The Savage Detectives | Chapter 12 of 39

Author: Roberto Bolano | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 34054 Views | Add a Review

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Amadeo Salvatierra, Calle República de Venezuela, near the Palacio de la Inquisición, Mexico City DF, January 1976. Ah, I said to them, Cesárea Tinajero, where did you hear about her, boys? Then one of them explained that they were writing a piece about the stridentists and that they’d interviewed Germán, Arqueles, and Maples Arce, and read all the magazines and books of the era, and that among all those names, the names of established figures and empty names that mean nothing anymore and aren’t even an unpleasant memory, they’d found Cesárea’s name. So? I said. They looked at me and smiled, both at the same time, damn them, as if they were interconnected, if that makes any sense. It struck us as odd, they said, she seemed to be the only woman, and there were lots of references to her, all saying that she was a fine poet. A fine poetess? I said, where did you read her work? We haven’t read anything she wrote, they said, not anywhere, and that got us interested. Got you interested how, boys? Come now, explain what you mean. Everyone says either wonderful or terrible things about her, but no one published her. We’ve read González Pedreño’s magazine Motor Humano, Maples Arce’s directory of the avant garde, and Salvador Salazar’s magazine, said the Chilean, and she doesn’t show up anywhere except in Maples’s directory. And yet Juan Grady, Ernesto Rubio, and Adalberto Escobar all mention her in separate interviews, and in very complimentary terms. At first we thought that she was a stridentist, a fellow traveler, said the Mexican, but Maples Arce told us she never belonged to his movement. Although it’s possible that Maples’s memory is failing him, added the Chilean. Which we obviously don’t believe, said the Mexican. Well, he didn’t remember her as a stridentist, but he did remember her as a poet, said the Chilean. Blasted boys. Blasted youth. Interconnected. A shiver ran through me. Although he didn’t have a single poem by her in his extensive library to support his claim, said the Mexican. To sum it all up, Mr. Salvatierra, Amadeo, we’ve been asking around, we’ve talked to List Arzubide, Arqueles Vela, Hernández Miró, and the result is always more or less the same, everyone remembers her, said the Chilean, to a greater or lesser degree, but no one has anything by her that we can include in our study. And this study, boys, what is it exactly? Then I raised my hand and before they could answer I poured them more Los Suicidas mezcal and then I sat on the edge of the armchair and in my very backside I swear I felt as if I’d perched on the edge of a razor.


