitation, dived into his arms.
"Now, I have to go," while slowly turning back and getting in the car.
She closed the door, smiled, and quietly walked barefoot over the fresh grass towards the warmth of a home that she was starting to appreciate.
While he was driving away he was missing her already. He was missing who she had been, who he had been. Nevertheless, he was looking forward to miss their future as well. They were not going to be the same ever again. Sweeter or bitterer. Maybe blank. Who knows? Who cares? His impatience faded. It turned into a calm smile. It did not matter anymore if he had to go east, and she west. They, at least, had actually walked together for a day or two. He did not care about tomorrow anymore. At the same time, he silently wished he knew what color it was going to be...
But then again, who does?
Puring with rain. The old engine stopped in a steep hill by his house. It was pitch dark.
- Are you ready to die?
- What do you mean?
- Are you ready? I'm serious...
- What are you talking about? Are you gonna kill me? Is that it?
- I never thought I would turn thirty... And I'm now six months away from it...
- Never? Come on, kids always think they'll never die...
- Kids, not me...
- What about you? Are you ready to die?
- I was thinking about that the other day. It would be a pity, but I'm ready... I'm doing what I really want... And I'm happy... I never thought I would get old...
- You're freaking me out... I have to go...
- Me too... Talk to you tomorrow!
He closed the door behind him and accidentally slipped while his friend was putting his foot on the accelerator. His head hit the wet floor. The right back tire smashed it against the fall leaves. After noticing the bump he put the handbrake on and step out of the car to check its origin. When at the back he ducked looking for something. The handbrake of the car failed and the trashy vehicle trapped him underneath. He slowly lost his breath, anxious. He never realized that on the other side of the car, the disfigured face of his friend drawn a smile while bleeding to death.
He woke up early, took a quick shower and walked his bike to Super Walmart. He locked it outside and went in to exchange a tire he had bought the previous evening hoping it would fit. He already knew then it wouldn't, but still bought it. He had done it may times before. Do something he knew it was wrong. Something he knew he would have to undo. Was he so insecure?
He decided to ride west to West Palm Beach. He had only one tube he could count on in his backpack. Twenty miles until South Bay, and then thirty more miles surrounded by nothingness until the outskirts of West Palm Beach. Once there, he would be safe. Once there, he would be able to look for a so desired local bike shop. By the beach many people ride bicycles. In Clewiston, some people live in shabby houses but, of course, have a ginormous pickup truck parked in the careless yard.
Nothingness means nothingness. His brain, though, would keep him busy. Sometimes it would go blank. Emptiness. Only then he would feel the ephemeral taste of freedom.
The road became more and more dangerous. Truck drivers are all on the phone. It was red. It passed as close to him as it could without touching him. A red truck. He was thrown out of the road and let himself fall into the mud. Sitting there he smiled at the next truck driver. Also on the phone. The one that would have taken his life away if he would have been thrown in rather than out. A sign caught his attention: Lake Okeechobee Trail.
"Of course, for mountain bikes," he thought, still smiling, before laughing.
He carried his bicycle up a little hill. Paradise. The trail was paved and the lake, the lake was gorgeous. He felt then his luck was changing. He, for the first time in a long time, flew rather than ride. He cried again. But those were tears of joy. An eagle flew over his head, and for an instant he wished it would have never ended, it preceded his saunter. The eagle. The lake. The hill. Pause. Where is the remote?
After that, monotonous. He had a flat tire ten miles away from his goal. A second one, two miles later, after being invited to a hot dog without a dog by a solitary street vendor. Eight miles to walk. And then, and then Walter.
"Dios te ha puesto en mi camino. Y con eso me ha brindado la posibilidad de tomar una decisión. Ayudarte o no ayudarte."
He stopped his trailer in the middle of the road. All the cars behind started honking. He, and his bike, jumped in. The truck driver gave him a ride to the trailer parking first, where they jumped into his pickup truck, and to a bike shop later. Unfortunately, in the first bike shop they went to they did not have the tire he needed. A matter of size. Nevertheless, they referred them to a second one.
