Thursday, June 17, 2010

Resaca de medieval

Hoy es jueves. Sí, ya sé, qué importa que sea jueves. Pues digamos que, generalmente, no importa (aunque ahora con la victoria de México sobre Francia, quién sabe), pero ciertas circunstancias me han llevado a considerar que importa, empezando por un examen terrible el día de ayer, siguiendo con un ensayo que es prácticamente continuación del examen, otras cosas que no vale la pena mencionar porque otra gente ya las mencionó por ahí and there's a borlote on sight, y pues no vale la pena armar más desastre; y, para coronar todo, está el hecho de que tal parece que mi época dorada de tomar clases ha terminado y ahora las voy a tener que empezar a... DAR.
En fin, que entre semejante crisis existencial, me encuentro, aunque me tachen de patética, extrañando la clase de medieval. Supongo que la razón, más allá del anglosajón con reglas cambiantes, de Sir Gawain (bueno, aunque como que a Sir Gawain siempre lo aprecié un poco, al igual que al Seafarer y a la Wife) y de los cuentos de Canterbury es... bueno, sí, el crush terrible con el profesor, y esos tan bellos recuerdos del día que le quité su silla...

Por lo que me puse a hacer cosas geeks medievalosas, y el resultado fue algo así:


I Am A: Neutral Good Human Fighter/Sorcerer (2nd/1st Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-13

Dexterity-13

Constitution-10

Intelligence-17

Wisdom-15

Charisma-13


Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment because it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.


Primary Class:
Fighters can be many things, from soldiers to criminal enforcers. Some see adventure as a way to get rich, while others use their skills to protect the innocent. Fighters have the best all-around fighting capabilities of the PC classes, and they are trained to use all standard weapons and armor. A fighter's rigorous martial training grants him many bonus feats as he progresses, and high-level fighters have access to special melee maneuvers and exotic weapons not available to any other character.


Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)



Pero, obviamente, nada está completo sin una ilustración, así que me puse a trabajar en eso, y, el resultado, algo maricón, fue el que sigue (porque me falta una espada, pero de que tiene mi cabello cuando me lo alaciaba -mal- para la clase, lo tiene. Aunque yo hubiera pensado en un peinado a la Nikki Sixx. Heme aquí, a lovely lady, half-fighter, half-sorcerer -que, por lo que veo, es la versión whitetrash de un wizard-).




Lovely lady indeed!

Qué pena. Me voy a hacer el ensayo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