Perla Avilés, Calle Leonardo da Vinci, Colonia Mixcoac, Mexico City DF, May 1976. I didn’t have many friends in those days, but when I met him I didn’t have a single friend. I’m talking about 1970, when the two of us were in school together at Porvenir. Not for long, really, which goes to show how relative memory is, like a language we think we know but we don’t, that can stretch things or shrink them at will. That’s what I used to tell him, but he hardly listened to me. Once I went home with him when he still lived near the school, and I met his sister. There was no one else there, just his sister, and we talked for a long time. Soon after that they moved, went to live in Colonia Nápoles, and he quit school for good. I used to say to him: don’t you want to go to college? are you going to deny yourself the privilege of higher education? and he would laugh and tell me that in college he was sure he’d learn exactly what he’d learned in high school: nothing. But what are you going to do with your life? I’d say, what kind of work will you do? and he would answer that he had no idea and didn’t care. One afternoon when I’d gone to see him at his house I asked him whether he did drugs. No, he said. Never? I said. And he said: I’ve smoked marijuana, but that was a long time ago. And nothing else? No, nothing else, he said, and then he started to laugh. He was laughing at me, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I liked to see him laugh. Around that time he met a famous film and theater director. A fellow Chilean. Sometimes he would talk to me about him, telling me how he’d approached him at the door to the theater where one of the director’s plays about Heracleitus or some other pre-Socratic philosopher was being performed, a loose adaptation of the philosopher’s writings that caused quite a stir, Mexico being so straitlaced at the time, not because of anything in the play but because almost all the actors came onstage naked at some point. I was still in school at Porvenir, in the stench of Opus Dei, and I spent all my time studying and reading (I don’t think I’ve ever read so much since), and my only entertainment, my greatest pleasure, was going to his house. I would visit him regularly, but not too often because I didn’t want to be a bore or get in the way. I would come in the afternoon, or when it was already dark, and we would spend two or three hours talking, usually about literature, although he’d also tell me about his adventures with the director, it was clear he admired him greatly, I don’t know whether he liked the theater, but he loved film, in fact now that I think about it, he didn’t read very much back then, I was the one who talked about books, and I really did read a lot, literature, philosophy, political essays, but he didn’t, he went to the movies and then every day or every third day, extremely often, really, he would go to the director’s house, and once when I told him he had to read more, he said he’d already read everything that mattered to him. Such arrogance! Sometimes he would say things like that, I mean sometimes he was like a spoiled child, but I forgave him everything, whatever he did seemed fine to me. One day he told me that he’d fought with the director. I asked him why and he didn’t want to tell me. Or rather, he said that it had to do with a difference in literary opinion and that was all. What I managed to get out of him was that the director had said that Neruda was shit and that Nicanor Parra was the greatest poet of the Spanish language. Something like that. Of course I could hardly believe that two people would fight about something so unimportant. Where I come from, he said, people fight about things like that all the time. Well, I said, in Mexico people kill each other for no good reason at all, but certainly not educated people. Oh, the ideas I had then about culture. A while later, I went to visit the director, armed with a little book by Empedocles. His wife ushered me in and shortly afterward the director in person came into the living room and we started to talk. The first thing he asked me was how I’d gotten his address. I said that my friend had given it to me. Oh, him, said the director, and right away he wanted to know how he was, what he was doing, why he never came to visit. I gave him the first answer that popped into my head, then we started to talk about other things. After that, I had two people to visit, the director and my friend, and suddenly I realized that my horizons were expanding imperceptibly and my life was being gradually enriched. Those were happy days. One afternoon, however, after the director asked about my friend again, he told me about their fight. The story he told me wasn’t much different from what my friend had told me. The fight had been about Neruda and Parra, about the validity of their respective poetic visions, and yet there was a new element to the story that the director told (and I knew he was telling me the truth): when he fought with my friend and my friend couldn’t come up with anything else to say in his desperate defense of Neruda, he started to cry. Right there in the director’s living room, like a ten-year-old, without trying to hide it, although he was