"No tienes que invitarme a cenar," he said. "Si quieres devolverme el favor, lo único que tienes que hacer es ayudar a esa persona que Dios pondrá en tu camino para brindarte, como a mí, la posibilidad de tomar una decisión."
Walter was from Cuba. He had won a Green Card while he was in prison for making money under the communist regime. Once free, he had moved to Florida leaving behind a wife and two daughters that would soon be with him after seven years apart. And then, the same way he arrived, he left.
That night, for the first time, he fell sleep knowing that he would make it to Key West. Knowing that getting to Key West was not important anymore. While listening to Corazón Loco by Bebo & Cigala, and the swinging of the waves.
to be continued
Doing nothing. Sitting in a bench watching the hours pass by. In a lonely park. Everlasting silence before...
- If you had to choose, what would you choose? Having sex with a man or with a dead woman?
- A man or a dead woman?
- What kind of question is that one!?
- Come on, answer...
- I'm not gonna answer to that...
- You have to... Imagine that if you don't answer they'll kill you...
- No one is gonna kill me!
- They'll kill all the members of your family if you don't answer...
- What are you talking about!?
- Come on, you have to answer...
- I'm not answering...
- They're killing your family... I told you... They're dead now... You had a chance to save them...
- You're crazy...
- A man or a dead woman?
- I'm going home now...
- You're not fun... I'm going with you... By the way, do you think I have a chance with that girl we met yesterday at the club?
- Maybe... As long as she's dead...
- I love you too...
He woke up when it was still dark. Had some breakfast and got ready for the ride. He ate everyday the same. Chocolate milk, cereals, fruit, and peanuts for breakfast. Four Clif bars during the ride. Potato salad, fruit, and yogurt for dinner. That kept him always physically able to ride. There was always a store close enough. He finally had the chance to check if Gatorade is better than water. They claim it is. Some studies say it is not. He felt better after a gulp of Gatorade than after a gulp of water. It must be the taste. It must be the color. He felt yellow.
He left the Highlands county behind. Welcome to the Glades county. The scattered wealthy communities of mostly retired people turned into spread redneck communities. Long empty roads. Only then he felt lonely, wondering what he would do in case something happened to him. He felt in the middle of nowhere.
There are many kinds of pavements. There are pavements that fly. There are pavements that shine, and pavements that burn. There are pavements that bite, pavements that scratch, that caress, and that hurt.
Shoulders are full of litter, drive safely memorials, and dead animals. A mountain bike would have had fun in the Glades county.
He had a flat tire. He had a flat tire. He had a flat tire. Three in ten miles. His back tire was as thin as smoking paper. His right forearm was hurting. It is not trivial to achieve 100 psi with a mini pump. It is less trivial to achieve them three times within ten miles.
He arrived in Clewiston later than he would have desired, and decided to stay in a campground. Asked three different questions getting always the same answer: Super Walmart. Unfortunately, they did not have the tire he needed, the tube he needed, the food he needed. There are cities built around a river, a harbor, a lake. There are also cities built around a Super Walmart.
Without a new back tire he would not be able to ride. He had two options, and one of them became really tempting, quitting.
"Why am I doing this?" Still toying with the same question. "Why do I need to worry?"
The other option was going west to West Palm Beach instead of going South as he had planned. There are no bikes stores in the middle of nowhere. A one day delay.
As the sun went down he felt sad. He remembered why he was there. He cried and wondered why he was not able to feel the joy he felt on his bike while working. Why at work he was always feeling as if he was standing still, constantly pumping air, one tube after the other. It was not his forearm, but his heart which was damaged. Wounded motivation.
