My name is Marcos. I have always wanted to be Cristóbal.
I don’t mean I want to be called Cristóbal. He is my friend; I was going to say my best friend, but I have to confess he is the only one.
Gabriela is my wife. She loves me a lot and sleeps with Cristóbal.
He is intelligent, self-assured, an agile dancer. He also rides. Is proficient at Latin grammar. Cooks for women. Then eats them for lunch. I would say that Gabriela is his favorite dish.
Some uninformed person might think my wife is betraying me: nothing could be further from the truth. I have always wanted to be Cristóbal, but I do not simply stand there watching. I practice not being Marcos. I take dancing lessons and pore over my student textbooks. I am well aware my wife adores me. So much so that the poor thing sleeps with him, with the man I wish to be. Nestling against Cristóbal’s muscular chest, my Gabriela is anxiously awaiting me, arms open wide.
Such patience on her behalf thrills me. I only hope my efforts meet her expectations, and that one day soon our moment will come. That moment of unswerving love that she has been preparing so diligently, cheating on Cristóbal, getting accustomed to his body, his character and his tastes, so that she will be as comfortable and happy as can be when I am like him and we leave him all alone.
This is an excerpt from The Things We Don’t Do by Andrés Neuman (translated by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia), forthcoming from Open Letter Books in September 2015.
Posted: July 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm