The Savage Detectives

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

Book: The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño Read Free Book Online
Authors: Roberto Bolaño
Tags: prose_contemporary
chills. I swear I thought she might have a weapon on her. And despite it all I was backing out in slow motion, and that was because I still hoped that María would show up, that María would push through the guests and between her parents and grab me by the arm or sling her arm over my shoulders-María is the only woman I know who puts her arm around men's shoulders instead of their waists-and get me out of there with some decorum, I mean go with me."
    "So did she come over?"
    "Come over? No, at least not in the sense you mean. I did see her. Her head popped up for a second over the heads and shoulders of a bunch of assholes."
    "And what did she do?"
    "She didn't do a goddamn thing."
    "Maybe she didn't see you," said Moctezuma.
    "Of course she saw me. She looked me in the eye, but the way she does. You know how it is, sometimes she looks at you and it's like she doesn't see you or she's looking right through you. And then she disappeared. So I said to myself you lost this one, amigo. Go quietly and don't make a scene. And I started to move for real, and as I was backing away María's bitch of a mother lunges at me, and I thought the woman was going to kick me in the balls or slap me at least. All right, then, I thought, so much for the orderly retreat, I'd better run, but by then the bitch was on top of me like she was going to kiss me or bite me, and guess what she says to me…"
    The Rodríguez brothers were silent. No doubt they already knew.
    "Did she insult you?" I asked hesitantly.
    "She said: shame on you, shame on you. That's all, but she said it ten times at least, and an inch away from my face."
    "It's hard to believe that witch gave birth to María and Angélica," said Moctezuma.
    "Stranger things have happened," said Pancho.
    "Are you still her lover?" I said.
    Luscious Skin heard me but didn't answer.
    "How often have you had sex with her?" I said.
    "I don't even remember," said Luscious Skin.
    "What's with the questions?" said Pancho.
    "I don't know, just curious," I said.
    It was late that night when I left the Rodríguez brothers' house (I had lunch and dinner with them and I could probably even have spent the night, they were so generous). When I got to the bus stop on Insurgentes, I suddenly realized that I didn't feel strong enough or in the mood for the long, involved discussion waiting for me at home.
    One by one, the buses that I should have taken kept going by, until at last I got up from the curb where I'd been sitting and thinking and watching the traffic (or rather, watching the headlights of the cars shining in my face) and set out for the Fonts'.
    Before I got there I called. Jorgito answered. I told him to get his sister. In a few seconds, María came to the phone. I wanted to see her. She asked me where I was. I told her I was near her house, at Plaza Popocatépetl.
    "Wait for a few hours," she said, "and then come. Don't ring the bell. Come over the wall and sneak in as quietly as you can. I'll be waiting for you." I sighed deeply and almost told her that I loved her (but didn't say it), and then hung up. Since I didn't have the money to go to a coffee shop, I stayed in the plaza, sitting on a bench, writing in my diary and reading a book of Tablada's poems that Pancho had loaned me. When two hours exactly had passed, I got up and set out for Calle Colima.
    I looked both ways before I jumped, hauling myself up onto the wall. I dropped down, trying not to crush the flowers that Mrs. Font (or the maid) had planted on that side of the garden. Then I walked in the dark toward the little house.
    María was waiting for me under a tree. Before I could say anything, she kissed me on the mouth, sticking her tongue down my throat. She tasted of cigarettes and expensive food. I tasted of cigarettes and cheap food. But both kinds of food were good. All the fear and sadness that I felt instantly melted away. Instead of going to her little house we started to make love right there, standing up under the tree.

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