We met in 2011 or maybe it was 2010. In minutes, he earned my rejection. I'm bad at tolerating guys who make fun of them in order to get attention.
"Can we finish this show one day?" I would say to him frequently and he just intensified his fucking. I tried not to fall into the immaturity of his provocations, but I did. Acid phrases came and went, while our co-workers were loyal spectators of that show.
I remember one afternoon, he made me cry with rage. "It surprises me that a woman who is used to throwing so many stones is so susceptible," was his reply.
Later, we agreed on “Peanut is like that”. When those things happen, I never know how to interpret them: "Caracas is a handkerchief" or "It is a sign of destiny."
Mutual friends joined tables. While everyone had beers, he and I reluctantly agreed to pay for a service of rum together. "Something unites us," he said.
I spent the whole night ignoring it. But, late in the morning, I stumbled upon one of those specimens on the track that is incapable of taking no for an answer.
"I've been watching you dance all night," the hell yelled. But I don't want to dance with you, I replied. The guy got upset and Carlos came to my defense. Seconds later, half a bar was trying to avoid a fight.
Let's go, I said. I grabbed my wallet and we left the place. We boarded a taxi. We were drunk and euphoric. He gave an address and I just mumbled "where are we going?" as one who assumes willing to go. The cold early morning breeze crept in through the window.
In minutes, we reached a neighborhood that my eyes did not recognize. The house had 3 floors and the most complicated stairs I have ever seen: it looked like 3 steps in one. A couple of missing blocks were the window of his room and the moon was sneaking in in a brutal way.
In that light, he told me about his childhood, adolescence and youth in the streets of a Colombia at war, the grandfather he loved, the father who never was, the mother who went to Spain, the road that brought him to Caracas; the photos, books and souvenirs that you kept in your suitcase.
I think we cry and we laugh too, but when we woke up, the mythical "what did you do, Jessica?" Do not be late. I took my things stealthily and tried to guess where the hell it was. I managed to get out to the main avenue and flee.
I hoped, hoped, that the hell he was part of the supposed group of guys who don't write the next day. But a couple of hours later, his messages arrived:
"Because you left? Are you okay?". "Yes, with another error on top, but fine."
I tried to keep things the same, but his jokes faded, the armor had fallen off. After weeks of avoiding talking to him, he sent me an email that I still have:
“I like you to go to the movies hand in hand or for a furtive adventure in a motel, to dance in seedy bars, to see you once a month when they give you leave in the army or to search for you recurrently. It is a weak, comfortable proposal, surely you require something more audacious, that you bet and leave the cards on the table, but I cannot do it ”.
And yes, I knew perfectly well his inability to compromise, his magical way of running away when something began to matter too much to him.
He always told him, paraphrasing Cortázar in Hopscotch, that their relationships did not work because love was a bridge and Frank Lloyd Wright or Le Corbusier would never make a bridge holding it on one side. His partners gave everything and he nothing.
"Don't give me anything then," he raised ... as if it were that easy.
We saw all Ingmar Bergman's films at Celarg film festivals, we read for free in bookstores and visited a couple of libraries, ate a lot of pizza and drank a lot of wine in a small Altamira restaurant that I never went back to, we met all the bars in the west of the city and even made a fool of myself dancing champeta one night.
We saw each other once a week or every day of the month, he was there when I needed him and I was there when he was needed, we were fucking happy. But something about him didn't think he was worthy of the joy. It was difficult for him to enjoy the benefits that life sometimes has.
Suddenly, without alcohol and mount there was nothing. Deep down, his "humor" hid the deepest sadness. After each rumba, he sank into the abyss. And soon, I would become the mother who urged him to “drop all that shit”, the nurse who tried to heal his current injuries and his past injuries.
If I close my eyes I can still remember him next to the bed, with his guitar, humming to Caifanes: “Yesterday a bird told me that would fly where there is no burning (…) that embraces fear with your dreams, that it be a warrior of blood so that no one will harm you ”.
But I didn't need a protector, nor could he protect others from himself. He was a mean guy, his own version of "Sad Trumpet Ballad", a clown who couldn't laugh, the delusional cuteness of a little monster. And at the same time, a deeply beautiful guy.
One night the predictable happened: "I have to leave you," he murmured. I kissed him. Within days, he returned my belongings to me. Within weeks, he left town. Over the years, and from a distance, he asked me for forgiveness. "Thank you," I said. "I loved you deeply," he replied.
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