Extra of Chocolate – A gay short story

EXTRA OF CHOCOLATE

June 1st, 2002.

I have just received a scholarship from a tv production company. It sounds better than the reality: watch tv for a zapping show call “the crazy of the remote”… If I tell you that the best of the show is its name, you can imagine the rest. But the work is the perfect excuse to avoid returning home on holidays, stay here, in Madrid, and pretend to be an adult; in fact, let’s be realistics, bald, crystal clear: I am an adult. I have to. Or pretend to, ladies and gentlemen.

I do not know why I am writing this. I never finish a single diary. Not even a calendar. I get tired. I get boring. I get depressed: nothing to write about. Once I had, the most juicy anecdote, I was a child, and my mum and her boyfriend, it was exciting, risky, like in the detectives movies. But someone read my diary. Tore up the anecdote. Desecrated the book, broke the charm. A pity, yes. I threw out the diary.

Anyway. Thanks to my influence, Laura has get a job here too, so we can have fun together doing nothing, watching garbage in tv, selecting the most exclusive dirt among the dirty things, for the dirt gourmets, if we happen to be poetics.

Let’s see. The (updated) diagram of my life is: wake up. Dress up. Feed Romeo (the cat). Take the subway. Work (put that between quotes). Back to subway. Classes (more quotes). Back from class -in subway, yes. Watch tv -at home. Go to bed. And, if I am lucky, dream that nothing of the related before has happened, that everything is different. That I am happy.

Tomorrow will be monday. Back to the routine. And yet, there is something I have kept secret. The ace under the sleeve. See you tomorrow.

Day 2.

Laura, Mercedes and, in general, all my friends (it wouldn’t be a huge list, but this way it seems more mysterious) have a too high expectation of my ability to survive. My ability to relationate with people. Of my possibilities of being liked by someone. And, summing up, they overvalue me (that’s why they are my friends, I suppose).

Laura, Merce and I lie in the grass of our Faculty, next to the rugby field. From time to time we rise the head to look at the guys running in search of the ball, but it is so much better to be lying, watching the high tops of the black poplars, their dark-green, light-green leaves and how, when the wind blows, they make that unmistakable sound, and the leaves flame in the sun, and the branches shake, seem alive, and all of this would be terrifying if it would be night time.

Mercedes stands up. She’s going to class (what a bad taste). Laura seems to want to imitate her but I look at her full of indignation and she stays. Put the elbows in the grass and watch the rugby players. Today we didn’t go to work, we said we had an exam, but we are clearly not studying now, we are, as always, losing a time that it appeals to me to be precious (more and more if I am still alone, like a tortured soul from Canterbury). Well, let’s go to THE POINT.

– How can we get a boyfriend? No, no, when?!

Laura seems to think gravely, searching for an answer to the sky, the trees, the whole Earth. Lie besides me, face to face, and said:

– What the fuck I know. Leave me alone.

I am outraged and considerate how many seconds of penalty deserves that (note: that sentence has a double and perverted meaning; this is interactive literature, top of the fun, folks!). One, two, three, four. OK.

– You are such a boor.

– And you and asshole.

We look at each other. We stand up and recline in the fence that separates the grass from the rugby field. The guys are now warming up, running, practicing the pass. Laura holds with both hands the wires of the fence and winked, which means she is happy.

– Which one will you want?

Before answering I look at the boys. There are some handsome ones, attractive ones, but I am not really interested.

– And you?

She points at me.

– Uhum.

Laura looks at me worried. Then suddenly smiles. She has just read my mind.

– You are such a bastard. You already has someone and didn’t tell me. C’Mon. Spit it!

I smile. The sun illuminates us and forces us to seek refugee under the trees, back to the grass.

– He is the McDonald’s’ guy.

Laura holds her breathing.

You are SO cool.

Day 3-.

