Love in White & Black

Love in White

Lucía blew out the eighteen candles of her white birthday cake in one go. She got the tip of her nose white with cream and her parents laughed merrily. Pedro, her boyfriend, waited impatiently at the back for the feast to end.

Lucía's grandparents reminisced about the time they were eighteen; the father, circumspect, winked to his brother-in-law: 'You remember that, don't you—' that sort of wink. Lucía's mother was making coffee for the guests and whispered with her sister about that little outfit her sister-in-law wore: 'how white it is! Looks as if she was going to run an ad for a detergent.' Pedro, the boyfriend, was still waiting, increasingly nervous and tense, if that was possible. Because Lucía, two days before, had promised that she would finalize, consumate, all those prologues of so many repressed nights. Pedro was not only nervous from anticipation. The responsibility was overwhelming him.

Lucía closeted herself in her bedroom with four of her friends to tell them about the promise she had made to her boyfriend. 'The poor kid got so pale when I told him,' she whispered airily. The four friends laughed, and remembered when they had fulfilled the same promise. All of them, except Paquita, because she still had three months to wait before she could fulfil her promise, and worse—because she had no boyfriend to make it to, or consumate it with.

The birthday party came to an end, and Lucía, after hugs and kisses, gathered-up a dozen presents. At the door, Pedro, smiling in distress, approached her with an awkward embrace, which she ducked like a fish. 'Don't be impatient,' she whispered in his ear, at the same time grabbing his hand and leading him into the kitchen. Piled on the table were the drinks left over from the party. Lucía, as if possessed, began to uncork the bottles, emptying them into her mouth or Pedro's. Hours passed in this way, the alcohol making their gaze slightly misty and their movements awkward.

They woke up the following morning, close to the aviary in the garden. Lucía with her hair loose and covered only by her white underclothes. Pedro, beside her, with his trousers around his knees. 'Was it nice?' Lucía wanted it to be a question but it came out as a poorly-meant affirmation. 'Wonderful,' he answered, his mind a blank.

Amor en blanco

Lucía apagó las dieciocho velas de su blanca tarta de cumpleaños de un solo soplido. La punta de la nariz se le blanqueó con la nata y sus padres rieron con jocosidad. Pedro, su novio, detrás, esperaba con impaciencia el fin de la fiesta.

Los abuelos de Lucía recordaron historias de sus dieciocho anos; el padre, circunspecto, le guiñaba a su cuñado, un guiño de "tu ya te acuerdas". La madre de Lucía preparaba café para los invitados y cuchicheaba con su hermana el modelito de la cunada, "que blanco, parece que va a anunciar detergente", le dijo. Pedro, el novio, seguia esperando, más nervioso y tenso si cabe. Y es que Lucía, dos dias antes, le había prometido finalizar, consumar, todos esos prólogos de tantas noches contenidas. Pedro no sólo estaba nervioso por la espera: la responsabilidad le abrumaba.

Lucía se encerró en su dormitorio con cuatro amigas para contarles lo de la promesa a su novio; "se quedó blanco el pobrecillo cuando se lo dije", susurró Lucía con ligereza. Las cuatro amigas rieron fuerte, y recordaron cuando ellas habian cumplido con esa misma promesa. Todas, menos Paquita, que aùn le quedaban très meses para cumplir la promesa, y lo que era peor, sin novio al que prometer y con quien cumplir la promesa.

La fiesta de cumpleaños llegó a su fin, y Lucía recogió entre abrazos y besos casi una docena de regalos. Pedro, en la puerta, sonriente y acongojado, la abordó con un torpe abrazo, que ella esquivó como un pez. "No seas impaciente", le dijo al oido, al tiempo que le agarraba la mano y lo conducia a la cocina. Sobre la mesa estaban apiladas todas las bebidas sobrantes de la fiesta. Lucía, como posesa, comenzó a destapar botellas, que vaciaba en su boca o en la de Pedro. Y así pasaron las horas, fabricándoles el alcohol una neblina tenue en la mirada y torpeza en los movimientos.

Despertaron a la manana siguiente junto a la pajarera del jardin. Lucía despeinada y solo cubierta por su blanca ropa interior. Pedro, al lado, con los pantalones bajados a la altura de las rodillas. "Fue bonito", quiso preguntar Lucía y al final esbozó una afirmaciôn poco sentida. "Maravilloso", respondió él, con la mente en blanco.

*El Dia de Cordoba, 2001.

Love in Black

A couple disappear behind the nearest shrubs. The '0' in the neon sign winks every few seconds. As they cross the distance, the three occupants of the car listen to the beat of a romantic ballad. Julio Iglesias sings 'La vida sigue igual'.

They go into the place. A pot-bellied, moustachioed man, his tie knotted on his forehead, stands on the bar between two cellulite-scarred mulatto girls, doing a rendition of Julio Iglesias. Five more prostitutes try to get themselves a customer at the tables. The girl walks before her friends and examines the women: 'which one do you fancy,' she asks.

In response, a finger points to the mature blonde with a tight-clinging dress, coming close by the dartboard from backstage.

They don't want a room. It will be fifteen thousand pesetas. They accept.

They go up the dirt road, three kilometres more, and enter a derelict silo, where an open fire is devouring what remains of the rafters of the roof. The mature blonde starts massaging the boys' groins.

'I'd give anything to have tits like that,' says the girl.

'Touch 'em,' says the blonde.

'What's your name,' asks the boy with the blackheads.

'You can call me whatever you like.'

'I'll call you Sandra. I had a girl, her name was Sandra.'

'I'm sure your girl couldn't do this.'

The mature blonde closes her eyes and opens her mouth.

While they all lie panting, naked on the straw-covered ground, the blonde woman discovers the unshaven boy's gun. She fondles and kisses it.

'Let's play at hurting ourselves.'

Amor en negro

Una pareja se pierde tras los primeros arbustos. La "0" del fluorescente parpadea cada pocos segundos. Conforme recortan la distancia, los très ocupantes del automóvil escuchan los compases de una balada romàntica. Julio Iglesias canta "La vida sigue igual."

Entran en el local. Un hombre barrigón, con bigote, con la corbata anudada en la frente, sobre la barra, entre dos mulatas celuliticas, imita a Julio Iglesias. Otras cinco prostitutas tratan de encontrar un cliente en las mesas. La chica se adelanta a sus amigos y examina a las mujeres. – Cuàl te gusta? Pregunta.

La respuesta es el dedo que senala una rubia madura y apretada que aparece por el fondo, junto a la diana de los dardos.

No quieren una habitaciôn. Eso os va a costar quince mil; aceptan. Avanzan por el camino de tierra très kilômetros mas, entran en un silo abandonado, donde una hoguera dévora las que fueron vigas del techo. La rubia madura comienza a masajear la entrepierna de los muchachos.

–Dan'a lo que fuera por tener unas tétas asi –dice la chica.

–Tôcalas –dice la rubia.

–Como te llamas? –pregunta el muchacho de las espinillas.

–Como tu quieras llamarme.

–Te llamaré Sandra, yo tuve una novia que se llamaba Sandra.

–Seguro que tu novia no sabia hacer esto.

La rubia madura cierra los ojos y abre la boca.

Cuando todos jadean, desnudos sobre la paja del suelo, la mujer rubia descubre la pistola del muchacho mal afeitado. La acaricia y la besa.

–Juguemos a hacernos dano.

*La fiebre del mercurio (Diputaciôn de Côrdoba, 2001)

Translated by J. Pailler

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Translated by J. Pailler

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