Sunday; May 6, 2007 4:21 PM
the afternoon lingers and becomes more and more heavy while my pupil plays her version of Lauro's Petronila and I drift into a curious mental state in which I seem to occupy several places in the past at the same time. I'm on the top floor of my primary school looking over the roofs of the neighbouring houses. I'm on the flat roof terrace of another house, that of my friend Eglis Diaz, he who was the conqueror of girls while I was the ugly sidekick, slightly envious and strangely proud that someone like that would choose me as their friend. And always falling in love with the beautiful girls who were never going to pay any attention to me. Or maybe I'm in Rutny's living room, ruminating on what my sister had said ("she fancies you, she fancies a fling with you") and not knowing what to do about it, and the opportunity was lost forever to liaise with the most beautiful girl I ever was near when I was young, as beautiful and interesting as the one I was so stupidly, obsessively, unrequitedly in love with at that horrible secondary school I studied in, the 'liceo Luis Ezpelosin'. It doesn't matter now, they have, like me, grown old and grey and have a string of children and even grandchildren and I am almost the same kid even if I too have become old whilst still living my immature adolescent life with the tribes of London.
Or I could be wandering down the streets round the back of Perez Bonalde in the blazing afternoon sun, without any real purpose although my sister was in Rutny's house and I was supposed to pick Isaura up or something. Instead I wandered about, not really thinking of anything but letting everything around -the sun rays, the green leaves of the plants in the front gardens, the colours of the houses, of the sky) soak and marvel me at the mystery of existence, although I probably wouldn't have used those words but the sentiment, or rather the feeling, was that.
I still find remarkable that up to a very late age (mid-teens at least) I had no real idea of how the world worked. I didn't really know the mechanisms of society that enabled my dad to bring food to the table or drive us to Arrecife (that one ugly coastal town in the Caribbean where we went every week-end, nine months in the year) or to keep us dressed and in education. I think I was of the Woodstock fest stop the rain school of thought: 'if you close your eyes and think really hard you will stop bad things from happening'.. in spite of the repeated disappointments I still believed in this, deep inside, and still do, which is a constant, every day battle against the belief in 'fate' and that the universe resonates along with you and will work in harmony with you. I would literally close my eyes at night and wish for that girl to love me. No real idea of how to go about it in the real world, just wish it hard and it might happen. Or for the dysfunctional situation in my family to get sorted out. Well, I wouldn't have used such a word then, but I clearly knew that my family was not like any of my friends' family.
My pupil's lesson is coming to an end and I am forced back to the present reality, so many years after, so very far away. I still find myself to be, though, that shy, socially inept boy, wishing the world different but not quite knowing how to make it happen, sceptical and yet superstitious. Wake up from the daydream for now, things to do, people to see. And yet the stream of those stories keeps running underneath inside my soul.