Tuesday, January 25, 2011

{XIV}

Two roads, separated by half a mile of wasteland, flank the hostel, and I suggest that we cross over to see whether we can find some patch of countryside, but Gerardo says it's late, we'd better explore the fields. We walk straight ahead until it's completely dark, and we return guided by the lights of the hostel and the cars. We can't even see our sneakers, and looking down produces a kind of dread, as if we were about to plunge into the void or step on a nest of scorpions. When we reach the basketball courts I instruct Gerardo to hold my ankles while I do sit-ups. The ground is cold and it's hard to bend; having Gerardo crouching in front of me, with his head brushing against my knees, begins to seem unpleasant, and I stop at what seems a reasonable limit for a beginner. I feel absurd and it occurs to me that this the nature of couplehood: the abjection of observing and participating in the other person's obsessions. Like my sit-ups at ten at night on the dark basketball court of a hostel a mile from Talavera. Maybe there's something positive about this that I've lost sight of, or maybe this foolishness applies only to defunct couples, like me and Gerardo, who claim that everybody else in the world takes such things for granted. "You're crazy", he tells me when I try to explain what I mean, and then I feel this craziness of mine as a searing loneliness, even real madness. When I'm with him I lose my sense of judgment, and since Gerardo is the keeper of reason, I suddenly fear without him I won't be able to function in the world.

An excerpt from GERARDO'S LETTERS, by Elvira Navarro, from GRANTA'S BEST YOUNG SPANISH LANGUAGE NOVELISTS.

{It's been a while I know. I should do more of these. And maybe more of my own. Anyway, you should buy this book; I could have taken any number of wonderful things from it by any of the authors to put up here. Really, really good stuff}

1 comment:

If Jane said...

thank you for the intro to this book...