La joya de la familia

Si alguna persona lee mi Twitter, seguramente sabrá partes de la historia. Y es que el sábado tuve que sacrificar una cena con gente de la facultad que, si bien no son santos de mi devoción, pues fueron mis compañeros de infortunio. Todo por asistir obligada a una fiesta de quince años de una prima que ni ubico.
Y lo peor es que los preparativos estéticos para la fiesta comenzaron quién sabe cuántos días antes. De verdad que mi señora madre no tiene la menor idea de lo que es ser uan graduada de inglesas EN FINALES. Una graduada de inglesas que se respete haría estas cosas: arreglarse todo un día antes muy de prisa porque los días anteriores se la ha pasado leyendo, y ese día, antes de salir corriendo, leer a Shakespeare, y, entre acto y acto, reflexionar ampliamente sobre la situación de Inglaterra en el Mundial y sobre si Green se reinvindicará o no y hasta ahí. No que alaciado un día, pintada de uñas al siguiente, y depilada aún más al que sigue. Y además depilada minuciosa para que no quede ninguna imperfección en las piernas.
Ahora bien, podré ser considerada fodonga desidiosa, pero es que en verdad no entiendo para qué tanto detalle en el arreglo personal. No son mis quince años. No es mi presentación en sociedad. Son MIS PRIMOS, for Christ's sake. Y además, son los primos a los que no veo desde hace siglos y creo que tampoco me ubican, y, si me ubican, estoy segura de que tienen una percepción distorsionada de mí. Creánme, sé de lo que hablo. Sé que soy la prima que es impresionantemente pálida, piernas-lechosas-de-jícama-sin-chile (que mi madre insistió en broncear con maquillaje, obteniendo un resultado terriblemente a la Jersey Shore, que para colmo twitteé y el show me retwitteó. Terrible para mi odio hacia el show), que además estudia esa cosa muy rara, no baila, casi no habla y ha de ser medio rarita porque no le hemos conocido galán. O sea, que tres vellitos que se me pasaron en la pierna tan sólo contribuirían a añadir algo más a mi lista de cualidades... lo que no haría mucha diferencia.
En fin. Salimos rumbo al salón por los rumbos de Coapa donde el sistema numérico es diferente. En el número donde debía estar el salón estaba una vulcanizadora. Indeed. De verdad que si no es por mi hermano que vio el letrero del salón una cuadra adelante yo creo que no salimos de ahí.
Llegamos, tarde por el incidente con la vulcanizadora. No había mesa del lado de la familia que es la cercana a nosotros, y, tal como lo pensé, la prima quinceañera no era nadie a quien yo recordara haber visto en mi vida.
En resumen, que a mi hermano, al colado amigo Gorras y a mí nos tocó sentarnos en una mesa junto a dos parejas que no tenían ganas de platicar. Mi madre, en un intento de conciliación familiar, intentó explicar quiénes eran los perfectos extraños que estaban a nuestro lado y logró dejarme con la misma cara que yo ponía en mis clases de química (me fui a final).
Pronto llegó el momento estelar de una fiesta de esas: el vals. La intro fue una especie de mutación del video de "So Yesterday" de 30 Seconds to Mars pero versión para salón. O sea, si de por sí Jared Leto tiene una mala reputación en la música, tras este performance todo fue un quemón. En fin.
El vals... bien. He visto peores. El tema elegido fue la rola esa que es clásica de Kenny G, que ahorita no me acuerdo cómo se llama, pero que fue lo suficientemente larga para que la quinceañera bailara con toda la familia.
De ahí, un intermedio creativo para el cambio de vestuario: los chambelanes bailando YMCA. Juro que, a pesar del intento de show Sólo para Mujeres que se aventaron, esos chavos hacían que Village People se vieran heterosexuales. He dicho.
De ahí, la quinceañera optó por un mix de hip-hop. Fue ahí cuando me di cuenta de algo: los antropólogos sociales tienen razón, y las fiestas de quince años simbolizan el paso de la niña hacia su condición de mujer y los chambelanes simbolizan los hombres que la cortejarán. Digo, no hubo duda de eso después de verlos bailar como parejas de esos videos de rap en MTV Hits. Me cae que me va tan mal en el amor porque yo nunca tuve simulacro de cortejo.
Y si el vals aún no estaba lo suficientemente posmoderno, qué tal esto: el jefe de coreografía aventándose una especie de baile interpretativo de una balada de Luis Miguel. Ahora sí lo he visto todo.
Pero aún faltaba más. Claro, la quinceañera no podría quedarse sin bailar un mega-mix de música disco. No importa que uno de los chambelanes estuviera a punto de dejarla caer, ni que la quinceañera ya tuviera más cara de cansancio y tensión que de regocijo: a echar el taconazo con Sylvester. Y hubo encore, repitiendo ese baile.
Sé que esto suena terrible. Lo sé. Pero nada comparado con lo que vino después. No, no me refiero a la cena. Quizá ese fue el punto bueno de la noche: por primera vez la cena fue decente y no pollo crudo cubierto con salsa de dudosa procedencia que generalmente le hace mucho más mal a mis penas gástricas. No, no me refiero a eso.
Me refiero a la banda. En serio. Me he enfrentado a varias bandas de fiestecitas de estas, y sé que no son la gran cosa, pero ésta se lleva el premio. En serio. Rola que tomaban, rola que destrozaban bien cañón. Si creían que la clásica fiestera "Follow the Leader" no podía ser peor, nunca, se equivocan. Yo lo oí... ¡yo estuve ahí!
Y así querían que me parara a bailar. Con mis cuatro pies izquierdos, sin chupe (porque no me gustan ni el tequila, ni el ron, ni el brandy, y además las botellas estaban adulteradas y ni una chela) y la completa tone-deafez de los intérpretes (who, on top of all, were playing obscure cumbias). No, gracias. Mejor me quedo sentada, con uno de mis tíos, mi cómplice en conciertos, tan malo para el baile como yo y con un sentido del humor tan podrido como el mío. Nada mejor que ver el momento dorado en el que la banda, seguramente ya con el cerebro seco, se pusieron a jugar a las Estatuas de Marfil, castigando a quienes se movían con la condición de bailar algo que, según ellos, era mambo. Priceless.
En eso sucedió mi error. Y es que, por alguna razón terrible, si hay algo que no puedo resistir para irme a la pista de baile a hacer el ridículo, es cuando tocan "El final" de Clips, mejor conocidos como Rostros Ocultos (sí, "llegando a la fiesta... bla..."). Incluso cuando está tan mal tocada como estaba. Eso me jaló a la pista. La partida de la banda, seguida por el DJ, que puso "Ingrata" aseguró mi permanencia. Y aún después, se siguieron con el clima mundialista y el "Waka-Waka", rola que va que vuela para ser clásica de fiestas. Y yo, por mi parte, que me aviento con sumo gusto el pasito de Tshabalala del gol contra México. Oh sí.
No, el error no fue que me golpearon por vendepatrias. No. Peor aún: el DJ se siguió con el reggaeton. Yo iba a escabullirme cuando en ese momento una de las primas me jaló y me metió a la bola. Ni cómo irme. A fingir que bailo. Ya después mi tío el rockero me diría que, en verdad, fue terrible ver a Lady Stardust, la princesa de la oscuridad, hija predilecta del metal (sic), la señorita antes-vomito-mis-intestinos-que-perderme-a-AC/DC, bailando algo que no buscaba ser perreo pero buscaba ser baile.
Otro de mis tíos, persona no muy grata para mí, lo admito, se burló de mi condición de "tabla". Como si no me conociera. ¿Y para eso se arregla uno para las fiestas familiares?
Por eso no volví a levantarme. Afortunadamente la banda pronto anunció su huida. Y nosotros también. En eso un mesero nos alcanzó. Tal parece que nuestros parientes lejanos, parte de alguna rama de árbol genealógico, no habían dejado propina y ahora eso nos correspondía a nosotros. Del otro lado, la novia de mi primo, persona más non-grata que yo, no sólo se robó el chupe adulterado, sino hasta los refrescos. My god. ¿Para esto va una a las fiestas familiares?


