Este no es briefing. Ceci n’est pas un briefing! Translated by Javier Liendo.
I walked for a while feeling like a roasted chicken (calima and heat combined) when a dreadful wind wrapped around me; the smell of garbage and smog, calima and horns honking, and enough dust that I had to close my eyes and try to walk on without falling. I had done my hair. I had put makeup on, which is even stranger.
A light rain started to fall and I celebrated it as I did on Saturday, everything that mitigates calima deserves a cake with candles. A block later (the tropic, you know) the light rain turned into a storm. Without an umbrella, and having surrendered to the fact that I had lost all trace of my aesthetic efforts, I entered a cafe to wait for the storm to pass. I did it at the same time as a quartet of motorizados; who were moving as if they had just walked out of a salon. If their sensitivity to rear-view mirrors was a fourth of what it is towards rain, our streets would be very different.
I made an effort to keep my mouth shut as I surveyed the prices of a place I’d known without hyperinflation. Once I paid for the coffee, I found a table, took out my book, got cozy —outside the scenery was (and still is) like high tide—, felt thankful for my pocket book once again, and as I raised my eyes to receive my order, a couple kindly asked me if they could share the table. “Of course”, I said happily. She didn’t look talkative, and that was fine. As long as I’m left to read in peace, it could keep raining (because I couldn’t swim back home). And four more people sat at the table.
Thing is —and this is the only reason for me to tell you this story— the girl’s boyfriend could earn a living as an Elías Jaua impersonator.
I know the rest of the place has noticed. They’re not close enough to verify it; the lack of bodyguards is odd, but he looks just like the man. They mutter, they look again, they try to imagine the girlfriend’s role —and mine— and look at him again.
I’d never felt the combined and silent power of so many mentadas de madre in the same direction.
I had to stop reading my book and start writing this, as I remember I left the balcony door open and will have a lot to dry out, that Pepe (my dog) loves to drink from the puddles, that my mom is always right when she says that one should always have an umbrella, even when in Araya.
If this isn’t the prelude for the rainy season, it looks pretty much like it. Maná sounds in the background “no ha parado de lloveeer, oh, oh”. And I’m sitting on the table with Elías Jaua’s twin, coño.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.