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Christmas is over. Beyond my window, everything is grayish. Out of the chimneys, slightly darker columns of smoke sail slowly toward the clouded sky. While Brussels sleeps exhausted after a night of programmed craziness in which I refuse to participate, the silence is only broken by the jumping of my fingers over the keyboard as I write my first hundred words. It's noon and I'm still in bed. Several art books are waiting, scattered on the floor, beside my bed. The bed is cozy, temperature is perfect and I have no intention of getting off whatsoever. Definitively, I love Sundays.
Today I have taken my hot shower, a sacred ritual beyond an inexistent cleanness obsession. It's a profane baptism that strengthens me to face the day, just as the morning cereal and glass of orange juice. I doesn't matter if the water that soothes my body and my soul doesn't come from the Jordan. What matters is that everyday my personal prophet stands two meters above the bathtub, crying of joy while he rinses away fears, hates, half-cooked dreams. The mist hiding my reflect on the mirror remembers me my solitude in the battle that begins everyday at 9:00 AM.
As I drove to work today, I felt trapped by the routine. After 18 months I hardly know this melancholically pretty city. So I decided that, instead of having lunch with my colleagues or in front of my pc, I'd drive thru unknown neighborhoods. Mist, brick cottages, sad apartment buildings, old ladies talking over a fence, an old train station, a superb train viaduct, suburbs towns with barbaric names: Dilbeek, Drogenbos, Alsenberg... Nothing really as special as the opportunity of escaping the rat race, having the cold air in my face, having the naÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¯f feeling of dying a little slower...
She has pretty blue eyes, very short black-dyed hair, a superb smile (little holes on her cheeks), She is aggressively sexy, sometimes in tight jeans or short skirts but always in boots. She has a dream body: round legs, a very nice and hard (I suppose) ass that attracts all my attention (I can't remember her breasts and blouses): She's a sex bomb. But she's also cool and witty and discreet. L. fantasizes often of fucking her on his desk. I ask him "Let me know when that will happen so that I can be there seating and eating popcorn-.
Today I have not very much to say. It's Thursday, I don't feel like going to work tomorrow, and I'm just adding words until I get to the hundredth. Today the exercise seems to me like an endless road, like a day without bread, a month without sex, a love without end. Keep on, you are nearer to the end, to the Friday, to the long and sweet far niente on your bed, to the cinema on Sunday afternoon, to the book on your lap... This one is not completely useless, I have learned to write shit without a regret.
Yes, but how many "mes"live inside me? Is not the man like a whole crowded universe, each inhabitant wanting something radically different? Isn't human will the sum of all these tiny wills? I want to be free and rich, fit and lazy, pure and perverse. Human nature, as complex as it may seem, can be described on a binary basis. But always the opposites eliminate each other. God, the sum of all things, is nothing but an enormous zero. Sometimes I go thru life with no fixed direction, full of contradictions, feeling myself, bizarrely, as a small, useless god.
I hate going to the supermarket. Except some sexy middle-aged ladies I admire discreetly (flowers of the dawn, Antonio calls them), everything bothers me. Supermarkets seem like a big dead animal where vultures and worms come to take their favourite piece. There is an imposed promiscuity with everybody, a forced intimacy of a crowd trapped between their cars in the hot drinks aisle, a bunch of fat guys pretending to buy a jar of the spread sample they've eaten like pigs and the hopeless certitude that all I bought today will soon be gone and I'll have to come again!
E. dinned with us yesterday. Since the death of his wife he lives alone in a big house outside Brussels. That's why he has a huge need of talking. He begins a story but before ending it, he begins a second one, and a third, and a fourth...He's like a word geyser. It's really hard to follow him. I have to interrupt and to bring him to the most interesting story. Last night he talked till midnight and stopped when he realized I was almost sleeping on the coach. I can hardly wait to let him finish his last story.
Flirting is one of the nicest pleasures on earth. A delicate one. Sometimes I prefer an exchange of witty remarks, a kiss one hundredth of a second too long, a rapid glance running from the eyes to the belly, a nervous laugh to a relentless night of sex. Because it is the promise of that night, only smoother; it is the promise of that violence, only slower. I prefer to feeling I'm arriving than knowing I'm there. Flirting is the promise of paradise without the dangers of hell. It's walking on a rope above the passion itself. To be continued.
The man has landed on the moon. He has split atoms. The man has developed complex systems of self-justification. The man has been a wolf for the man and for all the species. The man has lied and led others into lies. The man has invaded the domain of gods. He has decided what is good and what is evil. And who is good and who is evil. The man has ordered the apotheosis of himself. He, the center of the universe. Yet the man, most of the time, cannot touch his own toes. Yoga is an exercise of humility.
Sometimes loneliness invades me like a terrible army. I got the feeling of being alone in the universe, despite the fact that I am surrounded of people. But these people I don't feel like being in the same wave length than me. So I keep looking out of windows, waiting to see and hear the phone ringing, checking my email every two minutes, walking up and down the stairs, cracking my fingers and watching the watch, and the loneliness is just there, she - because she's a pale sad woman- does not go away. At least I'm not completely lonely. No.