seventeen and had been for a while. According to the director, it was the tears that had come between them, that were keeping my friend away, since he must be ashamed (according to the director) of his reaction to what was otherwise a completely trivial and circumstantial disagreement. Tell him to come visit me, the director said that afternoon when I left his house. I spent the next two days thinking about what he’d said and about the kind of person my friend was and the reasons he might have had for not telling me the full story. When I went to see him I found him in bed. He had a fever and he was reading a book on the Templars, the mystery of the Gothic cathedrals, that kind of thing, I really don’t know how he could read such trash, although to be honest it wasn’t the first time I’d surprised him with books like that, sometimes it was thrillers, other times junk science, anyway, the only good thing about the books he read was that he never tried to get me to read them too, whereas whenever I read a good book, I immediately passed it on to him and sometimes I waited whole weeks for him to finish reading it so we could discuss it. He was in bed, he was reading the Templars book, and the minute I stepped into his room I started to shake. For a while we talked about things I’ve forgotten now. Or maybe we were silent for a while, me sitting at the foot of his bed, him stretched out with his book, the two of us sneaking looks at each other, listening to the sound the elevator made, as if we were in a dark room or lost in the country at night, just listening to the sound of horses. I could’ve sat there like that for the rest of the day, for the rest of my life. But I spoke. I told him about my latest visit to the director’s house, I relayed the director’s message, that he should go see him, that he was expected, and he said: then he’d better wait sitting down because I’m not going back. Then he started to pick up his Templars book again. I argued that just because Neruda’s poetry was good it didn’t mean that Parra’s couldn’t be. I was stunned by his reply. He said: I don’t give a shit about Neruda’s poetry or Parra’s poetry. So why the big argument, then, why the fight? I managed to ask, and he didn’t answer. Then I made a mistake. I came a little closer, sitting down beside him on the bed, and I took a book out of my pocket, a book of poetry, and I read him a few lines. He listened in silence. It was a poem about Narcissus and a nearly endless forest inhabited by hermaphrodites. When I finished he didn’t say anything. What do you think? I asked. I don’t know, he said, what do you think? Then I told him that I thought poets were hermaphrodites and that they could only be understood by each other. Poets, I said. What I would have liked to say was: we poets. But he looked at me as if the flesh had been stripped from my face and it was just a skull, he looked at me with a smile and said: don’t be corny, Perla. That was all. I turned pale and flinched, only managing to move a little bit away, and I tried to get up but I couldn’t, and all that time he sat there motionless, looking at me and smiling, as if all the skin, muscles, fat, and blood had slid off my face, leaving only the yellow or white bone. At first I was unable to speak. Then I said or whispered that it was late and I had to go. I stood up, said goodbye, and left. He didn’t even look up from his book. When I crossed the empty living room, the empty hallway, I thought I would never see him again. A little while later I started college and my life took a ninety-degree turn. Years later, purely by chance, I ran into his sister handing out Trotskyist propaganda at the Faculty of Literature. I bought a pamphlet from her and we went to have coffee. By then I’d stopped seeing the director, I was about to finish my degree, and I was writing poems that almost no one read. Naturally, I asked about him. Then his sister gave me a detailed account of his latest adventures. He had traveled all over Latin America, returned to his native country, suffered through a coup. All I could bring myself to say was: what bad luck. Yes, said his sister, he was planning to stay there to live and a few weeks after he got there the military decides to stage a coup, pretty rotten luck. For a while we couldn’t think of anything else to say to each other. I imagined him lost in a white space, a virgin space that kept getting dirtier and more soiled despite his best efforts, and even the face I remembered grew distorted, as if while I was talking to his sister his features melded with what she was describing, ridiculous tests of strength, terrifying, pointless rites of passage into adulthood, so distant from what I once thought would become of him, and even his sister’s voice talking about the Latin American revolution and the defeats and victories and deaths that it would bring began to sound strange and then I couldn’t sit there a second longer and I told her I had to go to class and we’d see each other some other time. I remember that for two or three nights I dreamed of him. In my dreams he was thin, all skin and bones, sitting under a tree, his hair long, his clothes ragged, his shoes ruined, unable to get up and walk.


