I do not understand it yet.At the house of Juan Damario, we all agreed with the surrealistic conception that his wifeLucrecia, an exquisite painter, attributed to his canvas. Ever since a very long time she had decantedfor the anarchic Dada, and now she was feeling, as she expressed it herself, an infinite adoration forDalí. Even Juan Damario, dominated by that characterized reverence, had bought a dalian painting –which I always considered, even though my knowledge about the canvas is limited, as a bad copy–that he disposed to hang in the room, together with other works of his wife. To Juan Damario, whowas not a painter but a clerk converted into a bourgeois, and lately into an art critic, the exhibition of the paint appeared magnificent, and he even revealed, presumptuous, that the piece had cost himendless mishaps and gastric tribulations, which, thanks to his singular sagacity, he had been able toobtain at a bargain price. With that work on exhibition, the endless evenings were not to be belated.And precisely during those tedious reunions, Juan Damario’s incipient genius –who boasted of possessing a severely critical narrow viewpoint, within which Warhol and Borges,
those anarchistsof the plastic art,
occupied the top of the pyramid–, exhibited his startling magic for vanishingpeople. And as expected, my moods also succumbed to such enchantment; since then, I began,progressively, to postpone my visits to the house. In the last reunions, in clear deference, but inreality a pretext for my definitive distancing, I extolled that virtuous paint:“Only the extravagances of Dalí and of his oniric cosmogony are capable to reach suchspirits fits!” I burst out with a pretended applause, contenting my impatience on the painting’splasticity. I suggested, ably, a prompt appetizer.Half an hour later, after some drinks, I left him with a “see you soon”.Without estimating it, my absence lasted seven long months, prolonged by the delightfulattentions of other camaraderie; in an act of unconscious villainy, I hardly phoned a couple of timesand never visited him.But a wintry October night, after attending fascinated the triumphal representation of the“The Assassination of Jesus”, by “La Fragua Theatre”, I bumped into Juan Damario. I spotted himin the distance, somber amongst the crowd. Mortified by the review of my own deliberatedistancing, I decided to greet him, timidly. By an impulse of boldness, I dragged my feet to hisencounter. I machinated then a trope of extraordinary excuses. But the crowd continued denying mehis presence, frustrating me, and Juan Damario drifted away, he departed. However, there was asomething –perhaps taciturn– change in his disposition, permanently circumspect. Furthermore, heseemed a querulous being, bewildered, self-gone, but at the same time he maintained in thatcontinuance a kind of suspicion, in between doubt and sorrow. This unexpected situation took me tothe conjecture hall. I deduced, certainly, that my absence had not been the cause of that condition,no. Same impression that induced me to ascertain what happened to the friend.Two days later, I decided to visit Fidelia, a mutual friend, so that she interceded for me atDamario’s home. I pleaded her to do it casually, within some timely commentary. We agreed that Iwould visit her later to know details about her embassy.“You should go to see him”, Fidelia said foggily. “He’s sick, very sick. It seems thatLucrecia abandoned him”.