He fell sleep despite of the smell. Fields of manure. His legs were feeling good. It was his right forearm which was bothering him. He could not write. He wished he could fly, he wished Glósoli by Sigur Rós was able to teach him.
to be continued
He had an early start. Thought about quitting already, but decided to keep riding south. He would be resting at the Highlands Hammock State Park eighty something miles later. The day was beautiful, so were the Highlands County roads. He enjoyed riding along a smooth flow of vehicles. Wide and clean shoulders. Scattered wealthy communities of mostly retired people. Fields splashed with orange trees. A place to hide and take a nap. The clouds were not clouds anymore in a blue canvas. They were sailing boats, they were fields of cotton, they were butterflies. Butterflies like the ones he felt in his stomach.
"Love is like cycling," hypnotized. "It's there as long as you keep pedaling... Once you stop, love will still be there, but will eventually fade... How long will it be there? That depends on the friction of the pavement and the slope of the hill... You better be going downhill if you wanna stop pedaling and keeping her by your side..."
But then again, someone used to tell him that the imagination of a child and the reasoning of a grown up are enough to connect life with bullfighting, or death with designing, or, as he was doing now, love with cycling.
While riding, thoughts. A waterfall of them. One after the other. Thoughts he would have never connected arose, one after the other. A headache. He had been in love four times and there was only one thing in common to all of his failures. That was him. A smile. Rafa had told him about two kinds of people, those who are meant to walk alongside with someone, and those who are meant to have an impact in the life of many people, but would always walk alone.
"What kind of person are you?" Sebring was close when he had the first flat tire of the ride, he laughed. "How do I relate this to love now?"
He slept in the middle of the forest, surrounded by trees and animals that kept visiting him all night.
His closest friends, only those who had been close enough to see through his wall of confetti, knew about his bittersweetness. The one he enjoyed then, in front of a beautiful sunset, while listening to Bittersweet Symphony by The Verbe. Jesús, his cousin, used to tease him with his supposed resemblance to Richard Ashcroft. His cousin, of course, uses glasses.
to be continued
He did not mention his idea to many people. Definitely he did not mention it to his mother. It would have been too much for her. Four thousand six hundred and twenty nine miles would have been nothing for her. Six people he had mentioned it to. Plus he sent an email to Sun Mi right before leaving.
The alarm clock went off at six o'clock in the morning. Everything was ready but him. He sat on the edge of the bed for an hour thinking about getting back under the comfort of the sheets.
"Why am I doing this?" The question resounded in his mind, hurting for three thousand and six hundred seconds.
He took a deep breath before standing up and going to the bathroom. He look at himself in the mirror.
"As it is for now... I... don't... care..."
He grabbed his backpack and left. An sleeping bag, ten pairs of socks, ten briefs, a board short, a pair of pants, a pair of thick tights, a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a raincoat, peanuts, seven Clif bars, two tubes, an air pump, two tire levers, an iPod, a cellphone, a pen, a notebook, and Focusing by Eugene Gendling, and that was all he could fit.
He was surrounded by water. The humidity was so high that the cyclocomputer stopped working.
"Now I have to go back," but he did not.
The sound of a loose cage annoyed him and made him stop at a solitary car repair where a man was standing looking at the floor.
"Do you think you have something to tighten this cage?"
He went into the office and came back after a minute or two. He looked me in the eyes before aiming at my right eye with a nail gun.
"Is that what you really need, cheater?" He fired. "Now you can't run, only cowards run, are you a coward, asshole?"
There was blood all over his body. He could not see a thing. He listened to his maniac laugh before falling down. He fainted and never woke up.
"You have finally found what you were looking for, haven't you?"
He went into the office and came back after a minute or two. Without saying a word he tighten the cage and went back to whatever he was doing before he interrupted his pleasant early morning start with a loose cage.
He rode about eighty miles to Clermont. The ride was nice for the first part but it got boring as the day went on and the weather improved. It did not take long for him to realize that what he was doing was somehow dangerous for the lack of respect some drivers have towards cyclists. It would take only one mistake for his mother to feel it four thousand six hundred and twenty nine miles away. Nevertheless, that was his last concern at the time.
"You met me at a very strange time of my life," Where is my mind by The Pixies and the feet on the ground.
to be continued
Friends. Family. Friendships. Relationships.
Work. Deadlines. Pressure. Stress.
