Romero de Torres and Matilde
We always arrived at the same place but we had never dared to speak. We crossed paths in a hallway that seemed increasingly narrower as our bodies approached. We looked at each other and unassumingly smiled. It was not the obvious smile of external communication but that, which recognizes its own sensuality, manifested at the crossing of our sights. We did not say a single word. It was not necessary. Words in matters of intrinsic manifestation have great limitations. I knew that I would be able to see her again in a couple of days and under the same circumstances. Those were the longest days of my life. We never again met in the hallway but I reproduced it in my mind a thousand and one times. I returned again and saw her drinking a cup-of-tea. I approached the table and with a mutual gesture we agreed that it was okay for me to sit beside her. We did not say a single word for a while; it was not necessary. Then, I said, should we walk? So we did, through lonely streets that in her presence had turned into universal paths. I walked and she moved with abandonment as if the streets were moving under her feet. It was inevitable that every man who crossed her path duplicated the hallway that I had forged in my mind. An obvious and necessary lie was needed so we went to pick up a book in my studio. The unspoken excuse was acceptable to both. We wanted to drown the unnecessary noises and eyes around us. Her enigmatic skin was burning with anxiety. The corner of her eyes revealed a devouring flame. Possessed by a primal dance her breast pierced her soul. She wore a red silk blouse with the shadow of a cat in constant gaze, a bright color skirt with geometric figures and cloth flats that left the top of her delicate feet exposed. She flipped through a book of Romero looking for necessary descendants in each sketch. She recognized her sensuality in the drawings, which were suppressed in her by unnecessary morals. She felt like an ancient woman, as if some old world was calling her, as if she brought in her Lucrezia's heritage. Her tender and naïve breasts blushed insistently despite the moral challenges they produced. Her bare waist contrasted her delicate white and anxious fingers. Her hands lost in the search for truth. She carefully traced each figure, and their contours emitted from them a familiar sensuality. After, we talked about uninteresting things just to extend the time. Unexpectedly she switched back and forth from subject to subject, always looking for a reason to talk about Romero de Torres. Then we talked about pure love and transcendental beauty and at last of corporal acts. As the air got thinner, we talked of obscene expressions lovers murmur to each other. We had not yet delivered our frivolous whispers, but we had thought them very loudly. I asked her, what are the obscenities that you know? She blushed in the attempt to say it and her body reacted accordingly with her thoughts. Her shoulders shrugged and her arms pushed her breast to the center of her chest. We insisted that she should look into our eyes. She repeated it several times and always became flush, as if projecting her breasts’ fire in her cheeks. She armed herself with a pretend seriousness and firmly penetrated my eyes with her gaze. Driven by a magnetic energy her lips gave in. What an anxiety! With our clothes intact we moved around the studio like great gladiators. Her dancing skills manifested in every part of her body. Then, as if a storm had discharged all its waters, we were facing each other again. Sitting in the same armchair and looking at each other without understanding what had happened to the book. We looked at Romero de Torres with crumpled pages and the spine facing down, mirroring our desires. We laughed. Now, the conversations were not rudimentary but of dialectical order. We rescued the faded images of Romero. This was about getting to the bottom of our moral precepts, with no sense of guilt. What ethics, morality or principle could stop her from feeling her very nature, and yet worse, make her feel guilty. She shook her head and wanted to sin again with the same liberating dynamism. Claiming the world as hers she stood up on the armchair as if she had never been sitting and landed in front of my shoulders with opened arms, like a majestic bird, delivering illicit words and inviting me to dance. Today I am free; stop my flight if you dare, she said. I was stunned, willingly tied to her neck like a silk scarf, but ready to undo the moral knot in her throat. What a power in your sight and how profound is your skin, I said unexpectedly. Neruda would have recited the first verse, Body of a woman... come back unbroken and he would remain there for an eternity, repeating the same thing over and over again. He could not retain her but he immortalized her in poetry, as a universal woman. He had to wait until Matilde to unite them all in one. But is better late than never. Crazed by unrestricted ardor, her body rose up again like sheets on a line when a storm is about to come. As a winged dancer she moved her innermost desired parts of her being. The storm had ended and reality gave its way; we refocused our eyes, fully understanding the phenomena and accepting the depths of the space and our affinities. Now the eyes were truly looking though words and ink, converging, recognizing, and the conversation had a beginning and end. Romero de Torres restored the crumpled pages, straighten the spine, got Matilde by the hand, closed their covers, walked away, and would never again be seen.