miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2008

A confession of a teacher looking for a bathing suit

“ El destino del artista es vivir una
vida imperfecta: el triunfo, como un episodio;
el fracaso, como verdadero y supremo fin ”

Juan Carlos Onetti

Surrounded by noisy fans 1, sticky windows, sultry breezes and a mall 2 the summer has come one more time knocking at our front doors without even a piece of gentle warning. Now we know how being in hell feels like. Inside: teachers sweating such pigs at the edge of the oven. Should I say at the edge of the classroom’s doors? perhaps at the window’s? Maybe is the sun that makes me hear things, but I swear it’s true. I’ve heard voices in the corridor saying “ man next week I’ll put my bathing suit on ” 3. What? a teacher? Yes, of course, a teacher. Don’t forget we’re humans too, aren’t we? Well, I just don’t know. Because when I’m inside a classroom I forget everything. I don’t know who I am. Nor what I’m doing. Neither where I go. The only thing I’m sure about is that I’m a simple student pretending to be a teacher. I’m mainly a student. So, there’s no sun hot enough to make me stop the class, to make me wip my forehead. Since not even the cruelest summer could compare to the energy coming from the students. And I thought I was sweating for the season for God’s sake. These guys make me feel out of this world. I know they tear myself and once they’re gone I can’t be the same anymore. Takes time to recover after a class. However, what a pleasure to fade away through them. I might not exist physically, but in their minds is where I long to be, there my existence would last just forever. Don’t think I’m arrogant or egotistical. No way! I don’t want to be remembered as a good teacher by them, I don’t know what a good teacher means anyway. I don’t want to be loved by them. In fact if by the end of the month they hate me as no one before, it will have been worth, as long as they will have learned, at least, part of the lesson. It would fill me up with such a joy. You might be wondering English lesson right ? Grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary an all that jazz right? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m talking about the lesson. And for me that is no more than how to love, how to forgive and how to be human. Thinking about tomorrow as a new opportunity to do things much better than yesterday. In the movie “ Pacotille ” by Eric Jameux “ Thierry gives a little necklace heart to Karine and points out the inscriptions: “More Than Yesterday” on one side, “ Less Than Tomorrow ” on the other. Katherine doesn’t understand. Thierry explains that each day he loves her more .
“ But you said less ” she retorts.
Thierry tries again, but to no avail.
“ I want someone who loves me the same every day,” Karine declares and walks out of him ”

1 The author is , mainly , thinking about the device. But dear reader you can use the other meaning if you want which is fan as a fanatic
2 Please tell Mr. Wong to program his shows on sundays
3 I can not give away the identity of the teacher. It would mean a direct violence to the code of honour of the Language Center
4 The New York Times, Wednesday, June 14, 2006.

Posdata: Parte de la película "Dead Poets Society" de Peter Weir. La genial interpretación de Robin Williams, como Mr. Keating, el emblemático profesor de "literatura" inglesa. Creo que así como Friedrich Nietzsche buscaba al superhombre, de igual modo todo alumno desea encontrar, en el fondo, a Mr. Keating. Ambos, aún sin éxito, continúan navegando contracorriente.

domingo, 16 de noviembre de 2008

Chaplin se oculta bajo un árbol

Lo vi hace una semana, era de noche. Pero era destello en la oscuridad. Decidí volver. Ya frente a él, bajo un árbol, contemplé unos instantes su irrealidad. La madeja que teje lo imposible, lo inconmensurable. Estaban vivos, los dos, se escondían bajo la sombra del mismo árbol. Yo no los iba a delatar y tal vez bastaba tan poco para hacerlo. Los que por ahí pasaban me miraban un poco loco, extraviado, ido, como lo hicieron los espectadores de The Purple Rose of Cairo de Woody Allen, al notar que el personaje principal de la película salía de la pantalla para escaparse del cine con su admiradora. Me sentí vagabundo, miré mis zapatos rotos. Llenos de polvo. No llevo bigote, pero ya necesitó bastón, a veces siento dolor de espalda al levantarme. El sombrero lo llevo en el bolsillo.