Girlfriends. Ex-girlfriends. Non-girlfriends. Non-boyfriends.
Commitments. Responsibilities. Grown-ups.
Money. Rent. Bills.
Past. Present. Future.
The idea came to him as many other ideas before, while talking to someone. Heidi listened to how he would like to ride his bike alone from Gainesville to Key West. He had been toying with the idea of someday, not in the near future, following the steps of one on his best friend's boyfriend and going around the world on his bicycle. Nevertheless, as soon as he listened to his words he felt as many other times before. Some people live through what they say, some people live through what they do. That is what he used to reel off. He could not stand the fact that he had become a dreamer without drive. But he had got used to it. He was always ready to plan the seed of his future impotence. Masochistic dreamer.
This time, though, it was different. Dangerous impulse.
"I need to take some time off. It's difficult for me to admit it, but I'm in the verge of a depression," the tone of his voice fading.
"I understand. What are you going to do?" Rafa, inquiring.
"I'm going to Key West," he looked like he was not sure about what he had just said, as surprised as the person in front of him. "I'm riding my bicycle to Key West."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm not, but I'm leaving on Tuesday," it was Sunday.
"Are you sure you're not running away?"
"I'm not sure, but I think I'm rather chasing..."
His iPod shift from something he did not recognize to Yo viviré by Celia Cruz, who did not only reinvented Gloria Gaynor's everlasting classic, but used it as her farewell song.
to be continued
Behind the telescope, under clouds and clears and a tender snowfall that would wait for them. She was looking through space and time.
- Yes Esther?
- How old are those stars?
- Well, our Galaxy, the Milky Way is around thirteen billion years old...
- That's... What?
- That's a thirteen and nine zeros... And, actually, a few of those stars you see might not be there anymore...
- What do you mean?
- They are so far away that it takes a while for their light to reach us. Thus, the telescope, becomes a time machine, it shows the past...
The night was getting colder and they decided to go back in. While walking on the snow he thought once again about that idea. He felt unattached from the present. Not only it was unreachable when looking through the telescope, it was also when looking within. A lonely tear came down his cheek and died in a resigned smile.
- Will we look again tomorrow, daddy?
- Yes, we will, gorgeous... Yes, we will... We'll keep looking... We'll look for as long as it takes...
His voice faded as they got into the house...
Me llamó la atención un banco retorcido. Un banco donde acomodarse resultaba imposible. Imposible desde este lado del escaparate. Al otro lado una espaciosa tienda de muebles. Paredes blancas desnudas. Techo negro. Apenas unas cuantas piezas por las que nadie hubiera pagado los desorbitados precios que escondían sin disimulo. Una silla invertida, un armario tumbado, un sofá espiral. De repente, la urgencia me empujó hacia adentro. Sentado tras media mesa rosa un hombre vestido de negro respondió indicando con su índice el camino a seguir a mi mueca de apremio. Cabello níveo a pesar de su aspecto jovial. Piel tostada artificialmente. Barba deliberadamente asimétrica.
Evacué contra una cascada de sombras multicolor. Me miré en un espejo que me devolvió mi imagen mirándome en un espejo.
- No hay mucho trabajo estos días.
Esas fueron sus palabras mientras erguido se dirigía a un immaculado taller, visible desde donde me encontraba, al encuentro de alguien y se despedía con una reverencia de mí, intruso libre ya de urgencia. Abandoné la tienda, sin más.
- Eres tan enigmático, y único, como las piezas que aquí fabricamos. Inútil, también, quizás. Me gustas, aunque no te preocupes, ya no ejerzo.
Sus palabras no me incomodaron. No era la primera vez que un hombre se sentía atraído por mí.
- ¿Estás seguro de que quieres trabajar aquí?
- Sí, lo estoy.
- Aquí las cosas no tienen sentido.
Poco tenía que ver yo con Salvador, ese era su nombre. Poco también con Luis, su asociado. Una cosa nos unía, eso sí. La fe en Sawoei y las piruletas de colores.
Posted by :jorG at 11:58