Archive for February, 2012


The stage was set; it included curtains, various props, people in the background, incense, flowers and her. I was of course the adoring audience, blending in, so to speak, somewhat awkwardly waiting for my cue. In she walks on the first act, her smile illuminating the stage, her deep eyes absorbing the room, and with it my own breathing becomes intense, my heart beating faster as if under some mystical spell.

Her beauty is overwhelming; the most seductive skin colours I have ever seen. Her parents had immigrated to Canada many years ago, following the collapse of some colonial empire and the painful drawing of new geographical boundaries & bloodlines. There has to be something deeply registered in her genes to explain such magnificent creature, I reckoned. Then, she saw me, and I trembled! Aphrodite right before my eyes! I was completed unprepared to surrender; yet, it became increasingly difficult not to do so – there’s something about her that’s holding an alluring promise – surely, it must be self-delusion!

Through my poor lenses I try to picture her under a different light; I imagine her tapestry childhood; spicy meals in communal settings; the sounds of languages I don’t understand, but entrap me with shadows, movements, dances & hand puppets. She spoke of her exposure to ancient rituals, creation stories, folklore, warriors and the hours between night & day. I felt romanced, sat in some sort of smoky jazzy place, Coltrane in the room – then she said “I am not available”

I wish I had my drum now, I thought to myself, that would be a better way to time her tempo; in-tune with the rhythms of her tongue. But, no drum was handy, and the echo of her lines bounced deeply on my body, wearily. Dam it! I said quietly, just when I thought removing the armour was what I needed to do. I saw smoke signals in the distance – unclear what they meant; you are way too late and sadly out of your mind

She got closer; intensively looking at me. I stared back. We touched for a fleeting moment; then she felt back on her default position; some healthy cynicism, a touch of irony, a mention of Venus, and the Northern Lights, boundaries and a metaphysical table that was not really there. Forgive me, I said softly, I come from a land of Neruda, you know;  romance, heart and deep touch, it’s in my genes, can’t help it.

I am also older, mid 50’s; a little cranky at times, move a tad slower, open minded, seeking out a third act, trying to open a new chapter to be read as a duet – on the other hand, perhaps I am indeed too old for such infatuation, obsolete; and the love train left the station a few seasons ago. Non-sense, she said; it’s just I have baggage and unfinished business of my own. I think you’re incredibly sexy. Oh, I thought, this is her act of goodwill to the perennial seeker, or a twisted sense of humour I am just starting to appreciate in her demeanour.

I smiled; she smiled back with a hint of seduction in her marvellous eyes; just like that, I forgot the next line in my repertoire.  My heart was pounding; I can barely resist this creature of paradise; kept thinking, watch out! Falling in love now could be much, much painful than previous journeys – I must find the next exit! Is she a mischievous diva on her evening duties, or a courtesan teaser, a consummate master of self-adoration?

Is she actually real, or just an apparition? Her beauty is inviting; her body, valleys I would very much like to travel, her taste, savour … Should I invite her out for a walk? Dinner? A play? Or engage her in a conversation about the art of being present; the history of her tribe.

Fear strikes – fear to be nothing but a “filler” to manage time – a mere distraction, the occasional entertainment with no strings attached. Fear of being dumped in the “failed relationship disposable bin.” It’s getting late, I told myself; forget divas and pretentions; watch the clock, exorcize her now!

Time to listen to the great masters, pull yourself together! Perhaps what I fear the most is my own shortcomings; the choreography keeps changing, I see an exit door near the stage – my survival instincts kicking in, adrenaline rushing through.

Alter-ego playing games; the fall is imminent, so is the big crash … “I am not available” – I see no parachute handy, feel like a clown in Dante’s inferno; someone is cheering in the gallery, “jump, jump” (!!!) no rehearsal time. The safety net is gone.

Mon Dieu! These are troubles of my own making; it’s a nightmare now, death just around the corner, heartbreaking, delirium. Run old man! Run!! I am exhausted already; times alone seems to be his destiny.


© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)