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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 68

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos
Friday 16 February 1990, 21:00

They met in the hotel lobby. Rocío and Roberto had dressed casually, as was their taste. They went for dinner at a pizzeria where he was a regular. In spite of the tension they had suffered, both were enthusiastic, happy to be together again. The bridge that linked them was more and more solid, easier to cross. It was implicit that there was something between them; neither of them dared to take the first step, but they both wanted to make the link more intimate.

“How nice to be with you again, Rocío! It’s a real pleasure, you can see it in my face, can’t you?”

“I don’t know, don’t exaggerate...”

“I’m not exaggerating, how mistrustful you are, eh? What do I have to do to make you believe me? Swear on God’s name?”

“No! Not that, please! You’re an atheist! You don’t even believe in yourself. You’ve gone too far, I’m taking no notice of that...”

“I’m very sorry!” he said, “it’s true you were educated my nuns. You must think I’m a real Mephistopheles. You don’t like me being agnostic at all, do you?”

“I neither like it nor dislike it, I respect your freedom of thought. But I don’t like you attacking the church so much.... It’s as if you forget that, when all is said and done, it’s made up only of men.”

“That’s right,” said Roberto, “not infallible gods. But they think they don’t make mistakes, that their interpretations cannot be disputed.”

“Look, say what you like, but you can’t ignore that throughout the whole world there’s a kind of religious renaissance. Look what’s happening in Eastern Europe, or with the new Christianity in the United States, or with the Muslims...”

“Don’t offer the Mohammedans as an example, please, their national sport is stoning women for any silly reason. Better to look at Western Europe: it’s not so easy there to drug people with religion. Science is predominant, not superstition.”

“However,” said Rocío, “there’s no contradiction between religion and science. If there was a big explosion that created the Universe, astrophysics can’t explain why, or what was there before. We could say the same about the phenomenon of evolution: although we come from a primitive unicellular being, how are we to understand our current perfection?”

“Perfection? But we’re just a pile of cells! In my opinion, we’re simply the order resulting from chaos. From a selection of millions of years, innumerable variations, we’re the result, nothing more. When they prove otherwise, I’ll become a believer; I’ll even pray, I swear.”

“You’re an incorrigible perjurer,” said Rocío with a smile, “you’re unforgivable.”

“Look, Rocío, if God was as good as I’d like Him to be, He wouldn’t sanction me for my lack of belief. On the other hand, if He condemned be for my lack of faith, He would be a detestable God; I couldn’t worship Him. But I adore beautiful women like you...”

“You’re a terrible flatterer, but don’t worry, it doesn’t bother me...”

“Can I carry on then?” asked Roberto.

“You can.”

“Thank you, Rocío. Shall I lay my cards on the table? Are you ready?”

With a certain hesitation, she answered, “I’m ready, I think...”

OK, tell me, Rocío, what’s happening to us? Because something’s happening, isn’t it?”

Visibly blushing, she looked down and said, “I don’t know, I daren’t say anything.”

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