Sunday morning. For the first time, I see the obvious in its nomenclature: the Sun made a theatrical entrance in my Day, beaming a torch of white celestial light in my living room. The fire burning in the fireplace moves to my core, or perhaps it’s been there all along, the pilot light, the vital force of all that there was and all that there will be. My chimney needs fuel. Ravel’s Boléro descends to my calling. Play. Now. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue I must. Frida Khalo’s diary is a given: “Nada más vale que la risa. Es fuerza reír y abandonarse. Ser ligero” (“Nothing is better than laughter. It is strength to laugh and abandon oneself. Be light.”), says the woman with the most magnificent furnace since the Inquisition burned all of us witches. It feels criminal to dive into those pages filled with intimacy, bursts of ire and love, blazes of heaven and hell. Forgive me, muse, for my transgressions, but I too burn with desires, my inner exposé landing in cyclical patterns, like comets. Lukewarm doesn’t suit me. Heat is the color of my wanting, like yours if I may. The danger of being unapologetic still lurks. There is risk in defiance. I want to be more like you: inexhaustible, exonerated from the ordinary, unrepentant for simply being, complete in all of my broken parts, my truth undefiled. “La tragedia es lo más ridículo que tiene el hombre” (“Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing that man has”), you say. In the meantime, I will evoke laughter, for it keeps the flame flamboyant, for it ignites creation in vital shades of red, orange and yellow, for refining oneself by fire is the preferred method for large quantities of gold.
In that apocalyptic spring of 2020 when the world stopped on its axes and humankind moved indoors, when hoards of humans caught themselves diving and drowning into the depths of their fears and souls, Delia realized that her marriage had been pulverized from the outside in and the inside out. It was the end of romance, the end of lust, the end of tiny gestures that could keep alive the flame that brought them together. Somewhere between raising child number two, the money that never came, her morning breath and his overconsumption of television, their story was the clone of all other marriages that flatten into a dumpster of colorless tediousness. Now it was only the two of them and their silence, if not for the occasional sound of someone spraying disinfectant in the boxes that came in the mail. She didn’t even have the strength to create an escapist illusion. “Live in the present,” she kept hearing from her colleagues over Zoom. So she did. Her present was now a pan of bori