“Acércate y al oído te diré adiós.
Adiós. Me voy.
Pero me llevo estas horas.”
-José Emilio Pacheco (Mexican poet)
The ten months in Boston are gone. He will undoubtedly miss the way the T transits through Beacon Street all the way downtown to Kenmore. During the summer, on Sunday afternoons, Beacon Street is at its fullest: construction on the street has stopped, Bostonians seem to walk with a smile on their faces, couples board the T wearing sandals and caps, carrying beach chairs going or coming from a BBQ or a lake. Boston is pleasant, especially if you live in the outskirts of the city. However it is not as pleasant as running to an Art Gallery in Newbury Street on a Wednesday night, pretending to know about art while he carefully listens to her account on how to make a lithograph and an engraving. He knew the cheese and wine at the event deserved each other, but he wondered if he deserved the chance to even look at the impossibly beautiful eyes she fluttered away between sip and sip of wine.
Abrupt change of scenery 1
At the unbearable hour of twilight –when the morning isn’t settled- he would try to realize where he was. The opened windows in his room let in a slight but constant breeze that remembered his mornings when it was time to get up for high school, years ago in Puerto Rico. He always dared to look through the windows and only saw blue. At this point, having deceived his brain that this world is all painted in one color scheme, he would immediately go back to bed. It was 5:00 in the morning and it has been 5 years since he left home.
Abrupt change of scenery 2
At the gallery, he tried to make sense of the paintings. Don’t get him wrong, he genuinely liked them, they evoked a melancholy that anyone –indistinctively of whether they’ve been in France or not- could feel. They walked by the Parisian landscapes of a Delacroix, went downstairs and sat in front of a painting believing (or wanting to believe) that they were at a park and, once upstairs again, he couldn’t avoid recognizing the view from a terrace in Provence. “Come,” he called her, “you need to see this. These tones, the colors, they are exactly as I remember them. You could look in the distance and the green of the mountains looked like this violet”. She drank and she kept looking at this landscape. Probably she was really imagining how it must feel to be in Provence, overlooking olive trees and seeing the hued violet distilled by the green and the Mediterranean fog. And then she said: “Is there more cheese?”
Abrupt change of scenery 3
Sometimes he laughs out of nervousness. “It is better,” he thinks, “to offer someone a laugh than a dreary, insecure look.” However, most of the time he laughs because the present circumstances are so fantastic that they truly deserve an exaltation, a big grin made noise. Then, he also laughs when someone else laughs or when someone keeps silent and is awaiting a response. And at that moment he should speak but out of nervousness, of course, he only laughs.
He cooks to maintain that link between man and nature more than out of necessity: to be there, present, at the transformation of things. A cook always gives the gift of love through his hands, eyes, and taste buds.
He writes to maintain that link between reality and idealisms more than anything else. He does write, though, out of sheer necessity: to review his thoughts, to say the unsaid, to amend things. A writer shows the power of love through his hands, mind and words.
Abrupt change of scenery 4
In these ten months, Boston has become the North End, the cosmopolitanism of Cambridge, the intrigue of its centuries old universities, the one sidedness of history encapsulated in Newton. It has become a magic powder that carries the scent of her and the darkness of reality.
More than the sea that surrounds the life and idiosyncrasy of this city, lays its clam chowder, its poached scrod and the literal ocean of Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee into which its inhabitants willingly drown themselves. Boston has meant that company where he and she worked and has also meant her.
Back to block 1
A whole five days have passed. Between completed paragraphs and articles for newspapers, he downed a mojito per night. “The secret,” he uses to say to his friends, “besides fresh ingredients, is dashes of Angostura bitters. Only then you’ll have a real mojito.” While writing his closing remarks he was still waiting for his dinner and he was still waiting to read some of her stories. However, more than a trade-off, he wanted her to read his words, his ideas. He wanted to write the things that he couldn’t get around to say. He wanted precisely this.