There are friendships that die when love dies
You bury them inside your throat to not speak of them
Some nights you grab your throat to remember
- VM, from “please do not die on me : a love letter”
It was still winter and I was almost done. I was leaving. I had began to feel. Cutting off body parts. Each one carried houses of memories and feelings. But no one ever lived in them. They began to rot. They began to sink. You can only look the other way for so long. T
Elevia is there. We’re about to start the dance group. She will be my partner. She will look at me as if I were an old train yard.
She had told me of how her last partner, almost the only, had stood in her bedroom with the most important book in the world to her and tore it to pieces.
He had sneered at how she could find something that was so little so valuable. I knew it was because he felt threatened by it. His grandfather had given it to her. She stood there with little pieces of the pages stuck to her skin, to her forearms, to her cheeks. Drowning in her blood. I wanted to scoop them all up and repair together again, even years later.
She wore the same shoes as she had bought from the zapateros in Michochan, where we went to search for caterpillars.
I remember stopping in the middle of the road on that trip. We were somewhere in the desert. A vulture flew above. I could see its beak clear. Like cockroaches, I just felt a little sorry for them. I wanted it to come and pick me up, cut me up into little pieces. Because I had began to disappear. I mean, it’s absurd how people can make us feel like this. But anyway. I had forgotten. I had thought that I was strong enough this time. And how terrible it was that the vulture couldn’t come down and get me.
She wasn’t even doing a good job at being in disguise. She could have at least tried so as I wouldn’t recognise her. She had the biggest eyes that I had ever adored and not one would fall upon me.
We began the dance. She could do it as if she had been moving like this in the womb.
I began to cough. All my life it has gone to my throat or my belly. The voiceless, the weight. I began to cough up my half-Spanish tongue, felt it pressed against my front teeth in a R that I could never normally roll and said nothing more. Everything else would have been ridiculous anyhow.
She looked the other way. It was preferable. I didn’t want to know what she was doing here. I had began to give it all up. I would walk the streets of Cuernavaca and give letters to the old women selling spiced corn. I would tell them. They would understand. It would let off the weight even if they looked bewildered. Perhaps they only understood matters of corn like I with tea.
The way she said it was like being scolded.
I turned to her.
'Have you really spent all this time since I last saw you just rolling your R's?'
It had become a meditation.
'And nothing else?' She looked down at me from below.
'Eso es tu vida y nada mas?'
I rolled one more and began to laugh. It was exactly the same as when I started. Her hand was upon the small of my back as we went through the rhythms. She began to speak again. I leaned forward and bit, as quick as a Mexican rattlesnake, upon her tongue.
Not deep, but enough to draw blood.
It was time to bid farewell. I picked up my briefcase full of air two line letters to everyone I’ve ever know. And I leave this town once and for all.
image - ‘Atlas de Zoologie : ou Collection de 100 Planches by Paul Gervais (1844) is a supplementary volume of illustrations, originally produced for a large French series on zoology published between 1816 and 1830.’ (viaBibliOdyssey: Zoological Atlas)