Quiet day. I’ve seen 4 reality-shows: one about people addicted to gossip magazines, another one about gays that went straight and then gays again, and two more about housewives that in a past life claimed to have been, in this order: Cleopatra, Concha Piquer, Adolf Hitler, Saint Therese of Jesus, Cleopatra and Madonna. The last one was asked how could have been Madonna in a past life if Madonna IS alive. The woman has blinked and the female presenter has passed to the commercials. I have showed this to the tv writer and she said it was useless because the comedy was too intelligent. Laura, with the headphones on, was laughing loud with an american commercial show about the music of the 80s. She just love this kind of stuff (she’s so weird…).

Later on we went to have breakfast, with out permission, as usual. No one notices anything, no one does his/her job, until it’s Friday, “the day of the reviewing”. The staff has to show the selected videos to the boss, that is in the office just for that day, and he tv writers, hysterical, work from 6 in the morning as much as the rest of the week. They shout. Fight. Pressures the interns. Go to the bathroom to cry. Then, next monday, everything is forgotten… calm down… Friday is so distant… but, anyway, the thing is that Lauri and and I went down to have breakfast in the McDonald’s nearby, which is cool, cause it is raining cats and dogs (or was it dogs and cats? Anyway, the weather is crazy).

Mcdonald’s. 10:15 a.m. Temperature: 15 C. Humidity: 23%.

He smiles (smiles at me) as everyday and walks through his territory with the security of those who are landlords, absolute owners of this world; as he and I know. He walks to the ice cream machine, take a plastic pan, fill it with cream (cream, 19%; derivatives, 73%; preservatives, colorants, stimulating, 8%) and turns just for a moment

a. to assure I am still there, looking at him, under his spell

b. to see if Laura wants to flee without paying the Deluxe Chips

c. cause his neck is aching

(a and b are compatible; remember I want to create interactive literature, boys)

The dark haired guy, the one that looks better than any living thing on Earth with the McDonald’s cap on, the dark haired and sparky eyes guy, with emerging beard, sharp teeth, with skin, voice so warm, he operates another machine and put upon the cream, I am pretty sure, the double of the chocolate syrup stipulated for the Sundae, cause the pan is so full, the cream is over the edge and, when he comes back, and give me the pan, when our hands crush briefly, smoothly, the syrup, still hot, spills on our fingers, he smiles again, like if he had a infinite source, a full risk insurance, and he licks his hand and hey, let’s write this black and white, I would sell RIGHT NOW my clothes, my dignity, mi family, my future, Laura, who is just here, on my left, I would give everything if he takes my hand and do the same. And I don’t even dare to imitate his gesture because I would spoil its beauty. I don’t have what he has (not yet?). Time flies, boys, especially when he is near. Laura do not understand me (as usual). He can save me, he has, at least, an opportunity to do it. The one I shall give him (is it complicated or is my impression?).

Let’s see: the McDonald’s guy likes me because he puts extra chocolate syrup on my Sundae.

(is very simple; crystal clear?)

Day 4-.

Dislikes: the Faculty, the teachers of the Faculty, my face in the mirror a sunday morning, my computer and its flirt with any kind of virus, the voice of my mother on the phone reprimanding me for not having a real job nor iniciative nor character nor future plan; Romeo’s meow at 6 in the morning asking for his food and attention, when I had gone to bed 2 hours before that.

Likes: color pilots pens, mostly the shiny ones, mostly the golden and silvery ones; make photos of sunsets from the terrace; talk to my friends; organize trips with them; dream of something nice and remembering it in the morning; remembering smiles; watch tennis matches with the german presenter from Eurosport; watch male Gimnastic Championships with the gossip female spanish presenter; listen to music with my headphones on while I walk in Granada and people seem nicer; nice people; sad endings.

I like, above all, the Mcdonald’s guy and the (mayfly, indefinable, pleasant even with a tragic intensity) feeling that grabs me by my throat when I see him; the taste of the ice cream offered by his very hand. That psychiatrists in Woody Allen’s films recommends to make lists. Of likes and dislikes. Of what you pursue in life. It is easy, it makes you so happy and it is no dangerous at all, because you will forget about that list and its content so soon. I guess I will never go to psychiatrist. It will be like order a jack off by telephone.

