She took the lipstick out of its case and let it roll from one side of her mouth to the other and back. Her reflection winked back at her and the sound of water running down the faucet quieted down to a drip. The bloody rose of her lips shrunk into a small button before blooming with an audible kiss.
Before leaving her place, she stroke the strings of her ukulele and looked up to the Marilyn Monroe poster on the wall. The instrument left a sad trail of sound that lingered around her for a few seconds before it vanished.
The doors of the wagon opened and closed and the metro rode through the landscape as it filled with the dimming golden rays of the sunset. Small houses scattered around tiny roads carved over the hills gave way to the carcasses of an abandoned industrial complex, itself swallowed by the passing sight of the brown waters of the river and the city center high rises.
Her long legs walked with a studied curvaceous step up the staircase. The cinema was quiet. Outside, the beginning of the night smelled blue and smoky. “Hi”, her colleague said and they smiled at each other.
She looked at herself on the mirror. The curve of her lips tilted down, tilted up, opened in a circle, imitated the shape of a waning moon and closed with a kiss, a frown and a soft smile.
She felt the gaze of her colleague looking at her. They smiled at each other and took their brooms out of the toilet.
People were gathering outside. The flashes of the paparazzi’s cameras burst on the esplanade mixing with the sounds of a crowd roaring behind as one by one, different men and women walked up a red cloth that stretched over the floor.
As she looked up, a flash lit up, and another one behind, and another one. She rose up and felt the blow of a beam of light on her face. Someone called her name, and she turned around with a wide smile, and her eyes went through the crowd, the smiley crowd, and the faces of producers and movie directors that wandered through the carpet and up the stairs. For a moment she felt as if she was seeing herself from the undistinguished faces of the audience, and she saw her tall figure, and her red smile shinning, and her eyes searching for those wandering figures as they entered the cinema.
She heard her name called again and with a passing glance looked down to the floor. The dustpan had fallen from her hands. She crouched to collect it. She hurried back into the theatre and dropped the small paper pieces she had gathered into the toilet.
There is rain on the road. Las llantas del auto dejan unas zanjas largas y profundas sobre la tierra húmeda al pasar. The air is clean, sweet and empty. Unas florecillas blancas descansan entre el pasto, brillando como perlas sobre terciopelo verde. A few clouds linger on top of us, gray and quiet, moving slowly through the space above us. El camino desemboca en la costa verdosa de un lago. I can see the dark silhouettes of fishermen casting their nets into the water. Sus barcazas de madera bailan oscuras sobre el agua como pedazos de hojarasca. The engine hums and behind me it leaves a trace of smoke.
If I lay here on the high grass Carla can’t see me. I like this grass. It surrounds me and I can’t see her. She is there playing with the forks and spoons at the edge of the field and under that tree. The sky shines cloudless and green and two long black birds circle, spiralling upwards and upwards directly on top of me.
I close my eyes. The sun hits my pupils and the world goes orange. It is warm and it smells of grass and dirt. There is barely any sound; the wind licks the back of my hands, and the exposed skin of my face.
I hear some steps and I think of Carla, but the sound of broken twigs passes behind my head and goes away. I open my eyes and look at the birdless sky. There are no clouds, no big black shadows, no noises, no wind, and there is only a constant patch of a greenish blue.
We biked from the city. We took a long and winding road that not many know about. It goes through a placid meadow filled with the sweet stems of spring grass before it passes through a forest, coiling under the shadow of big and muscular trees until it reaches the park.
The sky has a very slight green hue, green memory of the prehistoric sea dwelling under our feet. When they were digging the lake, the excavator would spit out piles of sand and sea shells. I can’t help but think that the nights of the past are still shinning under me. Silvery skeletons of stars are shining under the grass over water now long gone.
There is something missing, missing from this placid day, missing up there in the heights of a clear sky. I look up into the blue and look inside myself and I can’t find it. I can’t find it.
There is always something missing. I have never known what it is. Robert drinks, and I drink with him, and we keep drinking until the street lights are all yellow, and distant, and the buildings turn into hallucinating creatures of a thousand eyes and mouths and I can’t find it.
Carla whispers something to my ear. And the night surrounds us as we kiss and move and our naked bodies fuse into one, and then it comes, the horrid realization that not even an instant of oblivion, not even an instant of death can fill it. I can’t find it. I know it is there, there in the yellow lights, somewhere in the middle of a nameless orgasm, lost in the starry memories of that prehistoric sea. Maybe we should take all the sand and shells out from the womb of this park, maybe if we dig enough we will find the reflection of the night.
I don’t know why I think these things. Carla laughs when I talk about them and sometimes she looks at me with her big eyes and says nothing. And then I say nothing and we keep quiet. It is a placid day and the grass is high around me. Carla is playing with the forks and spoons; I can hear their metallic clapping mixed with the sound of her laughter.
Tenía la cabellera recogida en un nudo colgando detrás de su cabeza, reposando tranquilo sobre su nuca, perlas diamantinas brillando sobre sus labios y un trazo suave de rímel delineando sus ojos. Llevaba puesta una blusa blanca y un saco negro sobre una falda oscura que flotaba sobre el elástico de sus medias y las curvas negras de sus zapatos de tacón.
-En la oficina. ¿Te desperté?
-No. Estaba mirando la televisión.
-Es muy tarde Robert.
Se acercó a ella. Flotaba alrededor suyo el olor almendrado de su cuerpo.
-¿Mucho trabajo en la oficina?- Le dio un beso en la frente. Un ligero olor a cerveza, a multitud, a humo de cigarro, a bar le llegó a la nariz. Kathy volvió la cara hacia el otro lado antes de zafarse de su abrazo. Robert le alcanzó a bezar la mejilla izquierda.