Epílogo: foto del salón. Me veo espectacular. Supongo que para eso va una a las fiestas familiares, para tener anécdotas y fotos que mostrar...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Fortune Teller

Creo que es la primera prosa completa que publico. Nacida de un miedo peculiar. A ver que tal.



“I’m not afraid of the future. My future belongs to the past now.”
-Leonardo Nierman



“So, what keeps you here?”
She shrugged again, just as she had done when I had asked her if she liked her job. She just raised her shoulders and shook her head ever so slightly, but never far away from that vehemence, that aggression which I had noticed right after the first question; a movement as if she was trying to scare something away, something which had just found a nest on her shoulder and had to be driven away, even violently. Maybe she didn’t like her job after all.
The waitress came and asked if we already wanted to order. She went first and I followed:
“Un tamal rojo y un tamal verde con café.”
The waitress left and I could see she was smiling. Her, not the waitress.
“Your Spanish has gotten so much better,” she observed. “You don’t speak with an accent now.”
I wanted to say something to her too. I wanted to tell her that she was crazy because she only ordered the simplest breakfast, the one with toast and coffee. Except because she ordered tea. Tea. It was as if she wanted to distance herself from what I ordered, from what she should order, as if her taste buds already belonged to the Island, the one that does not belong to the Continent. But then again, that is not what I wanted to say to her. In fact, I wanted to tell her that that toast and tea she had ordered were not good for her: it wasn’t enough breakfast. That breakfast simply wouldn’t help her: it wouldn’t light up the pallor of her cheeks and her eyes; it would not wake up the drowsiness of her ballerina arms and of her smile, the smile that is suddenly interrupted by discreet coughs that hide choked sobs. Like some person of yore dying from consumption. Or one of those poets she likes.
“Your English is absolutely wonderful too,” was what came out of my lips, finally. “I’m amazed at how much you’ve improved.”
She smiled again, back at me, as if to take the compliment, though I’m sure deep inside she knew I was lying. Not because her English is bad, but because she must have known I had wanted to say something else. She doesn’t need me—or anybody—telling me her English is very good. She knows so.
In fact, it was her English that had called my attention first. In a school where everybody was trying hard to get the right accent, what surrounded me were masks of voices, pretenders and actors, trying hard to hit the right key in a language that stood there, aloof to them. But not to her. She just spoke the way she knew how to speak English, and that did not only showed me what the sound of her voice was, but what her voice itself was.
And man, her voice was. Deep inside I’m sure she knew the variety of identities her voice had: her voice was Greyhound tickets and Mississippi rumble and shotguns and hotel cheap whiskey hangovers and the sun leaving his trail of gold upon dusty roads in the dusk. In fact, for a second, I felt her voice was my parents—but I couldn’t tell her so.
The waitress came and left our orders at the table. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was until I started digging in. She, in contrast, chose to linger, spreading jam all over her toast and mixing milk with her black tea as if those actions needed the careful steps that a tightrope does. Maybe it was her sleepiness, the fact that she stretched as if she was trying to recover that hour of sleep the sun had taken away from her. Or maybe she just… writes like that. I don’t know.
It was that doubt that led me to the next question.
“You know, there’s going to be another contest. Spanish, of course, but oh well. Are you going to participate?”
The piece of toast stopped right before her mouth and all I could see was her eyes. For a second, I thought she was to hurl it at me. But all the aggressiveness of the action just melted into her response:
“What for? It’s a lost cause.”
I was about to answer Why do you think so? but she must have noticed I was going to say something, for immediately added:
“Really. Think about it. What chances does a short story writer—of short stories in English—has—here?