Day 5-.

CANCER: “Certain rest of desolation may comes to you today because the affectional side is not so well still. A friend can give you a good advice, though”.

I put the little paper in her tv monitor, she reads it but doesn’t make a move. I put her headphones off.

– You, say something. OR I will have to read yours.

Laura reacts instantly. She is terrified by the horoscope and it is not strange, because her star sign predictions are never positive, she must suffer from a gipsy’s curse or maybe the horoscope writer (her name is Roxanne) has an ex husband of the same sign (Sagittarius) and she is taking vengeance from 4 years of life in hell. The important thing here is that Laura, finally, is listening.

– So? -I demand, impatiently.

– I am amazed that you believe in this bullshit. I don’t have any advice, I am not the fucking Wizard of Oz, fuck. Let me do my job.

She put her headphones on again (maybe she skipped the breakfast this morning?). Calm, with a poker face, I cut a second paper from the newspaper and stick it to the tv monitor. As if I had just put a bomb by her side, she close her eyes (just when J.M. Parada was singing along with the pianist and Marujita Díaz in the screen) and throw out the paper with frenetic hand movements, like it was burning. She put the headphones off once again, combs her hair, full of dignity, and turns to me.

– OK. What do you want me to do?

– It’s very easy – I smile. Laura look at me with a nasty face. I guess this is friendship.

McDonald’s. 10:35 a.m. Sunny with some clouds. A parrot of the old woman from the 6 floor has flied from its cage and flies with its 7 colors above the Avenue, between junipers and willows (are there willows in Madrid? This is too much). Temperature: 21º and up.

I knee under the farthest table from the bar and spy the scene behind a plastic plant that, I can assure, it’s gonna give me hives. A fat girl and another one with pink hair watch me from a close table but I don’t give a s***, they are more ridiculous than me (I hope). The scene:

Lauri, bold, in her role, get closer to the bar that appears desolated, so so empty. She tries to call for attention humming some Isabel Pantoja’s and, with a fast approach, a worker stands in front of her. A worker that is NOT HIM. Is a blond, pale girl. Laura look for me, asking for instructions. I show my face through the ficus and shake my shoulders, defenceless. Then someone touch my right shoulder and I turn around with a angry-dog-face, thinking it will be the fat girl or the colored-haired girl that wants to laugh at me, but instead I turn and I see: him. My golden boy, with his little cap, his eyes, his teeth, all of him, plus a broom and a dustpan. Yes he is such a handy pal.

– Have you lost something? -and he smiles, and it it were possible -I am so cautious and my affection for him is undetectable- I would say he knows exactly why I am on my knees, under the table, between the plastic ficus branches.

– If I lost…? -of course, my dearest, I lost my mind, my identity card and my Athletic Soccer Club Card, everything in a row the day I first saw you, the day I first enjoyed the chocolate served by your saint hands… mmm… ehm… (add here more sighs and clear your throat interjections).

The boy of the cap stand on the broom and put a feet upon the other, in a gesture, I’d say, at least, Praxiteles likely, of the classic Greek style. If I should try to do that, and this is so obvious, I will break my coccyx, and add to that the normal ridiculousness of falling on the floor in the middle of a great scandal. The boy of the cap does not seem to have a lot of work today, because he just stands there -and looking sideways I see Laura gesticulating like a crazy woman. She makes figures with her hands in the air, she points to my mobile, she pretends to be drinking /invite him to a drink/, /ask him his number/, /make him 4 children all along/, well, THOSE were not in her gestures, but it is written in my soul.

Let’s go on, shall we? I talk and talk and talk, excuse moi, chicos and chicas: I stand up with my dignity untouched -lol- and I see that my brave-til-the-end friend Laura takes her chance to run like a rat out of the restaurant, you will pay this evil coward. Soo, alone in the wild zone, I smile (Have I already comment that he looks like Guardiola? Just for you to picture him…) to the Employee of the Month and design in a single second thousands of strategies to seduce him.

