The sea breeze made the curtains flail in a rhythmical wave... not frantically, like on a windy day, just swaying softly. I went to close the crystal sliding doors that opened onto the terrace, but once I grasped the wooden handle, I decided to go out and stand on the balcony instead.
It was a magnificent view. The warmth of the soft wind blowing from the Caribbean Sea brought with it the aromas of salt, sand, old brick and stone. I closed my eyes to perceive better the smells and the sounds of the city. Coffee, roasted beef and garlic.... The air was benevolent and carried the sweet smell of fresh watered gardenias and ilán-ilán.
A female voice singing in a nearby café erupted, fortunately, amidst the chattering couples sitting in the tables by the sidewalk. She sang beautifully and I wished to be her.
'Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Escribir por ejemplo, la noche está estrellada
Y tiritan azules, los astros a lo lejos.
Y el viento de la noche, gira en el cielo y canta.'
The first stanza of the wonderful Poema XX, by Pablo Neruda, recently and brilliantly turned into one of the most precious songs ever heard, echoed softly in my mind. I opened my eyes and stared at the darkness of the ocean that seemed immense. It was a lovely summer night. Like the song said, the stars flickered blue and the wind gusts swirled in the sky, singing to me.... Yes, I wanted to write the saddest verses that night.
The bright moon reflected in the black mirror of the Caribbean Sea. The dim waters were only interrupted by the lights of the sailboats and the cruisers alongside the El Muelle de San Juan. 'It's a perfect time for a walk', I thought.
The colorful old colonial buildings flanked the narrow streets paved with blue cobblestones. The shops and bars were open. 'I'll drink a glass of Spanish wine tonight... maybe later. I want to have a walk first and purge, with every given step, my sadness.' My mind rumbled in a soliloquy. Yes it was better to give it some credit. Walking would suit me well.
It had been a week since I met him. Seven days and seven nights counting this eve... Who the hell told me it was a good idea sleeping with him the very first night I met him in that bar? But I felt so lonely and I needed company so badly and after drinking two bottles of red wine, and Merciful Lord, he was so damned handsome that it didn't seem a bad idea after all. I'm single. I pay my bills and enjoy a successful career as a Literature professor in the State University. I deserve to regale myself with those moments....
Why did I feel so bad the morning after? Why did I feel repentant and those remorseful and puritan thoughts? I had been so stupid! The way I dismissed him out of my apartment; no wonder he hadn't called me since. Gabriel.... He had the name of an angel, and certainly he looked like one.
The cooing sound of pigeons perched in the eaves of the old houses along the La Capilla del Cristo alley made me stop. The ancient little chapel stood magnificently at the end of the narrow street. The rear side facing the ocean and the front... well, Jesus Christ never seemed as sad to me in the way his granite eyes stared at me from inside of the gothic, sacred building. Poor Jesus locked behind those iron gates... more secluded than my soul.
I turned to the east and ventured down El Paseo La Princesa. The sea waves crashed rampantly against the city walls, roaring... for me it was more like a musical. Peeping over the thick stone hedges, I stared down at the violent interaction between the ocean and the stones. The water splashed making a hissing sound and the leftover drops caressed the walls rolling down to meet the water again.
I've neglected myself the soft caresses fate could bring me... and when finally they formed in my body in the shape of Gabriel's lingering fingers, I rejected him so unfairly. Somehow I was like this walled city of San Juan. I'd built a thick wall around me to repel the enemy attacks, known or foreign.... Life had crashed on me violently like the ocean does to these ancient hedges, and I had decided it was better to seclude myself like some stupid architect had done to El Cristo in that chapel.
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Leading Ladies Anthology [FEATURED STORY]Random
Read, enjoy, laugh, cry and be inspired by the stories, poems and essays about empowered women who will show you what it means to be your own leading lady. Each chapter in this Anthology features the writing of one member of the LOL35 chat group, o...