Messi

She opened the door for me and I kissed her on the cheek. She smiled from ear to ear like she was something out of a sitcom, and let out a volley of fake comments before leading me in to the kitchen. I nodded and I smiled and I sat when I was told to; praying to God, Buddha, Allah or whoever the fuck’s shift it was to make my friend come down early and get me away from this woman. But it wasn’t gonna happen, because Goncho was a princess – and in any case this she-devil would have scared the hell out of any of them.

She walked towards a half-opened door to my right, and put her hands on the wood and the wall and her head in between.

“GONZALO!” she exclaimed. “VINCENT IS HERE!”

She turned around to smile at me.

“He’ll come down any second now.”

“Sure,” I said.

She leaned against the kitchen counter while the maid washed the dishes. “So, Vincent – how long are you staying in Buenos Aires?”

“Just a few weeks.”

“And how are your parents?”

“Great, very well.”

She smiled to herself. “I heard your mother opened a yoga center,” she said. “In this beautiful area downtown.”

I nodded. “That’s right.”

“Is she happy?”

“Very much so.”

“That’s nice,” she said, and I nodded.

If there’s anything in this world I hate more than vaginal farts, it’s being forced to make conversation with Goncho’s mother; but the sheer, unhinged loathing I have for these two things pales in comparison to that which I have for her guts. Am I making myself clear? I don’t know if I’m making myself clear. Here’s a list:

 

I hate:

1) Goncho’s mother’s guts.

2) Talking to Goncho’s mother.

3) Vaginal farts.

4) Phil Collins.

            It’s not just that she’s a gossipy, racist, clonazepam-addicted bitch – it’s that her sole ambition rests in being the leader of such women. And in that sense, man – she’s at the top of the god-damn pyramid. She’s always wearing the right thing, saying the right thing, and drinking the right thing. She supports the coolest charities and is the most flexible at yoga. I’m actually surprised she doesn’t have a daughter called Mumbuktu. Maybe it’s because she’s that good she knows exotic adopted children are like tatoos – eventually you wish you hadn’t gotten one in the first place. In a way, you know, I honestly kind of admire her; for she’s like, truly exceptional at doing what she likes the most. People even think she’s nice, for Christ’s sake. She’s like Gandhi – but rich.

Anyway; I, for one, don’t have a myriad of nice things to say about her. I think she’s a bi-polar sycophant with a heart of wasabi. And I bet Goncho marries a girl that’s just like her.

“You’ve lost some weight, haven’t you?” she continued.

I smiled. “Yeah, yeah – I quit meat.”

She approved with a few nods. “Good for you!”

“… Thanks.”

I stood up the second I heard something coming down the stairs. Goncho ambled gently into the kitchen, his blonde hair wet and a jacket over his shoulder.

“Shall we?” I said.

 

 

Daft Punk’s first record was playing on the stereo. I rocked my head to the beat as I drove on, up and down and up like a dumb baby. Well – any baby, really. I don’t like children very much. I think they’re stupid. I mean I don’t make them feel bad for being stupid, but they just can’t keep up with conversations. It’s frustrating. I don’t know how the fuck I’m ever going to raise a kid. I need to marry one of those motherly girls with big tits who’ve been dreaming about having kids ever since they were three and shit.

“Who are the girls?” he asked.

I shrugged. “Some Chileans.”

“Chileans?”

I nodded.

“Who’s house is it?”

“Some friend of the Chileans.”

“Who got them?”

“Fifth,” I said.

He chuckled. “For a change,” he said. “How’s everything in LA?”

“Great, it’s a great city.”

“You go out there often?”

I shrugged. “Sometimes,” I said. “I can’t drink and drive or they’ll kick me the fuck out, so I don’t go out as much.”

He smiled. “What’s this I hear about you becoming a vegetarian?”

I laughed. “It’s healthy.”

“It’s fucking gay is what it is.”

I got off the freeway and into an avenue, which led right into the heart of the city. I looked at the people and the cabs and the parks, recalling situations, stories and old thoughts. Often in the walls there was the president’s name; painted industriously with sky blue and white, the beautiful colors of the Argentine flag. It reminded me of this street artist I’d met recently in New York – a French guy who’d travelled all around the world, and had told me that Argentina was the only country he’d been to where leaders used graffiti for their political campaigns. I remembered that then, and I told Goncho about it.