– Hum… The restrooms, please?

In the subway, after classes, coming back home. WHAT home? I don’t have one, sad as it sounds, ladies and gentlemen. I live in a re-rented and small flat of the Madridish Harlem with my cat and my colony of termites that will end up demolishing the building. My only hope is that day my landlord will be inside. In the subway, to pass the time, there are several methods: read, listening music, sleep or, if you are lucky, talk with some classmate that goes your way. But hey, no one else lives in the Harlem, just me, and no one goes in my way -as usual. Another system, so much instructive, is to look at people. Gossip stuff, yes. First of all, because may be someone attractive. To look is free, boys, at least by now, so enjoy, enjoy, and look at people (but in a concealing way, cause you are such a shameless gang). Second, for a sociological reason, like the Big Brother Show. As a scientific observation I must declare that between the specimens of the subway there are a lot of rara avis (I should quit watching the Sanchez-Dragó TV Show) and old people: old people with their suitcases, old people that talk to strangers. A LOT of old people, yes. I dunno want to turn into a nazi in this very moment, but why the fuck must I give them my seat, just because they are old and trembling and have crutches and canes and sad-puppies’ eyes? If you can not go in the subway, don’t you go in, FUCK.

Yep. I am in a terrible mood. I can’t find a seat, my foot ache, my back bag is so heavy and my stomach shakes every time I remember the horrible scene of this morning and my legendary walk out. I couldn’t look at his eyes again… I feel bad, as if I have had a pig out in the middle of the night and in TV there was just repeated gossip shows.

I get home. The cat complains, meows, not because he has missed me: he is hungry. I go to bed, I lay down all dressed. Sentence of the day: “Tomorrow, at the end, will be a new day”, or anything else from Scarlet O’Hara. I won’t give up, men and women, I am hurt but not defeated. They have won a battle, not the war. Damaged but still standing -I could go on like this forever. Good night everyone. Romeo start to meow again. I should have guess this.

Day 6-.

Lauri and I use the class of “How to invent History through Steven Spielberg’s cinema” to make a diagram. It is the only and foolproof “Guide for get laid and not regretting it”, elaborated with the altruistic help, collaboration and participation of Merce, Pau & co. ‘ere are the results (note to me: Antonio, STOP reading Shakespeare for a moment):

1. find the prey

2. make reports; ¿sources?

-prey’s friends

-long-distance studies (aka, spy on him)

-desperate methods: steal his wallet, follow him to his house, and a long and shameful et cetera.

3. meet the prey; introducing sentences:

– “What a happy coincidence, I was just here for a non-sex-motivated reason and…”

– “Have you loss this…? (and this is give him back the things you stole from him before, and he’ll be so grateful)

– “You look like…

-a celebrity

-a friend

-my ex (desperate mood, again, folks)

4. conquer his love; methods:

(FILL THE BLANK SPACE)

Day 7.

Weekend is a time of mere formality, the waiting room of a life that, contrary to most of the people’s, goes by during the midweek because I can see the boy of the cap and laugh with Laura and talk with my classmates of the Faculty. Saturday and Sunday are two sleepy giants I try to knock down armed with my immovility, disguised, prozac.

