Archive for January, 2015


Openings – The evening Palomino Molinari learned about his fate was calm; fresh snow had just landed on his front porch and the bitter memories of an unhappy anniversary were gradually fading away. The neighbourhood was thankfully subdued; even the constant noise from the near highway was muffled and looking at the valley below induced the sights and flavours of hot chocolate and cookies. He had good schooling; certainly by any measure an excellent job and a privileged position within the community. He was pleased with that; how could he not? Escaping the misery of early years, was indeed a blessing.

Character Matters – Only 10 years earlier he was nothing but a struggling contractor barely getting by; his construction company invisible. Few among his peers gave him the slightest chance of success – in fact, they said – you’ll be declaring bankruptcy in no time … That was then. Yet, he persisted, got a terrific team together and a chance to demonstrate what he could do; and that, he did, while in the process meeting various shades of humanity and a tall woman – Sofia Montessori – that irreversibly changed his life of loneliness.

Focus & Anchor – At 48 Molinari was in good shape; well-built and active, if not sporty, one could say the fellow was sharp and attractive. So was Sofia Montessori; they made a good couple, and plans for a long life together unfolded without much fanfare. She was a professional in her own right, financially independent; and 15 years older. There were not impediments or conflictual boundaries to overcome in their union; both single, unattached and with a burning desire to reach new plateaus – what could possibly go wrong?

Reviews – After the weeding; the honeymoon and other expected accoutrements, their life settled into a sceptic and remarkably bland series of couches, beds, furniture of all kinds and a ceiling that for Palomino Molinari was getting awfully close to his skin. The first inkling that something wasn’t working came in the form of a letter from a law firm of some repute; it was basically a notice of filing for divorce. A few days later, a lengthy conversation ensued and Molinari understood that his tall wife wanted out, irremediably. The divorce was quick; uncontested and, generally speaking, cordial. Bonus; there were not children in this union.

Wonderland – It started to snow again; it has been 3 years since Sofia Montessori was no longer in his life. Now, it wasn’t the ceiling bothering him but rather the walls which seemed to get closer and closer with the passing of time. How odd, he thought, most houses are of similar sizes in suburbia and there was nothing derelict on his. He was a reasonably happy man; but, his health had been deteriorating in the past year or so – friends had suggested a wellness-vacation somewhere in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, Molinari was obsessed with work and producing; money was not his driving force, rather seeing his buildings standing proudly was.

Beyond Miasma – Then, the call from his family doctor changed everything; Palomino, I have bad news (…) we need to talk. Humans have a way of absorbing disturbing news, especially when his about their own mortality and Palomino was no different. The house was clean; no unpleasant odors emanating from anywhere and the pictures on the walls still shining. Gravity pulled him deeper into the big leather couch, just recently acquired – he could never resist a good sale.

“Pull-yourself-together” he told himself; you’re not dead yet – decades of travails passed through his field of vision – a warm comforting reminder of a life well-lived, give or take. Something moved in the room; an uneasy feeling of doom washed over. Outside, the snow was blanketing further the streets of his wintery city; the trees felt the brunt of it.

Closing Time – The evening Palomino Molinari learned his fate was calm; fresh snow had just landed on his front porch and the bitter memories of an unhappy anniversary were gradually fading. Maybe, he thought, that original Caribbean vacation and its offerings of cascades of joy was called for now. Indeed, sunshine; a good drink in hand; perhaps the last carnival of dance/passion with a tall woman on the friendly boardwalk. Then he heard the voice of a dear and long deceased friend whispering; you’re too young to go, so, anything to keep the ultimate freeze at bay for a little longer is worth doing.

PS. I recently got a lovely postcard from Palomino; he’s still breathing. Notwithstanding his declining health, he has managed to have some fun in San Juan del Sur, a quaint fishing community on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. He signed the card “Forces of Chaos Vade-Retro” – I always liked his dry, yet, biting sense of humour; a good Catholic boy no doubts. I shall visit him before his time is up.

© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Music: San Juan Sin Ti, Luis Enrique

© 1989