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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 59

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

“If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, I’d like to hear it...”

Rocío took a crumpled piece of paper out of her bag. The writing on it was barely visible. Nevertheless, she began to read:

“Dear Rocío, I bid you farewell with a few words.

“I address them to you as a hypothetical lover, so that you can save them as the only vestige of a piece of yesterday that was ours, luminous, wonderfully shared. I only want, in these lines, to ask you questions that you can’t answer now, which you will answer tomorrow, when it’s too late.

“For example, tell me, do you know the value of an instant of love? I don’t think you’ve ever thought about it. Or have you? If so, I insist, what is a wonderful day of love worth?

“If you don’t think it’s valuable enough, I ask you, what about a month? Would that be enough for you? Is it worth living through and running the risk of suffering? Or is it better to maintain a reasonable distance from risk? And from happiness?

“What price would you pay to intoxicate yourself with joyful colours, sweet sounds, to warm yourself in the light of a caressing sun, to dampen your face in the salty sea breeze, or to become emotional to the point of tears listening to the cries of seagulls on the beach. I recognised that you would give something to feel part of the landscape, to become conscious that you are alive, feeling every heartbeat, deliciously savouring flavours... Again, tell me, what price would you pay for all of this?

“Perhaps you don’t think it’s worth worrying about these little things; when all is said and done, it’s mawkishness for weak people, dreamers and poets. After all, love will come knocking at your door constantly, you’ll have to reject it insistently so that it doesn’t take up your time. If you lose it today, it doesn’t matter, you think you’ll love a thousand more times. So why disturb your harmonious peace, your placid equilibrium? Just to experience intense but ephemeral sensations? Just because loving you can make you tremble with emotion and perspire with pleasure? Perhaps because of what the magical fusion with the loved one’s body means, that ritual of embraces and kisses, that exchange of intimate fluids? It’s not that important, let’s not exaggerate! It’s such a big deal if, in communion with someone, you evade the tragic sentiment of life. Who’s worried about the idea of death? As if it was an advantage to know paradise in advance!

“It’s true, perhaps what I’m saying is irrelevant for you... Only if you thought with the heart could you think otherwise. You’d have to ignore healthy advice, forget paternal teachings, laugh at the morals and religion that you have been instilled with... God forbid that you ever commit such a sin!

“We’ll have to wait, I think that at some point, when your prejudices are more worn out, when the feelings you’ve buried pressurise you more and begin to blister your soul, you’ll hold these words in your hands once more.

“Then you’ll understand that the images of the past haven’t been lost, that they live inside you, that I’m part of a handful of sweet experiences. You’ll be sorry that there are so few, when there could have been so many... I’ll be lost in another era, like an unattainable ghost; we’ll be pursued by the thought of what we could have been. Who could solve this enigma? In spite of everything, don’t blame yourself; I’m a coward too, although I’ve got no excuse. I throw in the towel, I don’t fight, simply because icy common sense prevents me submerging myself in insecurity, in the storm that my affections would cause if they got out of control. Beyond what we feel, I would like my phrases to sound like a nice melody in your ears, although a little melancholy; remember it, Rocío, it belongs to us.”

Rocío had tears in her eyes when she finished reading ...

“Look how weak I am, Roberto. I know it by heart, but it still affects me. It’s hard to believe that during our existence, we throw important things out of the window and we don’t even realise that we no longer have them. Do you understand now why I’m so sensitive? Listening to your comments reminded me of all this... Sebastián was right, I understood his words too late...”

“I’m sorry it affected you, Rocío, I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“You haven’t, believe me, it’s good to let my feelings out. Although I’m exhausted, as if a great weight had been lifted, I’m relaxed. It’s good to open the valves from time to time, to let it all out, get it out of your system.... I’m dead tired, Roberto. It’s been a wonderful night, thanks for everything.”

“Thank you, because my spirits also spoke. I hope to see you soon.”

Roberto kissed her softly on the cheek. Neither of them wanted to say goodbye, something tied them imperceptibly. They had begun to cross the bridge...

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
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Date of publicationSeptember 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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