Today is Friday. Afternoon. Weekend. No one home. My flatmates are in their village, with the girlfriend, in a birthday party, in the cinema, wherever. They are not here. Except Romeo. He is here, with me. I play with Romeo. Although during the week I treat him a bit bad -because I come back from work or Faculty tired, now, I find this cat adorable, like a precious cuddly toy that listens to me, that talks to me, that loves me. And understands me. When I was a child, not that long ago, you bastards, when I was 12, 13, 14 years old, I believed that my cat Scarlett (O’Hara) could understand my words and that if I could find the exact instant, the proper place (the hiding place) she would answer me, dunno if with her mouth or with her mind, with that immense, deep blue eyes, so smart. I do not believe in that anymore, and this losing of innocence, of faith is equivalent to my denial of God. It was something so much bigger that what it could be, because it covers more illusions that I can enumerate nowadays: the future, at the end, and my happiness there. I do not believe in my cat anymore, I say it again, but yet, he comforts me. I play hide and seek with him, I try to catch him, he tries to catch me, he lies on the floor paws up so I can cuddle him, as if he were a cat. I talk to him and he answer me with his complaining meow, that would definitely the sound I would always make if I were a cat. As a little boy -oh no another childhood anecdote- I dreamt of become a wild cat.

I change to EuroSport on TV but there is only cycling and championships of… boules? on ice. I turn off the TV. I look for Romeo. I call him. He did not come. I sit besides the window and try and spy the neighbours of the building in front of mine. Have they put curtains in their windows? What a bunch of immature mistrustful guys… Tic tac tic tac

(sentence of the day: “I hate people with their own life”)

Day 8-.

I continue with the list.

I like: Guardiola, that the boy of the cap looks like Guardiola. Guardiola living in Brescia in a house, and in its mailbox his name is with another one, a italian so mysterious and full of possibilities. The guy of Wild Reeds. That the boy of the cap may suffer a syndrome that keep him from stop smiling even before white trash like me. Alexei Nemov. Russians in general.

Dislikes: I can’t think of any bad thing today. I must have consumed the proper amount of chocolate.

I read again the list and realize that my likes have been reduced to fresh meat.

(sentence of the day: “I spend too much time with my cat”)

Day 9-.

Antonio wants to go to the psychiatrist. He thinks that his life will get better this way. His life, this far, have not declared a thing about this matter. In fact, this is another symptom of snobbery, like writing a journal in third person” (I am late to work…). All this non-sense comes from the failure of yesterday. From my aeternal cowardness. When will I accept (or understand) what I am? When will I forgive, love myself?

At the subway. Line 6 is a circle so, theoretically, you could hop on the carriage and continue forever in it, in a sort of hypnotic trance, far away from time and space, alien to the external world (to emotions). It is so easy to transform this picture into a metaphor of a wasted life like is (will be) mine. I look inside me some rebellion, repugnance even that helps me escape, break the roots, derail this carriage and crush finally with a life of my own. The sentence of the day is, by logic, while I think of my friends that do not call me because they have plans, always have plans, while I think of my friends with their couples, their romances, while I think in the certainty with whom they confront their future and accept that the bigger love I receive comes from my cat when he claws me because cannot stand me touching him, the sentence of the day is (My stop. Have I tell you already that I am late?).

In the lift. I press the button of the 5th floor. Gosh. I look at me in the mirror and discover in panic that I have came to work in my pijamas trousers (white and blue squares). It looks like the typical nightmare, Freud, Kafka and Co.’s Pleasure, but IT IS HAPPENING TO ME, now, and it is real. I must choose: turn back, quit work (anyway it is a shitty grant) and get home, OR go forward with pride, with a flawless honour and walk in the office like nothing is on, and if someone, by chance, asks this or that, or points at me, I will show off my modern style, accuse the other of aesthetical reactionary and, in the last case, ignore with the power that gives me the fact that I know I am in the possession of the thruth (Am I in the possession of the thruth?). So I decide to keep on making a fool of myself, blush in a spectacular way and think about the glances of that guy, of the two girls, in the subway -those were not caused by my fitted pants or the t-shirt, no, the looks went straight to the impossible pattern of my pijamas. By the way, am I wearing underwear? (rhetorical question, the answer is so clear). The door. The last frontier. I feel brave and adventurous, just for a second, the hero of the movie. I open the door. I go in. I walk towards my working space. I sit. Laura comes back from the restroom and sit by my side without a look; put on her headphones and press “play” (hidden cam investigation tv show about the dark side of chinese food shops -mafia? Government conspiration?). I take a look, still sweating, and I realize (disappointed?) that nobody is aware of my pijamas drama. I dunno if I should feel insulted. Does this mean that they think my usual clothes are like THIS? Do they think I am such a fashion victim? I throw to Laura a little paper ball-from a used kleenex. This girl is always pretending to be working, but I just have seen her hiding in her back bag a pop-decoration magazine before turning to me with fake indignation.

