Memories of my Melancholy Whores

Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel García Márquez Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gabriel García Márquez
Tags: prose_contemporary
side of the library. I hurried to rescue the Greek and Latin authors who lived there, but when I removed the books I discovered a stream spurting at high pressure from a broken pipe along the bottom of the wall. I did what I could to pack it with rags to give me time to save the books. The deafening noise of the rain and the howling of the wind intensified in the park. Then a phantasmal flash of lightning and a simultaneous clap of thunder saturated the air with a strong sulfur odor, the wind destroyed the balcony’s window panes, and the awful sea squall broke the locks and came inside the house. And yet, in less than ten minutes, the sky cleared all at once. A splendid sun dried the streets filled with stranded trash, and the heat returned.
    When the storm had passed I still had the feeling I was not alone in the house. My only explanation is that just as real events are forgotten, some that never were can be in our memories as if they had happened. For if I evoked the emergency of the rainstorm, I did not see myself alone in the house but always accompanied by Delgadina. I had felt her so close during the night that I detected the sound of her breath in the bedroom and the throbbing of her cheek on my pillow. It was only the way I could understand how we could have done so much in so short a time. I remembered standing on the library footstool, and I remembered her awake in her little flowered dress taking the books from me to put them in a safe place. I saw her running from one end of the house to the other battling the storm, drenched with rain and in water up to her ankles. I remembered how the next day she prepared a breakfast that never was and set the table while I dried the floors and imposed order on the shipwreck of the house. I never forgot her somber look as we were eating. Why were you so old when we met? I answered with the truth: Age isn’t how old you are but how old you feel.
    From then on I had her in my memory with so much clarity that I could do what I wanted with her. I changed the color of her eyes according to my state of mind: the color of water when she woke, the color of syrup when she laughed, the color of light when she was annoyed. I dressed her according to the age and condition that suited my changes of mood: a novice in love at twenty, a parlor whore at forty, the queen of Babylon at seventy, a saint at one hundred. We sang Puccini love duets, Agustin Lara boleros, Carlos Gardel tangos, and we confirmed once again the those who do not sing cannot even imagine the joy of singing. Today I know it was not a hallucination but one more miracle of the first love of my life at the age of ninety.
    When the house was in order I called Rosa Cabarcas. Holy God! She exclaimed when she heard my voice, I thought you had drowned. She could not understand how I had spent another night with the girl and not touched her. You have the absolute right not to like her, but at least behave like an adult. I tried to explain, but with not transition she changed the subject: In any case, I have another one in mind for you who’s a little older, beautiful, and also a virgin. Her father wants to trade her for a house, but we can discuss a discount. My heart froze. That’s the last straw, I protested in horror, I want the same one, the way she always is, without failures, without fights, without bad memories. There was a silence on the line, and then the docile voice in which she said, as if talking to herself: Well, this must be what the doctors call senile dementia.
    At ten that night I went there with a driver known for the usual virtue of not asking questions. I took along a portable fan, a painting by Orlando Rivera-the beloved Figurita-and a hammer and nail to hang it on the wall. I stopped on the way to buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, scented soap, Florida Water, and licorice lozenges. I also wanted to bring a nice vase and a bouquet of yellow roses to exorcise the inanity of paper flowers, but nothing was open

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