As she was in her job, as she was fixing herself something for breakfast, as she was folding the warm towels just out from the dryer. She just couldn’t help thinking about it. Perhaps it was the wrong thing to do. Perhaps she should have asked her parents for advice before doing so.
Nah. Maybe you shouldn’t, they would have said. That seemed to be all they said lately.
A chill ran through her spine. She wrapped herself up with a warm towel and sat down, and right away a comfortable somnolence swept through her, making her want to sleep into the towel’s warmth. She wondered why she was so tired of lately. Why her stomach lurched at the mention of almost anything. Why she seemed to be down with some illness she could hardly recognize.
Maybe she should go to the doctor. Or maybe you shouldn’t.
She wondered why nobody wanted her for a wife. Was there anything wrong with her? Was there anything wrong in her maidenly figure, her slow but subtle ways, her face that hid nothing? But then again, maybe you shouldn’t. The safety of married life was a myth: married life was another pitfall.
Just as there was a pitfall in everything she thought. Even in her parents’ Maybe you shouldn’t. Her parents thought they were protecting her from the pitfalls, but they were there, in that decision of not doing anything, and even in the questions the rest of her family asked about her liking her job.
She unwrapped herself out of the warm towel, but wrapped her face in her hands. It was absurd—simply ridiculous—that she should have felt more secure of what she was doing after reading the little papers that came out of fortune cookies with her Chinese to-go.