– What?? I’m going to be fired for your fault.

– You will be fired because when you describe José Luis Moreno’s Show you just remark the bulges of the underwear models.

Laura touches her hair, in a gesture that she learnt recently watching “What ever happened to Baby Jane”. It means: I know you are so far away from me, inferior to me in so many levels, and YET I talk to you, I suffer you, I listen to you so you can see how superior I am (in glamour, style and art-decò), oh you, poor mortal soul.

– At least I do not pass the whole working day watching Eurosport praying for a accident with the sport-trousers that leaves in the air the butt of certain russian gymnast.

– You are so rude.

I smile. She smiles me back. She’s adorable, I am adorable, We are adorable. I had something to ask her, didn’t I?

– Errr… (I stand with discretion, I pretend to put a tape in the upper shelves of the wooden structure in which, in a limited space, live the TV, the video, the tapes and I). Don’t you notice nothing strange at all?

Lauri looks at me with indifference, blinks exactly like Bette Davis.

– That you gained 4 pounds in a week?

I sit again. She laughs to defuse the joke and I, still pissed off with her and hoping for she getting electrocuted with the video recorder ASAP, I confess her my wardrobe mistake. She takes a long glance at my pijamas.

– Ah. I haven’t noticed.

Strategical pause. I look at her. I wait a little more.

– It suits you.

(That it suits me?)

– I am not remarking nothing about your hair style, so SHUT UP. How a pijamas can suits me? Besides, this is not the important thing here.

I remain silent. Second strategical pause. I intend to maintain the tension, establish some parameters that conduct the situation to the climax, the maximum suspense but Laura -oh God she is short-sighted- does not realize this and I can see how she is getting bored and entertains herself watching in my screen some Figo’s statements in portuguese. It’s urgent to turn the volume on or the audience will fall sleep. So I spit it out. That I need a psychiatrist. That I think that something up there, in my head, does not work properly; my existential, love, sexual doubts. I am sure this professional will know how to advice me, ease me, guide me.

– …

Laura does not say a word. I suspect she just have not heard a single thing. She has the headphones on again and listen carefully and fascinated the commercial show about weight-losing electro shocks hosted by Norma Duval. I touch her with my forefinger in the shoulder, wishing it was her eye and my finger a rusty and oxidized shaving razor with typhus in it. With an a annoying attitude because she has to stop watching that fabulous postmodern work of art she partially put the headphones off -she use them as a hair clip… this girl is hallucinating Audrey Hepburn- and stares at me angelical, that is, killer. I repeat my message.

– I think I am going insane.

Her answer is fast this time, without stop looking into my eyes.

– Fresh news.

A silence almost solid, palpable appears between us. Our eyes meet in the air. The noise of the office around us -tv writers fighting with tv writers that fight with interns, and interns fighting with interns, a phone ringing on and on, the speakers of a computer giving a loud voice to… Eric Clapton? FGS), everything seems to vanish.

– Bitch.

– Fag.

(this discussion is going nowhere)

Five minutes to 11 a. m. I am already 30 minutes late for my daily breakfast at the McDonald’s of the corner of the building with the Sandy ice cream included, but, HOW? With my pijamas on? In the very presence of (he)? I’d rather die. I’d rather watch Spanish public TV. I keep a bit of self-respect, though I conceal it very well. Laura threatens with going there by herself. She has an animal hunger and if she has no breakfast her bad mood -her normal state at this hour in the morning- rise to stratospheric levels, so I pray a short Ave Maria and ask her to switch her jeans for my pijamas. She just stands there, looking at me. Her tv writer-boss comes and gives her some instructions and goes and I can tell you for sure that she has not heard a word. She is still looking at me. I attack with the emotional blackmail with a desperate face (is not a big effort).

