jueves, 30 de junio de 2011
lunes, 27 de junio de 2011
In the beginning he saw a wide blue circle. A black, deep line creased the surface and bifurcated at the edge, close to the perimeter. A soft reflection, a hardly perceptible density showed that the blue circle was behind another transparent surface, a glaze becoming progressively more visible, bright and rigid just a moment before cracking.
He opened his eyes, left the blue pot with the dried caramel he was fixed upon on the table, stood up painfully and went to the bathroom. In the mirror, his long, tangled hair framed his thin face with a severe halo. He was seventeen but he looked so much older.
He took his jacket and opened the door and squinted to protect his eyes from the sun, but instead he found only the street lamps lighting the parking lot in a regular pattern.
He hastened down the four stories, walked following a narrow corridor between two housing developments, crossed a street and came out onto a highway. The noise of the traffic was to too loud for him, so he took a bottle and smashed it against the wall to restore balance.
He took the train, and went out the station. A black dog ran across the street and disappeared. Lights became brighter, night came.
He felt trapped in the space under the halogen lights opposed to the thick darkness. He entered a store where a girl was reading.
-What’s your name? –she asked.
-Gabriel –he answered.
His name was not Gabriel. He saw the opaque face and the eyes peering at him behind the glasses and kindly declined her invitation to coffee. He browsed through an art magazine. There was an opening at the Museum of Modern Art and he decided to go there.
The bar had not opened yet, so he went to see the show and he saw, in front of the foamy marionettes, a slim neck following the strong chin, the sculpted cheekbones and the long, elegant nose. Suddenly, he wanted to be with that man, to own him, to be with him posing on the cover of a romantic novel.
He followed the man through the galleries, but the man ignored him. He then went to the bar, took a pair of red wine glasses, drank them in one gulp, went away with a third glass on his hand, said hello to some acquaintances, told them some funny stories, saw the man approaching him unpleasantly surprised, extended his hand in greeting, went looking for more wine, spoke to some strangers, got drunk, went to a party with two of the stranger’s acquaintances, bought some beer.
That night he dreamt of meeting a ravishing woman at a coffee shop. She accosted him with questions he could not answer, and before he could mutter anything she went off laughing, leaving him in the middle of the street, his arms and legs dismembered, covered in blood, crying.
miércoles, 22 de junio de 2011
The TV set was on. Amelia opened her eyes, still heavy and blurry, as she felt cloudy because of the light on the screen, loud-recorded laughter and stink of burnt cigarette butts. Her arms were numb by her position when she felt asleep and her lower back stung. She tried to get up but she stumbled and fell on the couch. When she finally awoke and seated, she felt a flash of pain raising from her neck and trough her scalp.
It was almost five in the morning. In front of her, a middle-aged man announced the salutary benefits of a juice maker so powerful that it could squeeze even whole unpeeled fruits and vegetables. Until today, TV had always been her refuge, a place where she could see other people’s life in brighter colors. Tuesday was RuPaul’s Drag Race day, the day she laughed watching a drag queen contest that transported her into a fantasy land inhabited by funny jokes and harmless sarcasm.
She very much liked RuPaul and she was amused by how the effect of make-up, costumes and attitude could transform the group of contestants fighting to be the next drag super star. They used strategy in order to defeat one another with their wigs, high heels, gowns and gags, but above all with this persona they portrayed for the cameras. Her favorite drag queen was Ongina, a small, sweet, Asian boy who used gigantic headdresses over his bald head.
Each week the challenge was different, this time it was to perform in a Viva Glam TV ad; the company used awareness on the fight against AIDS to increase their sales. Nina Flowers, with her loud and spirited Latino persona, and African voluptuous diva Bibi Sahara Benet were giving Ongina a hard time. But, as always, she succeeded with her happy-go-lucky attitude. When the judges finished discussing her ad and RuPaul flaunted her as the winner, Ongina fell to her knees and broke into whimpers: “Winning this challenge means so much to me… I have been HIV positive for the last three years and I haven’t told my family…”
Amelia felt nauseated and she couldn’t hear anything else. HIV sounded as such a strange tune to her ears, a Diamanda Galas song in a Miley Cirus concert. HIV was one big carousel of stuffed horses in the fair of the town. HIV was the dull series of nights comforting a man who suddenly didn’t knew anymore if he was with her because he wanted so or because he had forced her into becoming his best friend after using her for unprotected sex. HIV, and her old mother in Mexico who didn’t have medical insurance. Amelia had never done the test: what was the use? What would have changed if she knew? Those were only three letters in the wrong time and place. She fried a quesadilla, changed the channel on the TV and reclined on the couch.