Rayuela, excerpt from chapter 93.

A translation:

But love, that word… Horacio the moralist, fearful of passions without some deep-seated rationale, out of place and disagreeable in the city where love is called by all the names of all the streets, of all the houses, of all the floors, of all the rooms, of all the beds, of all the dreams, of all the memories or all the forgetting. My love, I don’t love you for you or for me or for both of us together, I don’t love you because my blood calls me to love you, I love you because you are not mine, because you’re from the other side, over where you invite me to jump and I can’t make the leap, because in the deepest place of possession you aren’t in me, I can’t reach you, I don’t get beyond your body, your laugh, there are hours where I am tormented that you love me (how you like to use the verb to love, so trite as you let it slip over the dishes and the sheets and the buses), I’m tormented by your love that doesn’t work as a bridge because a bridge doesn’t hold itself up on just one side, neither Wright nor Le Corbusier are ever going to build a bridge balancing on just one side, and don’t look at me with those bird’s eyes, for you the operation of love is so easy, you’ll be cured before me even though you love me like I don’t love you. Of course you’ll be cured, because you live healthy, after me it will be any other, that can change like a bra. So sad hearing the cynic Horacio who wants a love passport, a love ski mask, love key, love revolver, love that gives him the thousand eyes of Argos, the ubiquity, the silence from which music is possible, the root from which one could start to stitch a language. And it’s stupid because all of this sleeps in you a little, just dip you in a glass of water like a Japanese flower and little by little, colored petals would start to sprout, the little twisted forms would start to swell, the beauty would grow. Giver of infinity, I don’t know how to take it, forgive me. You are handing me an apple and I have left my teeth on the bedside table. Stop, that’s enough. I can be crude too, cover yourself. But watch yourself, it’s not unjustified.

Why ‘stop’? Out of fear of starting the fabrications, they come so easily. You take an idea from over there, a feeling from the other shelf, you tie them together with the help of words, black dogs, and it turns out that I love you. Partial truth: I want you. General truth: I love you. That’s how many friends of mine live, not to mention an uncle and two cousins, convinced of the love-that-they-feel-for-their-wives. From the word to the act, right; in general without talk there is no action. What many people call love consists in picking a woman and marrying her. They pick one, I swear, I have seen them. As if you could choose in love, as if it weren’t a lightning bolt that shatters your bones and leaves you tied up in the middle of the patio. You’ll say that they pick her because-they-love-her, I think it’s the reverse. Beatriz was not picked, Juliet wasn’t picked. You don’t pick the rain that soaks you to the bone when you leave a concert. But I am alone in my room, I fall back on tricks of writing, the black dogs come as they can, they nip at me from below the table. Do you say below or beneath? Anyhow they nip at me. Why, why, porquoi, por qué, warum, perchè this horror at black pearls. Look at them there in the poem by Nashe, transformed into bees. And there, in two verses of Octavio Paz, thighs of the sun, enclosures of summer. But the same woman’s body contains both María and the Madame de Brinvilliers, the eyes that blur seeing a beautful sunset are the same lens that sees the writhing of a hanged man. I’m scared of this trafficing, of wine and of voices, a sea of tongues licking the ass of the world. There’s milk and honey under your tongue… yes, but it’s also said that dead flies make the perfumist’s perfume reek. At war with words, at war, everything necessary even to the point of giving up intelligence, ending up just ordering french fries and Reuters telegrams, in my noble brother’s letters and movie lines. Strange, very strange that Puttenham would feel the words as if they were objects, and even living creatures. I also feel, sometimes, like I’m creating rivers of fierce ants that will devour the world. Ah, but if in silence the Roc is born…

Logos, faute éclatante. To imagine a race that expresses itself through drawing, dance, macramé or abstract mime. Could you avoid connotations, the root of trickery? Honneur des hommes, etc. Yes, but an honor that dishonors every phrase, like a brothel of virgins if that were possible.

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