Luscious Skin, in a rooftop room on Calle Tepeji, Mexico City DF, May 1976. Arturo Belano never liked me. Ulises Lima did. A person can sense these things. María Font liked me. Angélica Font didn’t. It doesn’t matter. The Rodríguez brothers liked me: Pancho, Moctezuma, and little Norberto. Sometimes they criticized me, sometimes Pancho said he didn’t understand me (especially when I slept with men), but I knew that they still cared about me. Not Arturo Belano. He never liked me. I used to think it was Ernesto San Epifanio’s fault. He and Arturo were friends before either of them was twenty, before Arturo went to Chile, supposedly to join the Revolution, and I’d been Ernesto’s lover, or so they said, and I’d dumped him. But the truth is that I only slept with Ernesto a few times, so why should it be my fault if people got all worked up over nothing? I also slept with María Font, and Arturo Belano had a problem with that. And I would’ve slept with Luis Rosado that night at Priapo’s, and then Arturo Belano would’ve kicked me out of the group.

I really don’t know what I was doing wrong. When Belano heard what had happened at Priapo’s, he said that we weren’t thugs or pimps, but all I’d done was express my sensuality. In my defense I could only stutter (sarcastically, and not even looking him in the eye) that I was a freak of nature. But Belano didn’t get the joke. As far as he was concerned, everything I did was wrong. And it wasn’t even me who asked Luis Sebastián Rosado to dance. It was Luis, who was totally wasted and came on to me. I like Luis Rosado, is what I should have said, but nobody could say a thing to the André Breton of the Third World.

Arturo Belano had it in for me. And it’s funny, because when I was around him I tried to do things right. But nothing ever worked out. I had no money, no job, no family. I lived off whatever I could scavenge. Once I stole a sculpture from the Casa del Lago. The director, that asshole Hugo Gutiérrez Vega, said it must have been a visceral realist. Impossible, said Belano. He probably turned red, he was so embarrassed. But he stood up for me. Impossible, he said, although he didn’t know it had been me. (What would’ve happened if he had known?) A few days later Ulises told him: it was Luscious Skin who stole the sculpture. That’s what he said, but without really thinking, like it was a joke. That’s how Ulises is. He doesn’t take these things seriously, they just seem funny to him. But Belano blew up, saying how could this happen, saying that the people at Casa del Lago had arranged for us to give several readings and that now he felt responsible for the theft. Like he was the mother of all the visceral realists. Still, he didn’t do anything. He acted disgusted, that’s all.

Sometimes I felt like kicking the shit out of him. Luckily, I’m a peace-loving person. Also, people said Belano was tough, but I knew he wasn’t. He was eager, and brave in his own way, but he wasn’t tough. Pancho is tough. My friend Moctezuma is tough. I’m tough. Belano just looked like he was tough, but I knew he wasn’t. Then why didn’t I let him have it some night? It must have been because I respected him. Even though he was younger than me and looked down on me and treated me like dirt, deep down I think I respected him and listened to him and was always waiting for some sign of recognition from him and I never lifted a hand against the bastard.


Laura Jáuregui, Tlalpan, Mexico City DF, May 1976. Have you ever seen a documentary about those birds that make gardens and towers and clearings in the bushes where they perform their mating dances? Did you know that the only ones that find a mate are the ones that make the best gardens, the best towers, the best clearings, the ones that perform the most elaborate dances? Haven’t you ever seen those ridiculous birds that practically dance themselves to death to woo the female?

That’s what Arturo Belano was like, a stupid, conceited peacock. And visceral realism was his exhausting dance of love for me. The thing was, I didn’t love him anymore. You can woo a girl with a poem, but you can’t hold on to her with a poem. Not even with a poetry movement.

Why did I keep hanging out with the same people he hung out with for a while? Well, they were my friends too, my friends still, although it wasn’t long before I got tired of them. Let me tell you something. The university was real, the biology department was real, my professors were real, my classmates were real. By that I mean tangible, with goals that were more or less clear, plans that were more or less clear. Those people weren’t real. The great poet Alí Chumacero (who I guess shouldn’t be blamed for having a name like that) was real, do you see what I mean?, what he left behind was real. What they left behind, on the other hand, wasn’t real. Poor little mice hypnotized by Ulises and led to the slaughter by Arturo. Let me put it as concisely as I can: the real problem was that they were almost all at least twenty and they acted like they were barely fifteen. Do you see what I mean?


Luis Sebastián Rosado, lawn party with lights in the grass at the Moores’ house, more than twenty people, Colonia Las Lomas, Mexico City DF, July 1976. Against all the odds of logic or luck, I saw Luscious Skin again. I have no idea how he got my phone number. According to him, he called the editorial department of Línea de Salida and they gave it to him. Despite all the precautions dictated by common sense (but what the hell! aren’t we poets supposed to do these things?), I agreed to meet him that same night, in a coffee shop on Insurgentes Sur where I sometimes used to go. The possibility of not showing up certainly passed through my mind, but when I got there (half an hour late), ready to turn around and leave if he was there with someone else, the sight of Luscious Skin alone, writing almost sprawled on the table, made a great warmth suddenly spread through my chest, which until then was icy, numb.

