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Pete´s beheading home

septiembre 18, 2014 Deja un comentario

Pete was heading home. He was angry and felt tired but the mere thought of his family desperately relying on the dough he daily earned with the sweat of his forehead calmed him down. As he was about to unlock his house´s entrance door he pictured the cosy order that awaited him, the household chores her wife would be performing for his sake, the two sons he was so proud of doing their homework at the kitchen table, the dog- the fabulous retriever that the organization he worked for had given him as a present last Christmas for the clockwork accuracy of his late jobs- reveling in the sucking of a bone´s head or in the licking of the milk bowl by the fireplace. Everything, as it were, falling into place, just as he had figured it out  when he married Mary, his life- long partner, his beautiful other half, his “sweet little rib” as he was fond of calling her. He decided thus to put the keys again into his pocket and to ring the bell, saying to himself that nothing would be nicer than seeing the door´s knob turn and the door being opened by the smiling countenance of any of his loved ones , by any member of such a merry compound whose head he had become because he had proved successful at running it in the same efficient, staunchly way, perhaps, that you see horses running around in merry-go-rounds. As he stood in the house´s threshold getting mentally ready for such a welcome his right hand stroke briefly the bulk of  the revolver he was carrying in his inside jacket´s pocket before going on to caress the flower he wore in his lapel, Pete´s face beginning to show a smile that already relished at the picture of  being mirrored by a twin one devoted exclusively to him . It could be nonetheless one of his quirks, he admitted somewhat wantonly, a farewell caress to the workday´s bloody chores and a flowering wink at the impending happiness after that particular hard day in which his boss had scorned him calling him a “bonehead” for not having finished off the last “deal” he was in charge of. “He was no longer worth a lousy retriever” his boss had remarked contemptuously. For a brief second Pete´s growing smile froze into a grimace.

…To be continued….

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Pete lies his way just one more time into success

septiembre 2, 2014 Deja un comentario

On what occasion do you lie, Pete?

Oh, well, that´s a tricky question… But to tell  the truth, I consider lying a part of life, a part at least of the life that I  live and, come to think about it, I think that what truly matters about the lies I usually deal with in my everyday life is to accomplish them in a way that´s credible enough so that i can use them as an alibi before any gullible jury or even before myself as the most gullible person of all.

What is your greatest fear, Pete?

Colleagues, relatives, friends… All that stuff…You know… To what extent can I rely on  people that swarm about me, sometimes like annoying and burdensome bees, others like lovable beings I should be caring for. Besides, I think this question has something to do with the previous one. Living a life such as the one I live implies being the whole time on the alert for all the lies that are going on around me much as if I were myself a breeder of bees … Yeah… as if I were sort of involved in a lifelong selection of bees , some of them worth belonging to my particular beehive and others meant rather to be kept at bay or even merciless discarded. If, by any chance, i fail in this selection and a bee runs amok challenging the order of my honeycomb, be sure i´ll be damned for good. Be sure, also,that I wont´t be such a fool as to let any outlier trouble my goals.

What is it you most dislike, Pete?

People that don´t make it…Or, to carry on with the “bees” refrain , breeders of bees that just miss it and make a mess of the beehives they´are betting on, marring their life expectations instead of fulfilling them …People, in short, that don´t have the guts to acknowledge their failures in time and go on muddling through between lies and truth, creeping like weaklings, incapable of any decision, lousy unreliable fakes ready to sell you for a few bucks in the name of the first fashionable truth someone has planted on them for business sake.

But, you know, I myself run a business, which happens to be my life and I´m the best entrepreneur of my own self, the self-reliant promoter of my own precious being, the most beautiful queen bee, as it is, within the entire beehive. And I tell you what: I won´t let any other being ruin it or talk me into someone else´s beehive for that matter. No, I won´t surrender the freedom that grants me being the queen bee that easily. It´s time I make this clear to my wife: contrary to what she seems lately to believe, i´m no worker bee. And I don´t care any longer who she´s working for nor whose alien interests she ´s yielding to . The time has come for me to lie my way just one more time into success and  get rid of her.