El chico, el pibe, o garotto, the kid, le kid o il monello es un film deliciosamente triste, como las galletitas. La aventura de los dos, Chaplin y el niño, nace de la nada, es simple y aún prácticamente imposible en “la vida real”.

Julito Cortazar hablaba de lo fantástico como parte de lo que llamamos realidad, como la realidad misma. Y así, lejos del graffiti, me senté en el paradero. Al lado mío una vendedora llevaba una bolsa llena de “galletas Chaplin”. No cedí a la tentación y subí al carro. No pude más. Saboreaba las galletas, observaba el mundo a través de las ventanas. Bajé la mirada unos instantes. Sentí rabia, había sido estafado. Reí. El paquete de galletas decía:

“Galletas Charlyn.
Su galleta de toda la vida.
Las Originales y Doraditas”.

Los dejo con “la escena de la ventana” de The Kid de Charles Chaplin.

jueves, 6 de noviembre de 2008

Llega el tren y se lleva la tarde consigo

Estaba regresando de un día espantoso, “cohesión” le llaman algunos. Es un eufemismo. Otro más. Para aquellos que no comprenden los deportes y rechazan la zalamería, como yo, levantarse un sábado a las 6 de la mañana en contra de nuestra voluntad representa un castigo y no un momento de esparcimiento. Pero fue hacia las 5:30 de la tarde, tal vez el momento exacto en que el ocaso, el “sunset”, “le coucher de soleil” para los franceses, empezaba o terminaba en Lima y su hilo se destejía de a pocos, como espejo hecho estrellas. Ya estaba en Chosica.

Ahora pienso en ello y recuerdo:

"You know the day destroys the night
night divides the day”
… finalmente.

miércoles, 5 de noviembre de 2008

All the leaves fall down sometime

“ When I die
I don’t care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter’em ”1

I’m writing this, but I could be walking backwards down the street, with no one besides me. So again I’m here facing the empty sheet, the immensity of my being, the tiniest world. If you think about me as a mad man, it’s just because our ways are separated. Your sun is not mine, your rain is two drops of water.

It was running the 80’s. Nobody had taught me about death before. I was 11 when I met it for the first time. My grandmother’s feet were so white, cold and rigid. I didn’t know she was dead. Children tend to think dead people are just slumbers.

Many years ago my father exchanged bottles for baby chickens. Four in total. One per each child. Our mother was cooking noodles. I still remember mine was yellow and undernourished. But I loved it anyway. A child doesn’t have limits when loving. While waiting for lunch, we were playing, as usual, in the garden. Out of the blue and very thirsty I walked towards the ice-boxed. They were there. Four too. Each one representing one of us. But they didn’t make any movements whatsoever. Indeed they couldn’t. Life had departed far away from them and the only thing left was a bittersweet feeling in the air. We tried to find an explanation for this episode: the murder of four innocents animals by a mother wanting to feed their dear children.

One day I found it in my friend’s house. It had devoured his mother. I couldn’t sleep that night. Her face so vivid during, probably, the longest night of my life. I was 16 then.

I’m 28 years old and seeing a corpse still scares me to death. I’m conscious about aging. But what can I do? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life, which is not very much by the way, wondering about the last moment. I do want to die, oh yeah, but softly, without thinking of today nor about tomorrow. Like a leaf falling from a tree. I don’t want to be alive when dying. Please don’t wake me up when my time comes. Everything should be settled by then.

1 Death and Fame. Allen Ginsberg. Muerte y Fama. Editorial Lumen Barcelona - 2000. Pag 192.

Posdata: este texto fue escrito originalmente hace dos años, pero fue censurado para su publicación en un breve y extinto boletín. Sigo preguntandome las razones que motivaron esa medida, y solo puedo concebir una: pacatería. Acabo de releerlo y aún creo que es inofensivo. Ahora que finalmente ve la luz, no pretendo lograr nada con él, es solo una observación. Más nada. Tal vez no tenga mayor valor que ese.

Lo quen sigue son dos videos de la pelicula "El Piano" de Jane Campion.