Published at
Cover Library Novels Global Fiction
PreviousTable of contentsNext

Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 33

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos
Saturday 25th November 1989

Alicia and Roberto were lying fully dressed on his bed having a lively conversation. It was two o’clock in the morning; on the bedside table, two glasses of champagne glittered brilliantly. They had had dinner together and felt a bit dizzy and happy.

“I’ve got a lot to thank you for, dear, I can’t express it very well. I feel happy because of you, sensitised down to the last cell. Everything seems to pale before this luminous moment... Excuse me for not speaking very well, it’s the alcohol, I’m not used to drinking. Look at me, clinging to your hands like a shipwrecked sailor, as if they were a piece of driftwood. It’s good, Alicia, to see how the world moves! That wine was delicious! Don’t you think this is really living? When I was young I didn’t appreciate it, I really was an idiot.”

Alicia became tender seeing him affected by the alcohol. She couldn’t stand drunks, but Roberto wasn’t inebriated, he was simply uninhibited. His emotions and feelings were clearly visible. Seeing him like that, so human, not only moved her, it also awakened her curiosity, it was an opportunity to get to know him better, to tear off the “mask” that hid the real Roberto. She stroked his hair, kissed his mouth gently, and said, “Don’t exaggerate, Roberto, we all learn as we go along, that’s life.”

“Life? It could be better, Alicia, if we didn’t poison our souls with so much stupidity and barren prejudice. They lock up our minds, it’s difficult to understand the truth. I started to see it when I was nearly thirty. Before that I was blinkered...”

“Well, Roberto,” she said, tenderly caressing the back of his neck, “we all go through the same thing, it’s logical, that’s learning. Who’s born knowing everything? Don’t punish yourself for that... It couldn’t be any other way. Don’t you agree?”

Stammering, melancholy through the effects of the excellent Burgundy he had drunk, he answered her.

“You say that, but you don’t know, you can’t imagine how stupid I was. Do you know I didn’t even bother to go whoring? I didn’t like others doing it, see? I was a real jerk; my fascist dwarf used to go mad, kicking my liver. It seems stupid now, but it was like that.”

“It’s no big deal, dear, I was a fool as well. Do you think I didn’t have to learn? The important thing is that you’re understanding now, isn’t that enough? You talk about yourself as if you’d been ill, don’t exaggerate.”

“Ill? That’s it, that’s exactly what I was! I had a very common but harmful condition: spiritual rigidity. It’s hard to cure, it takes a long time. Do you know what’s the most serious thing? This illness is endemic and because almost everyone has it, it goes unnoticed. That’s why there are so many dirty brains... Humanity is infected, full of reactionary ideas and blights. But fortunately there are also isolated and miraculous examples of benevolence and civilization. Look, Alicia, the eternal contradiction has existed in all eras: Khomeni against Neruda, Galileo against Torquemada, blind, religious, sexual, educational, social authoritarianism against the open humanism of Bertrand Russell. It seems such an easy option! Yet most men live in darkness.”

“But tell me, dear, hasn’t there always been ignorance? Don’t you think we’ve come a long way in that respect? Remember the evil there was at other points in history, in the dark periods.”

Moved, Roberto kissed the mouth of his loved one.

“Dear, we’re not in the dark only through ignorance, instruction is useless unless we’re capable of seeing the light that most illuminates, that of the truth. We’re ignorant, if we don’t see the dangers of authoritarianism, if we try to judge everything, if we do away with feelings. In short, my love, being in the shadows is to become the executioner of the poor, of the extremely poor man.”

Alicia understood that he was unburdening himself. She let him speak freely.

“They terrorize us with force, my Alicia, they mark a path for us and don’t allow us to stray from it. Don’t look for short cuts, they tell us! They teach us that it’s a good idea, that our souls will be free. No! The best part is that it’s subject to prehistoric beliefs pregnant with obscurantism. They burn the concept of sin into us with letters of fire. Can it be acceptable that they force us to deny what is obvious, denying us the chance to appreciate the reasonable. If we question the idea of transcendence, we’re incredulous, unbelievers, but free-thinkers? Never! Not that! In short, they obstruct our vision , they blindfold us. I lived without realizing that I was hidebound, I carried my prejudices like a burden. I noticed that I lacked air, but I didn’t know why.”

“Roberto, why question yourself so much? You won’t change the world. Don’t feel responsible for its injustices, they’re not your fault.”

“You’re right,” said Roberto calming down, “I don’t know how you put up with me. Apart from acting like a stiff old man, I seem resentful and grumpy. That way I’m going to lose you soon. How long before you get bored? You’ve every right...”

“Don’t be silly, Roberto, You know I’m very happy with you. I don’t care about your age, it only affects me because I’d like to have you beside me for a long time, my whole life... It scares me that you could die first.”

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
PreviousTable of contentsNext
Table of related information
Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
By the same author RSS
Date of publicationJuly 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
Readers' Opinions RSS
Your opinion
How to add an image to this work

Besides sending your opinion about this work, you can add a photo (or more than one) to this page in three simple steps:

  1. Find a photo related with this text at Flickr and, there, add the following tag: (machine tag)

    To tag photos you must be a member of Flickr (don’t worry, the basic service is free).

    Choose photos taken by yourself or from The Commons. You may need special privileges to tag photos if they are not your own. If the photo wasn’t taken by you and it is not from The Commons, please ask permission to the author or check that the license authorizes this use.

  2. Once tagged, check that the new tag is publicly available (it may take some minutes) clicking the following link till your photo is shown: show photos ...

  3. Once your photo is shown, you can add it to this page:

Even though does not display the identity of the person who added a photo, this action is not anonymous (tags are linked to the user who added them at Flickr). reserves the right to remove inappropriate photos. If you find a photo that does not really illustrate the work or whose license does not allow its use, let us know.

If you added a photo (for example, testing this service) that is not really related with this work, you can remove it deleting the machine tag at Flickr (step 1). Verify that the removal is already public (step 2) and then press the button at step 3 to update this page. shows 10 photos per work maximum. Idea, design & development: Xavier Badosa (1995–2018)