My only regret about being mortal is not having the time to read all the good books that have been written. Conscious of this handicap, I read a book only once,. I read one book from each writer. I would like to read all the classics. To make a literary world tour. But there are so many good writers. There is so little time. I have to work. I have to sleep. I have to drive. And there are addictive authors: AmÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â©lie Nothomb, Georges Simenon. I promise the one I finished will be the last and yet... I'll read another...
But reading is a big obstacle to accomplish my other passion : Writing. To read is passive. To write is active. I am conscious about the bad quality of my writings, but too much self criticism is a disguised form of phobia. And writing is a fearful thing to do. It opens the Pandora box inside me. But it is also a way of self accomplishment, of self knowledge, of self control. Today I have no inspiration, no desire but I must write. Writing must become something as natural as breathing or drinking of crying. I write, therefore I exist.
French wines, Brazilian coffee, Italian ice creams, English humour, American values, Cuban cigars, Arabian sheiks, African stallions, Moroccan shit, Chinese silk, Indian curry, Czech weapons, Iranian caviar, Irakian evil, kwaitian oil, Colombian coke, Mexican chilli, Belgian chocolates, Argentinean steaks, Australian beers, Spanish bulls, Norwegian cod fish, Dutch cheeses, Hawaiian waves, Russian vodka, Russian roulettes, Indian summers, Austrian slopes, German sausages, Swiss army knives, afghan opium, Japanese sushi, Polynesian pearls, Greek beauties, Persian rugs, Tunisian nights, Scottish whisky, Swedish girls, western civilisation, eastern wisdom, northern power, southern hospitality, heavenly peace, hell suffering, ain't all these stuff a little too much overrated?
Giving a writing all the sensations of life, that is essential. The enormous blue sky where only the planes and the sun fly. The superb taste of the hot Belgian fries and mayonnaise eaten a cold Sunday afternoon. A piano played across a wall at the same time that a violin played across the opposite wall. The soft touch of a sofa in front of a tv transmitting no matter what. But also the feelings: Sweet euphoria the morning, and that Sunday night sadness that has invaded me since I had four years. All that must be taken in consideration.
Night ride between Paris and Brussels. Under a starless sky, beyond the dusty windows of the car, the French countryside is completely dark. One can only suspect the silent presence of the naked trees. Between one key stroke and the other, several hundreds of meters are gone. Between one word and the next one, a panel on the side of the highway is lit by our lights, promising superb medieval cities with paved narrow streets and overwhelming cathedrals. As Aznavour sings on the radio, I realize that the violent red of the backlights of the other cars are surprisingly beautiful.
Is Paris that beautiful? Isn't it true that men come to Paris already predisposed by its huge reputation? Why keep we calling it the light city as if it were the only one with illuminated streets and avenues? Sometimes I ask myself all this questions. But I love this city despite what the answers may be. I like wandering thru its streets, the unknown ones, the narrow ones, the ones paved with stones. Rue de la Verrerie, Rue de Quincampoix, Rue de Saint Severin... Small pieces of a Paris that has never been so pretty as men think it is.
In yesterday party people talked, laughed, ate, whispered, saw, heard, suspected, dreamed, danced, drank again, smoked, pissed, joked, flirted, admired, sighed, touched, enjoyed, disgusted, chatted, dated, slept, ran, offered, received, kissed, impressed, unstressed, spoke French and English and Spanish, singed, ran to the metro and to a taxi and to a bed and to a dream, desired to be desired, get drunk, get stonned, wore skirts, and shirts and hot pants and cool make up and funny costumes, and hats and devil wings and roman armures, and gaelic casks, wrote down greetings. Natural behaviours of the human animal. Just lived.
I am in Belgium now. I'll be in Spain tomorrow. And then in France. There are trains, planes and cars. The world is smaller than ever. There is no excuse to stay a whole life in one point of the planet. And no sense either. Patriotism is an act of short-sightedness. An exemple of disproportioned proudness. A complete lack of solidarity. A negation of the big human family. Travelling I realise my culture is only one among others. One answer among others. One reaction among others. Not better than others. Not worst than others. Travelling is a humility lesson, too.
Thus, everywhere I go I eat what men eat. I go to where men go. I listen to what men say. I read what men read. I walk to where men walk. I look at men, at streets, at parks, at the sky, at the signs, the stores, the bars, the flowers on the street, the press kiosks. I listen to the music, to the news on the cabs, to the conversation on the streets. I smell the parfums in the elevators, the fruits in the markets, I feel the breeze, cold or hot, on my cheeks, the roasted maroons...
Madrid is a small coffee and milk and a Serrano bocadillo. Madrid is a bunch of people in a small bar talking loudly with violent arms and hand movements. Madrid is a sober city in the middle of a yellow dessert. Madrid is a punk walking a nameless street of Chamberi; an old thin man with moustache and hat siting on a bank in El Retiro; an arab woman cleaning her windows in Lavapies. Madrid are secret bars where people go on weekdays to get drunk and talk politics. I love Madrid, so close to me, so strange to me...
