from Between the Peak and the Pit

The Bottom of Oblivion

The afternoon is cold, right? and rainy, and if you were not with me here, I would feel sad and depressed, like before, like when you sat down to read and read and read ... you didn't speak to me any more, you wouldn't even look at me. And I felt so alone, and winter went through me to the core. But let's not talk about that, that's in the past and now is different. Because since that day, you became a kinder, gentler, more loving man ... Why weren't you always that way, Ernesto? Why were you so indifferent, so cold? You realize how well we get along now, how we understand each other, how we love each other! It's incredible that something had to occur in order for you to realize so many things, for you to learn to value me, to see me as I am -- How did you see me before, Ernesto? Did you know that I believe that there was no way that you ever saw me before? That's why sometimes, when I remember how you sat in the black leather chair, with you head bowed down over a book, immersed, trapped in those pages that distanced you from the world, I start shaking and I'm afraid that everything will go back to the way it was before. But its a groundless fear. I know that nothing can go back to the way it was before.

Because now, you're mine, all mine, and you think and do and say what I want. Because you can no longer hurt me with your indifference, nor injure me with your words. Because now you're what I always wanted you to be. Because now I can tell you a thousand things that occur to me, while your gray eyes look at me with ecstasy, as if what I were telling you were exclusively for you, the most important thing in the world. And I love to sit at your side, and knit you a scarf in silence, while I listen to your halting, serious voice telling me those things that you never told me before. I curl up in your arms, and I close my eyes and I stop thinking -- I only live, and I live intensely, each moment at your side, and everything is so beautiful that sometimes I'm afraid of being so happy.

But I don't understand why everyone is so eager to give me magic potions and lots of advice: that I change houses, that I look for some activity that enthuses me, that I visit my old friends. But, why would I have to do all those things now, just when I have you in the way I never had you before? Now that we're going to share our lives completely? Now that we're so happy? Doesn't it seem absurd?

Of course, they don't know, and they think you're no longer with me, they think I'm alone, and sad, and desperate, perhaps they even think I'm crazy. But I no longer care about that -- what could it possibly matter to me what others think? They don't mean anything to me, apart from you. It doesn't matter if no one understands it, Ernesto, I don't need them, I only need you, and I have you, of course I have you. Let's see, wait, I think the water's already boiling for herbal tea -- the yerbamate. I'm going to steep some yerbamate that is hot, I mean really hot, just how you like it, and while you're drinking your yerbamate, we'll talk about some of the things that fascinate me. You won't be angry because I burned all your books, right? Of course not, if you no longer like to read, and you only like being with me, this way, together, loving each other forever, while the winter fades the colors from behind the windows.

Are you thinking the same as I am, Ernesto, that you realize that I'm being unfaithful with your ghost? Although in reality it isn't even your ghost, the only thing it has of you is the name, the eyes, the voice, and a few gestures I chose. The rest, the rest was lost in the bottom of oblivion.