– Please.

Uhum. 11:05 a.m. Not so sunny day. White clouds, cotton-like, like in a victorian tale. Three old women, one of them in a black and silver chinese dress, play poker while eating chips with mayonnaise in the table of the center of the restaurant. Lauri and I, in the other part of the establishment, beside the windows, hidden behind a column, a rubber plant -yes, the same one of yesterday- and our natural ability to be unnoticed (he), we see the bar… empty?

– Come on Antonio, for God’s fucking sake, get up and ask him a date.

– Sure. And his underwear size.

– Well. Then go and flirt a bit.

I look at her.

– How the hell is that?

11:11. The 3 gambler old-ladies have run away from the McDonald’s. Laura have tried to show me to flirt -with them as guinea pigs. She has approached the woman in the chinese dress -remember the male pijamas, almost fall to her knees- with Veronica Lake’s way of walking… well, she thought she was doing that, and then whispered dirty stuff to the poor woman in german. The old lady, fortunately, does not speak a word of that language but anyway she has thought Laura is a beggar and offered her the tray with the chips with a trembling hand. The other 2 were looking anxiously, one with a card in the air, suspended. Everybody were looking at Laura, all the customers, all the workers, and she, knowing that were her particular Edge of Glory -Lady Gaga Alert- was standing still, reclined upon the terrified “madame” and looking with a curious face the contents of the tray. Slowly, very very slowly her hand is moving, taking a chip, Laura takes a bit of mayonnaise with the chip and begin to eat it… no… wait… she start to LICK the chip, at first just a flash of her tongue then the whole muscle out of their mouth, sucking while staring, one by one, at the 3 old gamblers. The grandma’s, fast as a ray of light, takes the cards and the bags and the foulards and waves goodbye and exits the establishment walking backwards to not give the back to the enemy. Then Lauri shakes her shoulders, take another chip and with no pause drinks the giant Coke glass left there in the table by the old ladies, making noise whilst drinking, like she likes to do.

Meanwhile I -the main character of this story, remember!- am so ashamed that I am hiding myself behind the sacred column when I suddenly see -apart from the owner calling the Police- the boy of the cap in the bar, looking at Laura with a frightened smile, the one my friend tends to cause on strangers. Without giving it a thought I go there. He bends over me a bit, smiles.

– As usual?

– No.

The 2 of us blush at the same time. He cause, in some way, I’ve been a bit rude, and I because FINALLY I have had the bravery to say what I wanted to say.

The boy of the cap seems so intrigued. My shy eyes avoids his and goes down his body, and somehow notice the little card with the clip attached to his shirt, with his name in it.

– Javier.

I smile, knowing his name gives me strength, reduce his power, his light, his beauty even. This knowledge contains his charm -this is more accurate.

The boss happens to pass through where we are and takes a glance at us before disappearing towards the bathroom or some other room. J. follows him with his eyes and then turns to me, more and more confused.

– Ehm… Can I help you?

It would be just a second, the world is not gonna end, is just a sentence, 8 words, nothing is gonna happen -nothing happens never-, try, what can you lose?, try, you piece of shit, fuck you.

I rasp. I clear my throat. I feel in the nape Laura’s presence.

– Would you like to…?

Come back to work. Laura appears a bit later than me.

– Where were you? Why have you leave the restaurant?

She stares at me. I am working. The simple fact of confirm this makes Laura worrying.

– What has happened? What have you said to him? Did you ask him…?

– Fuck -is the only word I can articulate.

– So he refused?

– Worse! He said ok.

(my world is falling to pieces)

the end?

11342228096_89473e003d_c

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Note: this was originally published in Spanish, in the collection of short stories “Armado de impaciencia” (Luhu, 2014). Sorry for my English, I tried my best. Enjoy!

 


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