I was conducting research on the history of Venezuelan cinema. The subject was not entirely foreign to me. Those who know me know the amount of hours I have spent watching Venezuelan films "of the old women" and my strange theory about how these productions, good or not, help us to read what country we were and what we are.
I remember getting a list of Venezuelan feature films (1975-1995) and I was looking for them like crazy. Then a friend told me about the guy who could help me. Apparently a deep connoisseur, a cock teacher who did not get many balls.
After thinking about it a bit, I wrote to him. Without much sympathy, he told me that we could meet at La Tertulia Restaurant, in La Candelaria, at around 5:00 in the afternoon. I went in and the hell was on the bar. "Serious guy," I said, pointing to his rum on the rocks. "The pleasure is mine," he replied. We were two rum lovers who had surrounded themselves with “cocuyeros” friends.
As a first condition - he said - he would answer any question as long as he did not record it. I tried to negotiate: "I record you but I do not quote you." Between questions, answers and comments at the bottom of the page, the night caught us.
We walked together to the door of my house. He had so many doubts that it was obvious that he would screw him up again. So, we agreed to meet again. When we said goodbye, I noticed that smiling did not detract from seriousness. Serious smiles exist, I thought childishly.
We meet again in another restaurant in the area. He was on the second floor and had ordered something to eat. I, as always, said I didn't want anything and then scratched off his plate. I started asking him questions before he finished eating. But this time, between his answers he was discovering part of his life and that ... I liked it.
In the days that followed, we exchanged a couple of emails. Finally, my work was published and I think it was the perfect excuse to see us again. I don't remember if we discussed it or celebrated it. But, after that we discard the excuses.
I went to his university, got drunk at Bellas Artes, ate at the iconic areperas in Bello Monte, bumped into a salsa concert, and visited a Peruvian restaurant in Chacao. That is my clearest memory, although I still don't know how to get to the place without getting lost twenty times first.
As we left, we walked to the 24-hour stop in Chacaíto and grabbed a truck to the center. "You really like this, don't you?" He exclaimed with the look of a man who lost the game. "What?" "The thing about walking around Caracas at dawn, from bar to bar, observing everything, as if you were a sifrina discovering the city," he told me.
His comment, unintentionally, answered that "what the hell are you doing, Jessica?" that constantly reverberated in my head. I had a boyfriend and he was married. I did it because I liked it and, for the first time, I didn't need a deeper argument than that. With him, I did things that fear would not allow me to do alone.
But, in addition, he enjoyed his gift for conversation, his way of being. "Yes, I like it," I replied. We kissed and for some rare reason, that was - Benedetti- would say the happy minute:
“Thanks to scruples, we hesitate, and time passes to enjoy, to enjoy that happy minute that, as a special grace, was included in our program (…) we are constantly holding ourselves back, containing, deceiving and deceiving ourselves; why then can't I make your happy minute possible; I am also curious to know if it may not also be my own happy minute ”.
We dated for a few more weeks. We never made love ... and I still don't really know why.
One morning he wrote to me: my wife knows. It was the necessary dose of reality and our last conversation in a long time.
Deep down inside, for "weird", "immoral", "fuck em ..." or little sororo that sounds, I wanted his wife to believe him, forgive him and be happy. Something told me that he was not a compulsive infidel but that - like me - he would never have been able to forgive himself if he missed that happy minute.
Almost 8 years after this story, we bumped into a little reunion. His voice made me shudder like the first day. He invited me to dance. "I don't know how to dance salsa," I reminded him. "But you're already dancing," he whispered in my ear. For a moment, nothing had changed. "You are identical," I whispered. "And you look as chamita as always," he replied.
With his hands on my waist and the hot breath on my neck, I asked myself again: "Why was it that we never made love?" Perhaps in a few years I will dare to consult him. Or maybe this column will bring me the answer. I'll tell you.
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