A week ago at this time I was at your house, trying to sleep, trying to figure out what was happening. I went up to your room, got into your bed, felt your closed sleep. I said goodbye and sleeping Amos said the same. I went out to the porch for a smoke, and I sat there for a while, until Maria came out. She told me she couldn't sleep and sweetly offered to take me to the airport. I didn't say goodbye, although somehow I did. That flight was miserable: I was exhausted and I didn't understand why I was leaving with such a dramatic feeling. To digest my emotions, I started remembering our little moments of fun, and then I wrote you something that I never sent. Now I am back in Madrid, trying to sleep in my own bed after all these months, but this is gonna take me a while. I open my computer and I see your email and decide to answer, to tell you that you that I also saw in you a magnificent human being, that I would have liked to know you more and better. Anyway. Thank you for that time. Gracias corasón de melón, melón, melón...Sigue disfrutando.
Here is what I wrote...
First continuation: After a while, the impact of this memory dissolves in time and silence. We lose all contact and continue with our lives and trips and wonders. You become an admired playwright after your success portraying the long term social effects of the 2020 California Gugu earthquake. In one of your tours, you go to Paris and end up siting next to me at a terrible literature conference about the latest work of some Chicano gay disabled woman. We both puff in our seats, and in that complicity we look at each other. Hours later we are having sex on every slide of every park in Paris. Soon we get bored with parks and go down to the catacombs to make love between the old honorable French skulls. Years later we move to a country house dans la campagne française, and bring your father--too old to work by then--with us. We both work in our garden till sunset, while he closely observes our progress from the porch, smiling and drinking his beer. We have a simple way of life, away from the sound and fury and lemon's labels, and tender conversations about our possible children's names. We read Mark Twain and Garcia Marquez and sometimes even Gothic novels. We have dogs and swings and boxes full of silkworms and a sign in the front door: Il faut cultiver notre jardin. I pronounce the sentence and remember my youth struggling against the refined and exigent French ears. Even during my very last years, when Alzheimer's has ravaged my neurons and you keep reading me that old notebook, I would still stubbornly remember how to say the damn Voltaire sentence properly.
Second continuation: We never see each other again. Only one day, walking through the streets of Venice, I scream thinking I'm seeing you: down by the water, a man half-plunged and half-naked, swinging his penis and saying something to some rats that run out into the incongruous canals. But it is not you.
Tercera continuación: Vuelvo a Nueva Orleans. Nos reencontramos. Nos descubrimos. Nos vamos a vivir juntos a Cuba. Los primeros meses el placer se escurre como el fuego, como el sudor de los bailes en la Casa de la música, como la tormenta que acerca el mar al Malecón. Después las cosas se complican, se nos acaba el dinero, se nos acaba la tormenta. Entonces tú abres una tienda de lociones de cabello para hombres y yo me coloco en una de las pescaderías del puerto. Salimos adelante, pero el sumidero se abre un día: has utilizado mi cuaderno anotado para limpiarte el cuello de loción. Cuando te lo reprocho, me echas en cara el olor salvaje de mis manos, el olor de mis dedos húmedos, palpitantes de tajar pescado y hurgar marisco. Empezamos una pelea que acaba en un paseo a gritos por la playa. Todo termina en un par de navajas, en dos cuchillos apasionados, en dos cuerpos apasionados que aparecen como el pescado muerto por la mañana en el Malecón.
Fourth continuation: I go back to New Orleans. We become friends. We live together for years, and go every morning to lie under the Chime Tree and listen to the music of the wind.You start dating a guy and he moves in with us. After a while you decide to have a child: we decide to have a child that I would conceive and you would raise. I give birth to Samuel, a beautiful boy. I breastfeed him every morning on the porch. Sometimes you come by and you try the milk from my breast, saying something about how it makes you remember your first years. You suck my nipple gently and then give me long lectures about childhood and innocence. I always feel my pants wet, but I never tell you. The child grows up, and it becomes painful to be around you all. One morning I decide to leave. I pack my things, go to the kitchen and squeeze my breast. A drop of milk comes out and falls into a porcelain glass that I leave on the table. I don't say goodbye, although somehow I do.
Anna Bernal is a pseudonymous Spanish writer and critic.