I ordered a coffee and told him he ought to order something too. He looked me in the eyes and smiled in embarrassment. He said he was broke. It doesn’t matter, I said, get what you want, it’s on me. Then he said he was hungry and he wanted some enchiladas. They don’t make enchiladas here, I said, but they can bring you a sandwich. He seemed to think it over for a moment and then he said all right, a ham sandwich. He ate three sandwiches in total. I was supposed to call some people, and maybe see them, but I didn’t call anyone. Or actually yes, I called my mother from the coffee shop to tell her that I’d be home late, and I blew off the rest of my plans.

What did we talk about? Lots of things. His family, the town he came from, his early days in Mexico City, how hard it had been for him to get used to the city, his dreams. He wanted to be a poet, a dancer, a singer, he wanted to have five children (like the fingers of a hand, he said, and he raised the palm of his hand, almost brushing my face), he wanted to try his luck at the Churubusco studios, saying that Oceransky had auditioned him for a play, he wanted to paint (he told me in great detail the ideas he had for some paintings). Anyway, at some point in our conversation I was tempted to tell him that I had no idea what I really wanted, but I decided to keep it to myself.

Then he asked me to come home with him. I live alone, he said. Quivering, I asked him where he lived. In Roma Sur, he said, in a room on the roof near the stars. I answered that it was after twelve now, really too late, and that I should go to bed because the next day the French novelist J.M.G. Arcimboldi was arriving in Mexico and some friends and I were going to arrange a tour of the sights of our chaotic capital. Who’s Arcimboldi? said Luscious Skin. Those visceral realists really are ignoramuses. One of the greatest French novelists, I told him, though hardly any of his work has been translated, into Spanish, I mean, except one or two novels that came out in Argentina, but I’ve read him in French, of course. The name doesn’t sound familiar, he said, and he insisted again that I come home with him. Why do you want me to come with you? I said, looking him in the eyes. I’m not usually so bold. I have something to tell you, he said, something that will interest you. How much will it interest me? I said. He looked at me as if he didn’t understand and then he said, suddenly belligerent: how much what? how much money? No, I hurried to clarify, how much will what you have to say interest me. I had to stop myself from tousling his hair, from telling him not to be silly. It’s about the visceral realists, he said. Oof, that doesn’t interest me at all, I said. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, and don’t take it the wrong way, but I couldn’t care less about the visceral realists (God, what a name). What I have to tell you will interest you, I know it will, he said. They’ve got something big in the works. You have no idea.

For a moment, I admit, the idea of a terrorist act passed through my mind. I saw the visceral realists getting ready to kidnap Octavio Paz, I saw them breaking into his house (poor Marie-José, all that broken china), I saw them emerging with Octavio Paz gagged and bound, carried shoulder-high or slung like a rug, I even saw them vanishing into the slums of Netzahualcóyotl in a dilapidated black Cadillac with Octavio Paz bouncing around in the trunk, but I recovered quickly. It must have been nerves, or the gusts of wind that sometimes sweep along Insurgentes (we were talking on the sidewalk) and sow the most outrageous ideas in pedestrians and drivers. So I rejected his invitation again and he insisted again. What I have to tell you, he said, will shake the foundations of Mexican poetry. He might even have said Latin American poetry. But not world poetry, no. One could say he restricted himself to the Spanish-speaking world in his ravings. The thing he wanted to tell me would turn Spanish-language poetry upside down. Goodness, I said, some undiscovered manuscript by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz? A prophetic text by Sor Juana on the fate of Mexico? But no, of course not, it was something the visceral realists had found and the visceral realists would never come anywhere near the lost libraries of the seventeenth century. What is it, then? I said. I’ll tell you at my place, said Luscious Skin, and he put his hand on my shoulder, as if he were pulling me toward him, as if he were inviting me to dance with him again on the horrible dance floor at Priapo’s.