After her voice, then came that short story about the fortune teller.
She handed it in as an assignment. And it was good—damn good it was. And yet, I could not give it the appreciation it deserved. I mean, of course I liked it, but my comments were more focused in knowing if she had a third eye that could see beyond physical things, rather than criticizing the story.
And she must have known about my deficiency, for she started showing the story around, and that was when it happened. All those congratulations and pats in the back and yeah, you got it, if only there was a contest of English-speaking writers you would win. It was her winning streak. I had been turning the possibility over in my mind of telling her what was the hidden relationship between me and her story, and that was when I decided not to. She didn’t need any extra information to stain what was already so successful.
Though, of course, my life isn’t (or I hope it isn’t) as drastic as her story. The story about a man who is told by a fortune teller that he shall be the luckiest man of town. Emboldened by this premonition he sets out to do everything he has dreamed of, only to find setbacks and heartbreak. So, he goes back to his town, wondering if the fortune teller was wrong, only to find all the people he knew have died and, in that sense, he’s indeed the luckiest man in town.
Neat, isn’t it? That’s her story. It isn’t hard to see why it was considered so good. But, even though it looks like my story, they’re not the same.
My story starts out with me being very little, running into our golden yard ornamented with dry grass and my grandmother watching me. At some moment I interrupted my play, went and hugged Grandma, and told her I wanted to stay there, with her, forever. And Grandma answered, in that tone which foreshadows mystic, supernatural things that only grandmothers know, that my wish would be granted, that I would stay there, at my sunlit home, with my past and my family, forever.
But just a year after, my parents took me away to New York. My whole childhood, until my early adulthood, was spent there. I was educated there. My parents’ voices never lost the flavor of my old sundry town. But mine did.
Yet, I never really noticed it. Not until I came back to my town, in order to achieve that tinsel music dream everybody has there. I was pretty good with a guitar; people told me I was talented. It was the other guys that would pick on me because of my voice. They would say that it was such a shame that a guy born at the town could have the technique, but not the feeling. That it plainly sucked I just wouldn’t have the feeling.
I don’t know why that affected me so badly, but it did, and like my parallel life in a story I hadn’t read just yet, I visited a fortune teller.
She didn’t tell me I would be the luckiest man in town. I’m not that literary-interesting. What she told me was that I should first go, find the feeling, and then come back. As if the feeling was something you could find.
Or, perhaps it is.
Whatever the case, I did what that fortune teller told me, which was just the thing a music teacher or some old bluesman could have told me to do. I did so, and I traveled all around the world. All around the world so I could get just where I am now. In a restaurant, having breakfast with a girl who has her own version of my life, written down in the words my parents gave me for living. And who’s looking at me with big eyes. We have finished eating now, both of us, though with her is no surprise, with that little breakfast she had, and I can’t remember if we talked or not. Then, she lowers her eyes to her empty plate, as if she was surprised it was empty already, and asks for the bill, in such a way that if looks as if she was going to write a story about this moment.
“Hey,” I say, impressed by how she doesn’t leave her writer’s role no matter where she goes. She must have sensed my admiration, for she looks up and asks: “Yes?” with that quality of haughty boredom that I sometimes noticed in her, in some classes. Answering “Yes?” like that when it was time to take the roll only proved she was the best.

She sits down and writes the words in the notebook where she writes the stories. And she writes them down with the same care, the same attention, as if she was trying to write a story with them. The story of her life.
In English, of course. Three words, irregularly divided, look at her from the blankness of the page. Hard work. Success.
She speaks to them in the same language, even though the fortune teller who told her so spoke in Spanish and called her señorita as often as she could.
“Nothing more?”
The voice of the fortune teller, the same one she met, answers to her, in spite of her suspicion the woman couldn’t speak English:
“Nothing more.”
What is next, then. What is what should follow. No clue of a place, no clue of a time, no clue of anything.
Slowly, carefully, she writes down the words, this time in Spanish. And she’s more shocked by the result. Now the words don’t say anything to her. They have alienated her. Or perhaps this is because lately her head can’t seem to think straight. It seems to be forever swimming in a puddle of steaming water, enclosed together by the four walls of the city.
And, when she finally manages to extract meaning from them, she can’t help but feeling they mean something she had managed to shrug off her shoulders a long time ago.

Once, two girls with similar playful strides and mocking smiles came over to me and told me that she loved me.
They didn’t use those same words. They giggled and spoke, one on top of the other, mixing the words as if they were baking a cake. And they baked a story that said something about her secret. About her reasons for being the way she was around me, though I hadn’t noticed anything peculiar in her behavior towards me. How she had a whole box under the bed filled with poems and stories about me. At least that would explain her third eye. But the girls just couldn’t get rid of their mocking smiles and their mocking manners, so everything I got was the fact that she loved me.
Maybe that was why I did what I did next. I paid the bill for both of us, paid for her cheap, small breakfast and led her out of the restaurant with her arm in mine. Some minutes later I pulled her close to me and saw her looking at me with big eyes again. Big eyes that suddenly drifted in the direction of the sun, and over the trees of the park, to the horizon.
She may love me. She may not. Yet, she does love something that I love. Something that has to do with long lost towns wrapped up in dirty roads that she has never known and that I, unlike her, remember too well. With the words that come together with them.
Is there a place in her heart for me, when so many words fill it?
A pigeon flies and stops right in front of us, and I wonder if she loves the word too. Paloma. And suddenly I know that if say that word to her, she will tell me a story of her childhood in Coyoacán, chasing palomas at the quiosco, then going with her father to have a nieve, which will never taste like those American multi-flavored ice-creams. And I realize she loves those words as well, with the family-bond, the bloodline love one owes to parents, to brothers or sisters; the kind of love that cannot be blotted out even with the use of other language or an acquired accent.
It’s the other words she needs to nurture her bond with, as if it was a thing between a man and a woman. Those other words that hold a special meaning for her: a meaning of trips and adventure. Greyhound, six-string, a penny for your thoughts. She loved that expression; she used it many times while talking.
I decided to recreate those beloved words in the language that was rightfully her inheritance, to no avail. An autobús does not belong in dusty golden streets, but rather in the cold streets of the city. A guitarra, not matter how cool it is, will never strike the hard rock note a six-string can. Not to mention the pennies. Hard to think somebody would offer her money for her thoughts in Spanish, and, if they did, she would surely miss the small copper shine of the pennies that would not be in her purse.
I would give her a penny is she would just answer me if there’s a bond between me and her. An alternate version of the mocking story of the mocking girls to match the alternate version of my life. But, instead, I ask again:
“So, what keeps you here?”

When she finally gets home, she has the memory of his arms around her still fresh on her mind and on her body. Yet, they fade away when she lays her eyes on the blank page.
She lied to him when she said she was not trying. Of course she was. She always is.
Or perhaps she’s not. Though she thinks it’s him who has stopped trying and that that is the reason’s he’s going back. The real reason; not fulfilling some prophecy a fortune teller told him, so many years ago.
“Are you not afraid?” she had asked him. “It’s been so long, since you were there.”
“I’m not afraid of tomorrows,” he had answered. “I’ve seen many, enough to know their uncertainties are always the same. I’m not that young anymore.” So he had smiled that pretty smile of his and she had wished to tell him he was not old, not even middle-aged, that at least he wasn’t sick out of nothing as she was; but she had stopped and wondered about how many tomorrows she still had to face.
It was a great phrase. The one he had said, about the tomorrows and the uncertainties and not being young. It would make a great beginning for a story. Too bad it was in English.
But, who cares. There goes. She tried to write the phrase down, but couldn’t. There was another sentence, popping over and over again in her mind, erasing the events of the day:
“So, what keeps you here?”
She had written it down before she could stop her hand. There was it, the question that had been staring at her in the face throughout these days, throughout breakfast, staring at her from the page that was now stained with it.
“So, what keeps you here?”
What did? What prevented her from taking a Greyhound and his six-string and joining him into his past, into a town where words meant something else, to an uncertainty that didn’t belong to her, but to him?
They can be dead, she had told him. They can be dead or maybe they won’t remember you and you will drink your way into the grave. Or get married to a nice sundusty girl and forget all about the dream you had. Or maybe what the fortune teller said will become true. Have you thought about it? Have you thought all about those stories? But he had just smiled again and insisted on not being afraid, on his lack of fear, on his lack of youth.
“So, what keeps you here?”
Maybe she should write the answer down. Or, maybe you shouldn’t.
But, as she did, she could see it all before her; the uncertainty of tomorrow was a fake. She could see their smiles, feel the pats on her back, hear them saying this was just better than the previous one, the previous story; maybe even taste the beer on her lips when her friends decided to go out and toast her: ahora sí, ésta es la buena, ahora sí, con ésta ganamos y nos vamos pa donde quieras. She could even feel her drunken tongue slurring out the words when the party was over and her friends would ask her to read it out loud.
If that wasn’t what the fortune teller meant, then she didn’t know.
Yes; that was it, there was not another way. Not another story; just the new ones she would bring, the next day and many days, to her friends at the job, who would read her and smile at her and cheer at her and prognosticate her success. And she would smile, that same old smile of defiant satisfaction, and shrug off, with her deliberate, but lying, vehemence, the feeling of being watched by a smiling, yet scornful Muse.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Open (hearted) letter to Rusty Anderson... (or the reason I delayed in writing this review was because I went Lowry on it)

