I think now I like cloudy and rainy days more, deliquescent.
There's something about that weather behavior that gets along better with me in this age of introspection.
The days of strong colors have a solidity that dislocates.
It's like they scream.
They are too awake, they are electric, I don't know what to do with them.
I prefer the liquid moan of the mist, the timid, low rain.
Gray assures me of a superior vital tone.
But last week there was a sky so blue and tense it looked like plastic, that perfect, cheesy condition that artificiality has.
So I went out for a bike ride.
I went to an area of forests and lakes, in Buenos Aires.
There were people on
, by bicycle, walking, running, all with chinstraps.
There was a salsa teacher giving a class for 60 people who tried to imitate him by stumbling because they couldn't hug a classmate.
There was a boy to whom his father said: “It is important that you obey everything I tell you”, while he sprayed alcohol on the handlebars of the bicycle.
On a carousel there were some rigid children, with masks.
I was pedaling down the street of Fray Justo Santa María de Oro, under very tall plane trees.
It was the shadow of the summers before (before what?), And the immense light of four in the afternoon, something lively that one would have wanted to harvest, that should not be wasted.
I saw places with the curtains drawn, announcements of sale and definitive closure, but the tables of the bars on the street were packed.
I heard a woman say to another: "Oh, how beautiful, it looks like Europe, with all the tables outside."
Europe, I thought.
Every time I see an image of Madrid on television, I have to change the channel.
The remoteness is installed as inadequacy: I cannot bear it.
I could go?
I could go.
I don't know what is stopping me.
Sometimes I think I'm a coward.
Others, as Pessoa wrote, that it has not been me for a long time.
I feel indignation towards myself: I expect behavior from me that does not develop.
While pedaling, I thought about the radio that I sometimes listen to when I drive.
I don't know what it's called, it's Paraguayan.
They speak in Guaraní, a restrictive language, both humorous and martial, enthusiastic.
There is always something exasperating in a language that is not understood.
It's like trying to solve an equation without knowing math.
But nothing makes me feel freer than being in an unfamiliar place surrounded by impenetrable sounds.
Guaraní was the first foreign language I heard after crossing the first border of my life, between Argentina and Paraguay.
There were years when a border was something that was not easy to reach.
On the other side, danger, gods and monsters.
For many people it still is.
I remember little of that trip to Paraguay.
A creamy, golden heat.
The ñandutí weavers, the sound of a harp.
The Stroessner dictatorship as a backdrop.
We made those trips with my family in a truck or in an old van.
We would change town and city, spurred on by my father who was tracking strange things — a hundred-year-old songwriter in a lost town, an abandoned gold mine — and he enthusiastically pushed us to the next destination.
On dirt roads, mud, gravel roads, along cornice roads in the rain, under the storm with broken windshields and the only guide to a paper map.
Uncomfortable, insolated, often lost.
Where did this need for movement come from?
If we never made it to the end of the rainbow.
As we traveled, my mother sang and prepared ham sandwiches, as if everything was under control in that poor truck, with two young children on scary routes in a country under dictatorship, like almost everyone around him.
My father yelled: "Adventure!"
And there we went, swallowing dust and sun and mountains.
What do parents educate us for, what do they want to give us?
The spur of freedom that mine bequeathed to me is still alive in me, but these days I don't know what to do with it.
While riding a bicycle, I remembered all that carelessness, that pilgrimage, that courage.
Did you compare those days with these?
He compared those days with these.
"Inside the reñidero in which it will kill, the rooster sings hymns to freedom because they gave it two crossbars to stand on," writes Pessoa in
The Book of Restlessness
That's what I was thinking, pedaling — pathetic — on my two crossbars.
And he didn't even sing hymns to freedom.