I began to tremble and he noticed. Why do I have to like the worst ones? I thought, why do I have to be attracted to the most brooding, least cultured, most desperate ones? It’s a question I ask myself twice a year. I still haven’t found an answer. I told him that I had the keys to a painter friend’s studio. We should go there, I said, it was close enough to walk, and along the way he could tell me whatever he wanted. I thought he wouldn’t accept, but he did. Suddenly the night was beautiful, the wind stopped blowing, and only a gentle breeze accompanied us as we walked. He started to talk, but frankly I’ve forgotten almost everything he said. There was just one thought in my head, one wish: that Emilio wouldn’t be in his studio that night (Emilito Laguna, he’s in Boston now studying architecture, his parents had enough of his bohemian life in Mexico and sent him away: it’s either Boston and an architecture degree or you get a job), that none of his friends would be there, that no one would come near the studio for—my God—the rest of the night. And my prayers were answered. Not only was no one at the studio but it was clean too, as if the Lagunas’ maid had just left. And he said what a super studio, this place really does make you want to paint, and I didn’t know what to do (I’m sorry, but I’m extremely shy—and worse than shy—in these situations) and I started to show him Emilio’s canvases, I couldn’t think of anything better, I set them up against the wall and listened to his murmurs of approval or his critical remarks behind me (he didn’t know anything about painting), and the paintings just kept coming and I thought, wow, Emilio really has been working a lot lately, who would’ve thought, unless they were paintings by some friend of his, which was highly possible, since at a glance I could see more than one style, and a few red, very Paalenesque canvases, especially, had a well-defined style. But who cares? The truth is that I didn’t give a shit about the paintings, but I was incapable of taking the initiative, and when I finally had all the walls of the studio lined with Lagunas, I turned around, sweating, and asked him what he thought, and with a wolfish smile he said that I shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble. It’s true, I thought, I’ve made a fool of myself and now on top of it all I’m covered in dust and I stink of sweat. And then, as if he’d read my mind, he said you’re sweating and then he asked me whether there was a bathroom in the studio where I could take a shower. You need one, he said. And I said, probably in a tiny voice, yes, there is a shower, but I don’t think there’s any hot water. And he said good, cold water is better, I always take cold showers, there’s no hot water on the roof. And I let myself be dragged into the bathroom and I took off my clothes and turned on the shower and the gush of cold water almost knocked me out, my flesh shrinking until I could feel each and every bone in my body. I closed my eyes, I might have shouted, and then he got in the shower and put his arms around me.

The rest of the details I’d rather not disclose; I’m still a romantic. A few hours later, as we were lying in the dark, I asked him who had given him the name Luscious Skin, so suggestive, so fitting. It’s my name, he said. Well yes, I said, all right, it’s your name, but who gave it to you? I want to know everything about you. It was the tyrannical, slightly stupid kind of thing you say after you’ve made love. And he said: María Font, and then he was quiet, as if he’d suddenly been overwhelmed by memories. His profile, in the dark, seemed very sad to me, thoughtful and sad. I asked, maybe with a hint of irony in my voice (perhaps I’d been overcome by jealousy, and sadness too), whether María Font was the one who’d won the Laura Damián prize. No, he said, that’s Angélica, María is her older sister. He said a few more things about Angélica that I can’t remember now. The question burst from me as if of its own accord: have you slept with María? His reply (my God, what a sad, beautiful profile Luscious Skin had) was devastating. He said: I’ve slept with every poet in Mexico. What I should have done then was either be quiet or hold him, and yet I did neither, but kept asking him questions, and each question was worse than the one before and I lost a little ground with each one. At five in the morning we went our separate ways. I caught a cab on Insurgentes, and he walked off north.


