The Story of You

Posted: December 21, 2013 in relato

Foto: Ernesto G.

Not sure why I’m here today. Not sure why I decided to pick up the phone when you called. I was having one of those days. You know what I’m talking about. You have seen them, lived them with me. You were different then. You cared. Now you do, but it doesn’t feel the same way. It seemed authentic back then. Now it feels as if you care because you want me back. It’s an exchange. It wasn’t that way before. It felt natural. Like you were meant to care for me, and I was meant to care for you. Nothing was an imposition. Nothing was arranged or planned. It happened when it had to happen and that was it. I´m not sure when it stopped being that way. Not sure when we started planning things. Not sure when it became a chore.

When I sometimes say I’m thinking about you, what I mean is I’m thinking about the person you were when we were together. That person is gone and so is everything else. That’s why I never call you or want to see you. You are a sad reminder of who you were. I cannot simply deal with that. It’s as if I was talking to a wax museum piece. The resemblance is there, but that’s all there is.

I ordered a glass of wine for you. I will have some iced tea. Yes, I quit drinking. Liver problems. Funny name for an organ. The liver can kill you. Not really the liver, but what we do to it. I have new friends now. They don’t drink. I know you are still hanging out with the same people. Is that new guy treating you right? He looks like a good man. You have to take care of him. I know. None of my business. But you know I can’t help it. You were good to me. You took care of me. I was a pig. I left you when you needed me the most. I know. But shit happens. I´m shit. And I happened. Yes, that´s the same wine I ordered the day we met. Of course, I remembered. How could I forget? But that´s all in the past. It should stay there. That’s where it´s safe. It’s like my liver. It´s safe when I keep it away from alcohol.

I’m still taking pictures. The best hobby I ever picked up. It keeps me away from other temptations. It’s true. Don’t laugh. When I take pictures, I stay relatively distant from everything. That´s how I like it nowadays. I observe, take the picture, and disappear. I take something with me but do not have to give anything away. No, I do not photograph people. I do not want to bring their emotions home. I photograph buildings, old houses, trees… Those are safe. Right now I wouldn’t want to take a picture of you. You look sad, distant. I wouldn’t want anyone to take a picture of me now, either. I can´t see myself, but I know what my face is showing right now. I don´t want to be here. Neither do you. Who are you? Who am I? What keeps us together is the past. Who we were when we were together. I saw the building where you used to work the other day. It reminded me of someone you are not anymore. Please finish your drink. I want to go home.


  1. Teresa Rojas says:

    The story rings true. Its “sparkling” good, may be a little bit sad and cruel. It left me with the impression that you is no other than you. Anyways, no me hagas caso, I am very bad translating thoughts.

    • Sometimes truth can be very cruel. 🙂

      • Juan Cueto says:

        Gracias. Muy buena y real tu Story of You. Me hizo recordar un párrafo de la reseña que escribí hace tiempo al poemario Corazón sin furia, de Raúl Rivero. El poema de Raúl, la cita de Wilde y mi comentario creo que coinciden con la idea de tu texto

        Un abrazo,


        En una estrofa de Teatro, con una admirable economía de palabras, el poeta describe la ilusión que transforma a los enamorados en fantasmas ideales que el mismo amor crea y moldea. Versos que me recuerdan lo que escribió Oscar Wilde en De Profundis: «¿En verdad crees que eres digno del amor que entonces te demostré? ¿…o que, por un minuto al menos, pensé que lo eras? Sabía que no. Pero…el objeto del amor es amar: ni más ni menos». Rivero lo expresa así: Yo quise a una mujer / que Ud. no era / y Ud. a un personaje que bordé / para que me quisieran. / Hemos querido a unos fantasmas.

      • ¡Qué gran coincidencia! Y qué bello el verso de Rivero, alguien a quien leí mucho en mi juventud y debiera releer. ¡Gracias!

  2. dovalpage says:

    There are always moments when we don’t want pics taken, hehehe..
    Sparkling good es una buena descripci[on de tu historia, coincido con mi tocaya.
    Feliz Navidad!

  3. dovalpage says:

    Juan, ¡gracias por recordar uno de los mejores versos de la lengua española!!

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