-Si ya sabes cómo es. – dijo y luego calló. Recordó la llamada que había hecho unas horas antes. “No se encuentra aquí. Salió de la oficina hace algunas horas” Ella debió notar que algo se resistía a estallar en sus labios porque preguntó.
-¿Is there anything wrong? – Dos pares de ojos incendiando un espacio de dos metros. Dentro de él, un monstruo intentaba salir. .. Asustado respondió.
-No- Robert recibió un beso en la mejilla antes de ver a Kathy dirigirse al baño de la habitación.
El agua corría por el lavamanos. La vio parada frente al espejo, algodón en mano, removiendo el maquillaje de sus ojos. El nudo de su pelo ahora vuelto una trenza bajaba como un río de oro por su espalda desnuda.
Viéndola ahí, desnudarse poco a poco en el acto rutinario de la noche le asaltó la sensación que aquel podría ser cualquier día de los últimos tres años. Le fascinaba ese momento; ella frente al espejo, él viéndola desde la oscuridad de la habitación. Ella envuelta en el éter de luz blanca que rebotaba sobre las baldosas, fuera del mundo en un momento de solitaria intimidad, un momento solo compartido por él, héroe escondido entre las rocas observando a su ninfa tomar un baño en un arroyo lunar. Todo quedaba en blanco cuando la veía. Su pasado. Su futuro. Solo quedaba un presente, donde él la contemplaba desde lejos mientras ella se veía a sí misma en la luna del espejo.
No pudo evitar sentir un suave hervor escalarle por el pecho. La amaba. La adoraba. Pensó. “My Kathy”. Murmuró. Y quiso saltar de la cama, abrazarla, con un gesto suave rodear con el brazo su cadera mientras ella se veía al espejo y así ver el reflejo de sus dos rostros enlazarse en un beso. Un beso público en el universo de sus intimidades compartidas. Kathy cerró la puerta del baño. El rugido del inodoro la acompañó a su regreso a la habitación.
Se deslizó entre las sábanas. Los charcos grises de sus pupilas se entremezclaron por un momento antes que ella volviera la cabeza al otro lado. Robert sintió como si un balde de agua fría se hubiera derramado sobre su pecho.
-¿Algo que quieras contarme? – Ella dejó escapar una ligera temblorina . Robert desanudó su abrazo.
-No. Estoy muy cansada y es muy tarde. Lets sleep.
Robert permaneció despierto, el corazón latiendo con fuerza. Pensó en abrazarla de nuevo, pensó en recorrer a besos el sendero de su pecho hasta llegar a su ingle pero no sintió apetito. Pensó de nuevo en esa voz diciendo “no está aquí, se fue de la oficina hace unas horas” y volvió a pensar en números y símbolos de acciones de bolsa danzando alrededor de una habitación gigantesca donde una multitud de corredores de bolsa gritaban precios y órdenes. Escuchó a Kathy roncar. Entonces cerró los ojos y sintió poco a poco un sueño intranquilo apoderarse de él.
The door closes. The street is silent. Sundays are slow days. The cherry trees are blossoming. We walk and laugh. We walk and laugh again. Up that hill they are flying kites. “I want to get one” I whisper to her ear. It is windy and I can see the carcases of my words go away. They are floating around us, threaded to our kissing mouths only by the silence that lingers between us. The hill is steep and the city shines beyond the park.
The table is empty.
The window is open. There is a patch of blue.
An open book lies besides a glass of wine on a side shelf.
A golden light pours out from a door. A candle burns in another room.
The air is clean. The sails inflate and deflate with the breathing of the breeze.
The sea is cold, and its waters shine clean and blue under the sail boats.
Her body sits, straight on the chair. She wears a white hat and a blue dress. Her lips are half open as if a smile had just flown away from her mouth.
A seagull cuts the air with its silvery wings. It flies away slowly, and its distant cries fade as its wings take it far away.
I jumped into the river and swam to the other shore.
When I left the water a pair of fins had emerged on my back.
The pedestrians looked at me with fear. I didn’t know where to go, where to walk. I fainted. ‘
When I woke up, there was a light on top of me, and I could see nothing but its bright rays of white.
I touched my back with my left arm. There was a long scar running down my spine.
The hospital sheets where white, but the room had blue curtains dividing me from the others.
I went by the water. The wind was calm, and the river flowed down its course with a steady stream of green liquid.
Why do I write? The act of writing, is that of leaving a mark of ink on the page. The page that glitters, white and empty, gets filled with the images, the emotions, the colours, the ideas that populate my imagination and give shape to the landscapes of my inside.
I write to forget, to empty the vessel of my soul of the ghosts of its memories. I write because I feel. And I feel. I write, I shout, I feel. There are lips and sights, and eyes that looked at me with a smile and those who looked at me with a faraway glance. And I write to capture them all, to lock them on the white of the blank page. And when I succeed, when the letters carve a prison of words, I am free. I am free.
The dirt. The grass that moves, in tiny inflections of its shape with the soft movement of the breeze. The landscape is wide. A few trees scattered in the distance move from one side to the other. Their colour is dark green, and they form a circle of deeper greens that surrounds the fields.
I call my name. The sound bounces on the walls of the grotto and bounces again and again on the walls of the cave. I hear my name repeated, magnified, amplified and finally scattered into pieces reaching back to me. The water is cold. The cold permeates through my skin.
The dirt falls on my head. I have been lying in this coffin for a few days, and the leakage lets pass a constant flow of sand into my box. I can’t move. The sand doesn’t let me move my head. I try to shout, but my throat says nothing, and my lungs, dead, cannot pump the little air that stands between me and the ceiling of my crypt.
A spade breaks the seal. I cannot move. The sand has covered with a thin layer of silica the enamel of my bones.