He nodded.

“That’s interesting.”

“It’s pathetic,” I said. “A country of idiots.”

He didn’t add anything.

Maybe I should tell you more about my city. I’ll do one better – I’ll show you something I scribbled when I still lived there:

           I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina – the kind of place where cars stick behind ambulances so they can skip through traffic. It’s funny foreigners consider it a metropolis of art and culture, whether they’re rich-ass snobs or cliché-hunted hipsters. “The Paris of South America,” some people have called it. They don’t know how right they are, actually – for Buenos Aires does have something in common with the illustrous capital of France: everything is beautiful but the people in it.

Yeah, that’s that. I used to love putting my city down – my country as a whole. It all seemed very funny to me. I can’t say it does now, though. Not that much.

 

 

The previa as we called it was gaining momentum. Previa, or preboliche; there are a bunch of ways of calling it – but it’s basically getting together and getting fucked up before going out. You need music, friends, predisposition and alcohol.

I was sitting on one corner of a large wooden table, right next to this girl who was telling me something about her art book business. Casper was next to her, making these faces, every time the girl said something he could mock; which was, it seemed, very often indeed. Most of my friends were already there, walking around and getting drunk for the music (not to be mistaken with to the music); which sounded like the love child of Enrique Iglesias and shit.

“So how do you turn a profit?”

“There’s a secret,” she said.

I nodded, patiently, but she just looked at me. “Which is?” I finally questioned.

She did this very stupid smirk. “I can’t tell you that.”

I nodded.

I looked at Casper plainly, and let him do the face, which translated to something like: ‘What a fucking idiot!’. I agreed, of course, but mantained my stone-cold seriousness – for she was still looking at me with that very stupid smirk of hers.

“So, let me get this straight,” I said. “You buy the books on Amazon, and you sell them at the same price?”

“Yes – but there’s a secret.”

I nodded. I bet the secret was she bought the books with her daddy’s credit card. Then I looked at her face and got this feeling like I was looking at a fish. I half-expected her pupils to lazily drift away and begin bouncing against the borders of her white, wide eyes – I don’t know how to explain it – there was just nothing keeping them together, nothing behind those eyes. It felt like staring into the eyes of a tuna; if the tuna had just overdosed on mercury and shit.

“Do you want to buy one?” she asked.

“Hmm?”

“Do you want to buy a book?”

I smiled. “Eh – no, not really.”

“Why?”

“Well – I live in the United States, you know?”

She shrugged. “So?”

I nodded. “So you want me to buy an imported art book here, and then put it on my bag and take it back to the United States?”

She just looked at me.

I laughed.

She began to get all mad and shit, and she gave me this ugly look – as if were insensitive or some kind of an asshole. And I mean I am, I think, most of the times I am – but I usually keep it hidden and I thought I was doing a good job.

“Fine,” she said, and stood up and left the table.

I chatted with Casper and downed two more drinks. The Chileans were still talking with their high-pitched voices, and Fifth was still trying to prove me wrong – I’d told him that Chilean girls never gave it up; and I mean a Chilean friend had told me that, so I knew I was right.

Then Tommy, another friend, stumbled right beside me. He stroked the edges of a glass with his numb, stupid digits; and tried to look at me as he mumbled an enigmatic phrase.

I squinted. “Eh?”

“Where’s the coke?” he repeated.

I served him some. I’d been hiding it under the table. Girls were drinking it by itself and I needed it for my cocktail.

“I need to vomit,” he said.

I laughed – it’d been less than an hour. He didn’t realize I thought it was funny though, and so I thought maybe he wasn’t kidding.

“Wait – really?”

“I need to vomit.”

“Like – right now?”

He started looking at the floor the same way you look over a balcony and suddenly feel like jumping.

“Ok, ok – give me a second,” I added.

I stood up and walked towards the nearest girls.

“Sorry – where’s the bathroom?” I asked.

This blonde girl pointed at a door. “There’s someone inside.”