Angélica Font, Calle Colima, Colonia Condesa, Mexico City DF, July 1976. That was a strange time. I was Pancho Rodríguez’s girlfriend. Felipe Müller, Arturo Belano’s Chilean friend, was in love with me. But I liked Pancho best. Why? I don’t know. All I know is that I liked Pancho best. A little while before, I’d won the Laura Damián prize for young poets. I never knew Laura Damián. But I did know her parents and lots of people who’d known her, even people who’d been friends with her. I slept with Pancho after a party that lasted for two days. On the last night, I slept with him. My sister told me to be careful. But who was she to give me advice? She was sleeping with Luscious Skin, and with Moctezuma Rodríguez, Pancho’s younger brother, too. She was also sleeping with someone called the Gimp, a poet and alcoholic in his thirties, but at least she had the courtesy not to bring him home with her. Really, I was sick of having to put up with her lovers. Why don’t you go fuck in their pigsties? I asked her once. She didn’t answer and then she started to cry. She’s my sister and I love her, but she has no self-control. One afternoon Pancho started to talk about her. He talked a lot, so much that I thought she must have slept with him too, but no, I knew all her lovers. I heard them moan at night less than fifteen feet from my bed, and I could tell them apart by the sounds they made, by the way they came, quietly or noisily, by the things they said to my sister.

Pancho never slept with her. Pancho slept with me. I don’t know why, but he was the one I chose and for a few days I even lost myself in fantasies of love, although of course I never really loved him. The first time was pretty painful. I didn’t feel anything, only pain, but even the pain wasn’t unbearable. We did it in a hotel in Colonia Guerrero, a hotel probably frequented by whores. After he came, Pancho told me that he wanted to marry me. He told me he loved me. He said he would make me the happiest woman in the world. I looked him in the face and for a second I thought he’d gone crazy. Then I realized that he was actually afraid, afraid of me, and that made me sad. I’d never seen him look so small, and that made me sad too.

We did it a few more times. It didn’t hurt anymore, but it didn’t feel good either. Pancho saw that our relationship was flickering out as fast as—as what?—something that blinks out very quickly, the lights of a factory at the end of the day. No, more like the lights of an office building eager to blend into the anonymity of night. It’s a contrived image, but it’s what Pancho would’ve chosen. A contrived image with two or three dirty words tacked on. One night after a poetry reading I realized that Pancho had realized what was happening, and that same night I told him we were finished. He didn’t take it badly. For a week, I think, he tried unsuccessfully to get me back into bed. Then he tried to sleep with my sister. I don’t know whether he succeeded. One night I woke up and María and some shadowy figure were screwing. That’s enough, I said, I want to sleep in peace. Always reading Sor Juana, and then you act like a slut. When I turned on the light I saw that the person with her was Luscious Skin. I told him to leave that instant if he didn’t want me to call the police. María, oddly enough, didn’t complain. As he put on his pants, Luscious Skin asked me to forgive him for waking me up. My sister isn’t a slut, I told him. I know my behavior was a little contradictory. Well, not my behavior, my words. Whatever. When Luscious Skin had gone I got in bed with my sister and hugged her and started to cry. A little while later I started to work for a university theater company. I had a manuscript that my father wanted to send to a few publishing houses, but I wouldn’t let him. I wasn’t involved in the activities of the visceral realists. I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Later María told me that Pancho wasn’t part of the group anymore either. I don’t know whether he was expelled (whether Arturo Belano expelled him) or whether he left on his own, whether he just didn’t have the heart for anything anymore. Poor Pancho. His brother Moctezuma was still in the group. I think I saw one of his poems in an anthology. Anyway, they didn’t hang around our house anymore. I heard that Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima had disappeared up north; my father and mother discussed it once. My mother laughed. I remember she said: they’ll show up someday. My father seemed worried. María was worried too. Not me. By then the only friend I had left from the group was Ernesto San Epifanio.


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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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