Autor:    Enrique Arroyo Villegas

Enrique Arroyo Villegas



When the American lady appeared at a vernissage of the Pelaires Gallery, she did so dressed in a Bogart style trench coat and dark glasses, and everyone knew that she was Manolo Momo´s lover, because Palma is very small and everything is known.


She barely spoke Spanish, only the one she had learned in Ibiza, and she used to confuse “manzanas” —a term used in Spain to identify American city blocks— with pears or any other fruit.


In the exhibitions of Tàpies or Calder there was always someone who approached her to talk; those acquaintances, connoisseurs of art, who learned four names from the international art world. She was looking at them, apparently, following a conversation that she did not understand through her black glasses, and at the end, when a supposed question appeared in the rhetoric, she exclaimed aloud: "C´est la vie", like the one that corroborates a whole Boudelier or Nietche phraseology, whom, by the way, she loved.


It was the golden age of the city, a short period full of Hollywood people, old school millionaires, and more or less funny people; that as happened to post-hippy Ibiza, it died of success.


The concrete advanced, as did the termites; the new rich killed ancient olive trees and ancient pines to plant palm trees, and the poorest, those from the rebellion of the Ortega y Gasset masses, stormed the city as emigrants on the US border, in search of a better life, bringing with them the ignorance and stupidity of that deep Spain acclimatized to the dictatorship of a pathetic military man with wrong ideas.


And in a small space, such as the city of Palma, the new ones invaded places, previously destined for a glamorous elite.


Who was interested in Lorca or Alberti, not to mention Goytisolo or Gil de Biedma.


That was the Spain that the winner of the battles left us by inheritance, the man who ended a Republic and left us an obsolete monarchy of sinister Bourbons.


The American lady fled Palma, to settle in a cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, and learned lunfardo, and read Borges, while walking through the missionary jungle.

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