Tony Judt´s take on “modesty” (an extract from Tony Judt´s “Ill fares the land”) // Opinión de Tony Judt sobre “la modestia” (extracto del libro de Tony Judt “Algo va mal”)

“ (Modesty)…. a political quality whose virtues are overestimated. We need to apologize a little less for past shortcomings and speak more assertively of achievements. That these were always incomplete should not trouble us. If we have learned nothing else from the 20th century , we should at least have grasped that the more perfect the answer, the more terrifying its consequences.

Incremental improvements upon unsatisfactory circumstances are the best that we can hope for, and probably all we should seek”

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“( La modestia)… una cualidad política cuyas virtudes se sobreestiman. Debemos disculparnos menos por nuestras carencias en el pasado y hablar con más convicción de nuestros logros. Que éstos siempre hayan sido incompletos no debería preocuparnos. Si del siglo XX hemos sido capaces de aprender algo, deberíamos al menos haber comprendido que cuánto más perfecta es una respuesta, tanto más terroríficas son sus consecuencias.

Mejoras graduales en relación a circunstancias no satisfactorias son lo mejor que debemos esperar y, probablemente, lo único a lo que debamos aspirar.”

Love at the grocer´s

One of the things Mary most enjoyed was to pay a visit to the grocer´s on market days. She was no longer the sexy girl that out of a religious fit had once aspired to beguile Jesus Christ down the cross and taken the veil for a few days in her early youth just to realise that her dubious charms were far from being those of Mary of Magdala and she was pretty conscious as well that the green pastures along which she loved to jog in her more mature years were a thing of the past because together with her marriage and former family home , the neatly mown lawns of the gated community she used to live in were not available any more since she broke with Pete Rodríguez, her  violent husband , and moved to the concrete neighborhood where her new lodging was located and a grass blade hardly to be seen. But it brought a comforting effect upon her soul to relish at the sight and eventually buy some of the fresh and organic produce that, delivered directly from  the countryside, showed itself at her disposal in the grocery stall across her new house.

Broke as she was after having been laid off from the bankruptcy court she worked for in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, her life and livelihood in general were not at their best. However, if she happened to find some dollars in her purse, Mary would give herself a treat and gulp down her throat one of the cucumbers that the handsome grocer used to pitch from his counter on market days.

She was just feeding her eyes on the green merchandise  while walking nonchalantly along the grocer´s stand and bending over, at times, to look closer at the edible ítems that stood before her , when she finally decided and said in what it wasn´t meant to be a dubious manner:

“Good morning, Mr. grocer, i´d like the cucumber you´re holding in your hand. It looks fresh, nutritive, invigorating… The cucumber, I mean, not your manly hand…”

Blushing at Mary´s comment and pointing at the cucumber he was duly holding in his hand the grocer replied:

“I appreciate your taste, madam, but i´m afraid that this cucumber is  somewhat out of season. I ´m just trying to plant it on someone for business sake. It´s actually my heart what really keeps on beating with the force of a youngster, its longing for love keeps my life from withering”

“The love for your wife, I guess” Mary said

“Not quite, madam, my dear wife passed away long ago. I´ve been mourning her unconsolably until the moment you showed up and asked me for the cucumber i´m touting and holding in my hand”

Hair and fear

Father_and_Son_8x100

He came across that picture early that afternoon. He was lolling on the deep red velvet sofa of his parent´s living room watching tv, just wasting his time. He turned his head for a moment and there he saw it, in an old- style silver frame, standing on top of a deep red satin upholstered Chippendale table. The Chippendale table had been there for years, together with the velvet sofa he was lolling on, right in the middle of his parent´s living room , its upholstery matching the pleats of the thick felt draperies that kept the sunbeams from entering the room, but until then it hadn´t attracted his attention at all, to his eyes that picture had amounted all the while  to nothing but another piece of an overdone set of furniture.

The picture showed his father and him. His father appears smiling and he, wearing an expression of complaint on his face. The photo was taken long ago during some Christmas holiday´s that he and his family had spent in some seashore beach resort in the Atlantic. Given that in his hometown it should have been raining at the time of the year when the photo was taken and given all the amusements that were available for them, kids, in that seashore beach resort he should rather have been smiling at the camera as his father was. Instead, he´s making a grimace that expresses grievance as if he were complaining at the vain effort to shake off his father´s embrace. Actually, if one looks closer at the picture, it is not an embrace but rather his father´s hands encroaching upon his hair what is going on at the moment of the shooting. His father, moreover, isn´t exactly stroking his hair, his  hands are aiming, stroke upon stroke, at straighten it out, at “taming” his dear son´s hair, as he used to say back in those days, so that the hair remained properly combed back like the hair of some of the movie stars his father was so  fond of.