Madrid is an impossible city. In front of Puerta del Sol, a statue of a bear lean on a madroÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â±o tree and eat one of its fruits. This is the symbol of this city. The one you can see in all public offices and institutions. And yet it is biologically impossible. Bears hibernate when madroÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â±o trees offers to the world their insipid fruits. People wait for each other in front of "El oso y el madroÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â±o-. Just like below the shadow of Saint Michel statue or the Danton statue near the Odeon in Paris. Today I waited someone there in vain.
In Europe, not a country wants to be considered as an eastern Europe one. Years ago I read a book in which Kundera asked his readers to look to a map of Europe to realize that Checoeslovaquia ( I read that book a long time ago) was in the center of Europe and not in the East. On a touristic brochure I read that the geographic center of Europe lies on Poland. Thus Poland is not an eastern country either. Russia is the only one, it seems, but it does not bother her. She stands majesticly alone among the snow.
So majestically as Anna Zukhov, a tall, thin blue-eyed Russian girl from Saint Petersburg that I met yesterday on a tourism exhibition. It seems to me that everything she does, talking, smiling, arguing or just remaining silent as I talked, she does perfectly knowing how beautiful she is. She lives far away from the czars capital and it does not seem to bother her. The fact that her last name is the same of that general that scared the shit out of the Nazis in WWII does not seem to bother her. Coming from the only European eastern country either.
Albert Camus, Georges Simenon, Garcia Marquez, Stefan Zweig, Milan Kundera, Alvaro Mutis, Vasquez Montalban, De Prada, Italo Calvino, Raymond Queneau, JosÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â© Saramago, Georges Perec, E.A. Poe, AmÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â©lie Nothomb, Julio Cortazar, Margueritte Yourcenar, Borges, Eduardo Galeano, Juan Bosch, Brice Echenique, G. Cabrera Infante, Jorge Amado, James Burke... These are the last authors I have read, they are just marvellous. Sense of the absurd, ease of descriptions, huge imagination, delicate prose, so close to poetry and yet rude, crazy and sarcastic, sensual and coldly intellectual, amusing, amazing, all these authors are worth of quitting the tv forever, of never quitting your sofa...
Because I am a lonely book-eating wolf, I prefer sometimes, fictional characters to real people. As I read seated on my cosy sofa, while it snows outside, I spy the book characters life with the curiosity of an invisible alien explorer, discovering feelings and situations I have never dreamt of before. Quasimodo's love, Esmeralda's kindness, Phebo's dareness, a craw's flight in front of a door, a night flight, two lovers, ancient times... And we all are characters read by God. And as Borges told us, God himself is a character read by other nameless gods, and the chain is endless.
I have written my hundred words for three weeks in a row now and I am really proud of it. I have some doubts though. Being Spanish my mother tongue, I feel rather limited when I write in English, right now I am considering finishing this batch and abandoning the project. And at the same time as I am getting addicted to writing, I would like to continue. I just wanted to let you know this today, maybe someone is in the same situation and would like to propose 100 words to consider accepting contributions in other languages. Anyone interested?
I went to the movies today. I saw Sam Mendes' last film, "Jarhead-. Quite interesting. Anyway, the point is that the projection hall seems to be above a barbecue restaurant. It is always really hard for me to concentrate in the film and this food smell bothered me all the film long. But, ( SPOILER ahead, sorry) when the war scenes arrived, the broiled meat smell transformed into that of (I guess) burned flesh, giving the following scenes a very realistic impression. When the film finished, the effect on me of this coincidence had enormously increased my horror for wars.
Writing in a foreign language is like dreaming someone else dream, kissing with someone else lips, dressing up according to someone else taste. It is just like trying to fix a car without all the tools needed; like swimming with your hands tied; you cannot have the complete warranty that your reader will exactly understand what you want to say. Inevitably a mistake will escape you: the wrong word, the wrong meaning. I feel English is a poor language, it lacks Spanish richness, Spanish rhythm, I did not write all this 2900 words. It was Paul, someone I don't know.
Writing 100 words a day have helped me a lot: I feel January has gone slower and even though time has gone as fast as usual, it is kind of soothing to feel that I am travelling towards death a little calmer, at least I can admire the landscape a little more. I can remember better what I have done every day. My observation capacity has increased. I have done good things and bad things, good and bad writing but at least my English is a little less rusty, a little better. I kind of liked it...but also I missed...
The old and dear spanish words, the celtic, arabic, indoamerican ones, the ones full of music, of history, of rhythm, the ones describing a tropical fruit or a sunny day or and endless fiesta, an unforgettable adios, a terrible amor, blue eyes like cielo or mar. The ones describing passions possible between the tropics, magic realities only possible in latin America, guaraguaos, ciguapas, galipotes, words that cannot be translated into other languages because the reality they describe would die anywhere else. I don't k now if I'll write another batch. If not, good life to you all nice people, Thanks.
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