Now, with so much time already passing, I ask myself in the same incredulous manner, how is it someone like me could have allowed in his house an unknown woman on a stormy night?
I hesitated in opening it. For a long time, I debated with myself whether to close the book I was reading or to keep sitting in my armchair, in front of the illuminated fireplace, with the attitude that nothing ever happened. At the end, her insistence defeated me. I opened the door. I analyzed her. And I let her enter.
The climate, certainly, had worsened a lot and very quickly in those days. Suddenly, without warning, the autumn moved along the coast as if the coast were its own home. There were its long and bare morning lights, its mild winds, the skies overcast with sunset. And later, the winter arrived. And the rains of winter. One becomes accustomed to everything, certainly, but the rains of winter- gray, never-ending, tedious- they are a sandwich difficult to digest. They are the type of things that inevitably bring one to huddle inside the house, in front of the fireplace, full of boredom. Perhaps because of this, I opened the door to my home: the tedium.
However, I would be cheating myself, and I would be trying to cheat you all, without a doubt, if I only mention the weary storm, so long, that accompanied her apparition. I remember, above all, her eyes. Stars suspended inside a devastating catlike expression. Her eyes were enormous, so vast that, as if she were made of mirrors, attained an effect of expanding on the inside. I quickly had the opportunity to confirm this first intuition: the rooms grew beneath her gaze; the hallways elongated; the closets became infinite from side to side; the narrow foyer, paradoxically reluctant to welcome, opened itself up completely. And that was, I want to believe, the second reason why I let her enter my home: the far-reaching power of her gaze.
If I were to stop now, I would still be lying. In reality, there, underneath the winter storm, surrounded by the empty space that her eyes created for me in this moment, what really captured my attention was the right bone of her pelvis that, due to the way she leaned on the doorframe and the weight of the water on her skirt of faded flowers, let me see beneath her hem-less t-shirt, tight-fitted around the elastic of her belt. I took a long time to remember the specific name of this part of the bone, but, without a doubt, the hunt began in this moment. I desired her. The men, I’m sure, will understand me without needing any more commentary. To the women, I say that this happened frequently and without a stable pattern. I also warn the women that this cannot be produced artificially: you all are as unarmed as we are when the hunt is carried out. I would dare myself to argue that, as a matter of fact, the hunt can only succeed if we are both unarmed, but in this case, like in many other matters, I could be wrong. I desired her, as I was saying. Immediately. There was the characteristic blow in my lower abdomen in case I dared to doubt my desire. There was, in addition and above all, imagination. I imagined her eating blackberries- the juicy lips and fingertips painted in cherries. I imagined her ascending the staircase slowly, barely turning her head to see her own elongated shadow. I imagined her watching the sea through the picture windows, as engrossed and alone as a flagpole. I imagined her leaning on her elbows on the right side of my bed. I imagined her words, her silences, her way of frowning her mouth, her smiles, her loud laughter. When I returned to realize that I found her in front of me, complete and damp, shivering from the cold, I already knew everything about her. And I suppose that this was the third reason why I opened the door to my home and, without taking my hand off the doorknob the whole time, invited her in.
“I am Amparo Dávila,” she mentioned with a fixed gaze, just as I had imagined minutes before, through the picture windows. She approached them without adding anything more. She lay her right hand between her forehead and the crystal, and when she finally could,