It would certainly be an exaggeration to state that that expression of complaint on his face stood for any risk-taking worth the name, hard to trace any shadow of  heroism at the twisted corners of the kid´s mouth. However, as he looked at the picture for the last time while he sat up in the sofa and walked up to the tv set to turn it off, he couldn´t help feeling a vague sense of pride taking hold of himself, as if at the time when the photo was shot, he were already fighting a war he was barely conscious of.

Pete Rodriguez

soy la ley 4
A tanned guy with olive skin crosses New York´s 8th avenue. He´s medium to talll height, around his late fifties. He has white trousers on and a floral shirt hangs out of them.His hair is pitch-black ,sparse and  combed tightly backwards. Ointed with hair lotion his hairdo ends in a ponytail. Sun glasses with gold rimmed frames are on top of his head. He´s possibly wearing more than one gold ring in his fingers but this is  hard to know due to the distance i´m watching from. He´s talking, in any case, in a loud voice to his cell phone while he keeps its mouthpiece  very close to his mouth. He suddenly purses his lips in a coleric grimace that shows a sort of violent determination. The blackness of his beard is enhanced by the pressing movement of the muscles of his jaw. His name is Pete, Pete “Conde” Rodríguez, also known as “La Ley”.
Pete is heading home after having accomplished his duty. Pete knows what his duty is. His boss in Miami has no reason to complain about him. He has become the representative of the organization in the New York area and every major deal is now carried out under Pete´s supervisión. Pete never fails to inform afterwards his boss of every detail.No matter how minor these details are ,his reports to his boss are always of a painstaking accuracy. Far from considering himself a criminal Pete is fond of stating that life has led him along this random path after having unsuccessfully applied for some uninspiring jobs in his youth. According to Pete there isn´t much difference between one kind of life and the other, the most important thing being to carry out one´s duty properly and to act as one´s  told, expecting thereafter nothing but a proper reward. Pete had indeed been  properly rewarded:  he had climbed the corporate ladder of his organization, become its representative  in the New York area and ended up building a home, with a wife, children and even a dog.
Pete, as i say, is heading home. He´s fond of this expression “heading home” because he feels it corresponds with his innermost feelings. Pete “La Ley” Rodriguez accomplishes his chief duties so thoroughly that he strongly needs to own a sort of compound where wife, children and even a dog acnknowledge him as the head of someting.

Taking off

Late that afternoon he resolved himself to stay up and leave his bed. Not for good indeed but rather for a reasonable time that could be deemed as endurable. He was too modest a guy to harbor any desire to be posthumously remembered for the feat he had in mind but he felt nevertheless that brushing his teeth after having lain for so long under the covers was at any rate a must. This time he blushed at the sole idea of having her mother brush them for him. Not that she did it every day but someone had to help him get to grips with his Sunday´s hangovers and his dear mother was the only being that was always there on hand. He sensed however that something one could call pride was on this occasion at stake. He therefore summoned up all his courage , bent over trying unsuccesfully to reach  his toes and, letting  the lose fat  around his abdomen take the shape of a spare tyre, he sat up in his bed not before having stretched out his untrained limbs in order to warm himself up and get ready for the tough performances that laid ahead of him. “For Christ´s sake” he couldn´t avoid exclaiming as soon as he heard all his joints furiously cracking and his brain bursting in a resounding and ominous silence. But this time nothing was going to stop him. His resolution was relentless, his will unshakable. He proceeded soon thereafter to put his feet on the floor and taking a deep breath  gave an overall impulse to the upper part of his body such as the one the nose of an aeroplane gets when taking off. Watching himself from the cockpit of his blue eyeballs in the erect posture meant to enable him to reach his bathroom, he was seized by a fit of self-reliance that could only be shattered by an unexpected turbulence turning up out of the blue.