Dear Mr Anderson,


You don't know me, and I won't say I know you, because having only seen you twice in my life is not enough to know a person. Yet, I've seen you (both times) at the most revealing place one can meet a person: at a rock concert. Should I tell you about that, about how the stage can conquer you, the immaterial appeal of a rockstar? You onstage, giving it all you got, charming me with all your energy and passion. I was only fourteen back then, when I first saw you. It was Paul McCartney's Driving Mexico Tour. I was absolutely excited at the idea of seeing an icon (or perhaps a myth) of pop music live, and the concert was absolutely great, but it was also because of you, hopping around the stage, playing your heart out. I fell for you with a teenage crush passion back then. I named my brand-new (and yellow) electric guitar after you and the good time you gave us.
And, eight years later, it's still the same. Everything. Your way of playing the guitar, Sir Paul's excellence and charisma, all the band's commitment to playing a great "Rock Show". Such a good song to start! And all the audience shouting the chorus to "Jet"...
I don't know what you think, but I feel Sir Paul becomes a few (or many) years... younger when he plays the good old classics: "All My Loving", "Letting Go", "Drive My Car"... and he shares that fountain of youth with the audience. We feel young, we feel beautiful, we feel sexy... God, that "Foxy Lady" riff was enough to drive us insane!!
What can we do to pay all this happiness back? These gifts you give us? I could not help but feeling proud and happy when, after "Let 'Em In" and the romantic "My Love" Sir Paul praised "that thing we do with the lights". I had looked before, in the screen, at the face of your bandmate Brian Ray: he was standing there, playing, staring, his mouth half-open, at the spectacle we were giving from our seats. I was standing, at the lower part of the venue, so I could look all around, as if I was in the hurricane's eye, and shared a taste of that emotion and that fascination which seemed to overcome you. It was simply... beautiful.
"I've Just Seen a Face"... I love that song, and I loved Paul for singing it, and, though it may sound childish, it may be about you, you know? Remember I had seen you before... But I won't say more, for I might just be getting too corny... like "And I Love Her". Nah, just kidding.
"Blackbird" and "Here Today" were permeated with memories of the former Beatles. That's another thing I love about this band: you guys seem to have the strength of the Fab Four, no disrespect implied. For, after "Dance Tonight" you gave us great versions of "Eleanor Rigby" (a song for us, the lonely people, who weren't lonely back then, we all belonged there, at the show) and "Something": deserved and dignified tributes to those Beatles who have gone.
And God! I was so glad when you sang "Sing the Changes"! It's such a perfectly crafted song... it just reinforces the pop genius of Sir Paul, even after all these years. It certainly deserved to be followed by songs like "Band on the Run", "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" (so easy to sing!) and "Back in the USSR".
And do I have to tell you about the feeling I got when you guys played "I've Got a Feeling"? Not only was I thrilled about listening to one of my favorite Beatles' ballads, but I thought your voice blended just oh so well with Paul's. John Lennon should be proud.
"Paperback Writer" was very nice was well, but I'm sure that what really deserves to be remembered is what came next. "A Day in the Life"... one of the greatest song in history ever, played live! And the rain falling down right on "Give Peace a Chance". Now that was a scene of perfect harmony in a city known for violence. The rain flowed with me, with the music, like memories of my idealistic teenage past, when I though about becoming a neo-hippie, a flower-eater, like my friends would say. Those minutes were a chance for perfect peace in Mexico City. A perfect moment to play words of wisdom: "Let it Be".
"Live and Let Die" is absolutely cathartic, with you guys running all around the stage, fireworks exploding... it's all about action and it's as close as a metal show as it gets, before the perfect communion that is "Hey Jude". Comparable to what I have mentioned before with "Give Peace a Chance"? Yes... maybe... just too many great moments.
"Day Tripper", "Lady Madonna" and "Get Back" were nice to listen to and dance under the rain, but what came after "Yesterday" was, if not wonderful, so permeated with a sense of madness and sensuality that, even though you seemed to be concentrated in your playing, I find it hard to think none of you at the band were feeling it. "Helter Skelter", the call to disorder surrouned by the chaos of rain and cold was just F---ing awesome, a call to our animality (not aggressiveness, please) a wonder, that still couldn't break our peace and harmony: organized chaos, a beginning for an end. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and, yes, "The End", a song that only reinforces my idea that, if in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make, you, all of you, will take a lot of love, for you create love among us, and we give it to you. Love for love, love for great memories, memories I relive as I write this. It's not some days later: this reliving makes me believe it's that night, the concert is now, it's tonight.
In this letter, it's always tonight.
So tonight, the stage (and my heart) is yours.


Lady Stardust