I nodded.

I turned around to find my friend but he was already gone. He was in fact on the balcony, vomiting at the street – but I only found out about it later when we left the building for the club.

 

 

“I can’t fucking believe this,” complained the Bull. We were standing in line, waiting to get in. “Even girls from fucking Chile know more bouncers than us.”

“We’ll get in,” I said.

Fifth and Goncho were behind us, holding on to Tommy; demanding that he make an effort to not look wasted for a few minutes. He assured them with clumsy, senescent nods. I wasn’t worried. The club was past it’s heyday, they had to let us in – they just wanted to keep a line to make people think it was packed. But they couldn’t trick me – it was probably emptier than a first lady’s vagina.

Eventually we got in but I was mistaken – it was filled with both men and women of all ages, including a few archetypes that brought an insolent smile to my face: the perennial 16-year old female who plays the free spirit, the 41-year old friend-of-the-owner who ends up having sex with her; the thirtysomething with bags under his eyes who still thinks it’s 98′; and my favorite – the 27-year old heir who buys all the girls champagne. Of course the world is unjust, and they all got laid more than I did.

I walked up to the bar and ordered a rum and coke, two once the Bull cried out that he wanted one. We leaned against the bar until the drinks arrived, and then we decided to lean some more.

“It’s packed,” he said, moving to the music – although slightly. I mean I don’t want you to think he’s that asshole in night clubs who always moves to the music. I mean he does, a little bit – but just the tiniest bit.

“What is this?” I asked.

“What?”

“The music.”

“Gaga,” he said.

I shook my head, tragically.

“You don’t like Lady Gaga?” he asked.

“No.”

“Why?”

“I just don’t.”

“It’s catchy.”

“Cocaine is catchy,” I said. “It doesn’t mean it’s good for you.”

He laughed out loud.

I laughed too. I grabbed my blackberry and wrote the phrase down. I knew I’d use it sometime.

We finished our drinks and I walked up to the dance floor, looking for my friends or something else of interest. The girl with the fish-eyes wanted to make out, but it was too early in the night to bind myself to her. I walked up to Fifth to see how he was doing. He admitted that Chileans didn’t give it up, but he said it was only a partial victory – that he was going to try again in just a few minutes. I repeated that Chileans don’t give it up.

I walked around, and around, and around, and some more; ordering drinks and chatting to people here and there. But the whole thing I didn’t really find amusing – I didn’t know what I was doing there, why the hell I wasn’t home – and I looked at people’s faces and they didn’t know either. If only it would had been simply out of hedonism, but it was something much darker – and confusing; and sad. They all looked lost, past the point of no return – in a different plain where smiling was key, even if that which brought the smiles was evil and perverted. A pact with the devil, it seemed. Or a dog barking at a parked car.

I left the nightclub with Lucas Kravorski by my side. It was time for our bondiola. That’s Spanish for pork meat sandwich, what precise meat, I don’t know – and I didn’t want to know, really, and you’d understand if you’d seen the bondiola stand. The point is it was tasty, more than anything in the world – it was something like Lady Gaga or cocaine or both.

We ordered and I walked towards the edge of the river, while Kravorski filled his sandwich with chili and mayonnaise. The costanera, where the nightclub was, was something like a riviera – except the goverment had decided to build an airport along the coastline. All that remained were a few lonely lots, which had been seized by all the club owners in the wonderful eighties.

I looked at the placid, waveless river plate; partially illuminated by the yellow, crescent moon.

To be from Argentina, to love Argentina – it’s something like having a retarded brother. A family member you will always love, but you will never fully understand – and it’s hard, you know? Watching him every day, with terminal difficulties to accomplish the simplest tasks; a general incapability that is heart-braking when you’re close, but is also down-right hilarious when seen from afar. Sometimes, it makes you sad, and you give in to pessimism. Others it’s just too much, and you shout – “FUCK IT” and you’re free. But most of the times, when it isn’t either, what it is is infuriating – and you curse the heavens or the ground or the nothingness or whatever the hell you believe in or don’t – but really. What’s the point? Why? In the end, he’s still retarded.


About this entry