Bárbara

 

Peeling-the-Orange-Me dice que le gustan muchas cosas: Los relojes de cucú, las naranjas, los lirios, los autos de colores, las madrugadas frías… el helado de chocolate. Los domingos se escapa sigilosa a esa parte de la ciudad donde se pueden ver los aviones aterrizar. Ahí se queda por horas, luego regresa y sonríe. Conversamos desde la distancia cada cual en lo suyo; desempolvando unos libros, hurgando recuerdos en cajones olvidados… temerosos de lo incierto conversamos. Su nombre es fuerte como ella un día fue. Me dice que le gustan muchas cosas: los amaneceres, las botas de cuero, la lluvia en las tardes, las faldas cortas que ya no puede usar… los regalos de cumpleaños. En las noches nos acurrucamos queriéndonos mucho sin siquiera saberlo. Hoy han venido nuestros hijos a visitarnos pero ella no está. Tres horas más tarde aparece con naranjas en las manos. Meticulosamente las corta en tajadas y las sirve en una bandeja de plástico. Los hijos ya son grandes, tan grandes que duele verles llegar, un poco más verles partir. Otro día se escurre casi sin pedir permiso mientras nos vamos acostumbrando a la idea de sabernos. La casa es muy amplia ahora y huele a domingo todo el tiempo.  Y así, cuando el silencio se hace insoportable… enumera entonces todas esas cosas que le gustan.

 

Lifetime

She had a Blue hair elderly womanpart-time job as a clown. In the afternoons and during weekends she attended private parties and birthdays entertaining mostly children. Her hair was blue, but naturally red. She was a ginger kid but had no freckles. That helped growing up. She went to college, but never graduated. Her major was social studies. She didn’t know what she wanted to do, but loved children and from time to time was told she could be really funny. The clown thing was not her idea. A room-mate from school talked her into it and she started to like it. Her costume was pink and purple with big round pocket dots. She never married. She had no kids. Her lover’s name was Fernando. He was raised Jewish and his parents were from New Zealand. He never said much, but when pronouncing his name he always did it with a thick Latin accent even thought he was a pale white boy. She had a cat and a bike and a pair of Nikes from another time. She might have looked sad from the distance, but she wasn’t. Purposeless as she might seem, she was the happiest person I’ve ever known. She died on a Sunday afternoon. Her funeral was attended by thousands of people, mostly children holding blue and red balloons.