Indio Gris



Today is November 8th, 2000, 24 hours have passed since I arrived in Buenos Aires and I found a real garbage treasure: Four huge folders full of letters addressed to my sister Norma from Madrid since August 23rd, 1976, a day after the beginning of my voluntary exile. I start my recollection with great enthusiasm.


Madrid, August 23rd, 1976: 

Dearest: I couldnít sleep and I couldnít sleep and I couldnít sleep. I got the phone number of a friend of the Swedish in Barcelona and I called him at twelve midnight. He greeted me as if he had always known me. I told him that I was going to Barcelona with Olga and the children on Friday and he answered that he would find accommodation for me for a few days, and that I had found him at home by chance because he was vacationing out of Barcelona, but he would wait for me because he is looking forward  to meet me.

Norma, I was dying, thanks God that I thought of phoning these people. Iíll never forgive the moving causing these five days that I had to spend alone. Iíll never forgive it.

Please, send me copies of Grupo Cero magazines, issues 0 and 1 and my books Yo Pecador (I, a sinner) and  PSICOLOGIA ANIMAL Y ARTE (Animal Psychology and Art).


Madrid, September 13th, 1976:

 I donít know what this is all about, I know that I still maintain my equilibrium. Jorge and Pepe arrived today in Spain. I know that we are more now, but I still donít know what for.

  Iím not  angry, Iím not sad. Iím attentive, split, waiting for the adequate moment. Today and the previous days my face is very beautiful.

I go out what is strictly necessary, I write almost all day, but day after day Iím receiving new phone calls at the hotel, day after day Iím knitting my small, incalculable net. As usual nobody understands anything of what Iím doing, but I do it well.

Iím living as if I were earning a lot of money and I donít know why but that will be good at the time of reconstruction. Living with dignity, money suffices me without working for five months, living badly perhaps it will last for a year. I choose five months living well and if that isnít the figure, some God will provide.

It costs me a lot to reach people. Everything is too slow here, the cultural climate of Madrid is provincial.


Madrid, September 14th, 1976: 

A whole day went by since yesterday. Everything  spins in this mad, corrupted city.

Yesterday I was a beggar, today Iím a king, always coming from nothingness. Is it understood?

My name sounds bad in Spain.


Still Madrid, September 14th, 1976:

 Between the 13th and the 15th there is a hand-written letter which Iím sending  you together with this one.

Everything is clarity when the one who fears is the other. And here, they fear me. Then I decided to rent an apartment with 3 bedrooms, a small living-room and a sort of terrace-balcony like the one in Viamonte street in Buenos Aires, a third  bedroom instead of a maid-chamber. It has two libraries, a sort of desk and a telephone. We will talk on the phone, how good! This will be my address for the next six months in Madrid, so is written in the contract signed today. I donít have the keys yet, it may be a swindle because I already paid.

Six months only, and however, I know that centuries will go by. Give our address to all the people you bump into, though I may not answer all the letters, I need to receive letters, itís the only thing I need.

From the bedroom window, which we still donít have but possibly  will have tomorrow, you can see all Madrid, it is as if the rest of the people lived in the plain  and one on a hill. Under my window the Seine doesnít flow  but the Manzanares does and the Manzanares really doesnít look like the Seine, but it does look like some of the ParanŠís affluents. And I always wanted to own a small house on the ParanŠ bank. And I know that a small house on the river bank is not an apartment on 16th floor but itís still something.

A hundred people dance an evil dance, perfect even in the sacrifice. They dance in the head of he who allows them to dance. Inattentive, not  knowing what to do, I  walk this fierce feast, this great circus through the continents. Iím a possessed person, I have an inner voice that says to me  all the time: write everything and I think that my best 20 years, that is to say my next 20 years will be dedicated to writing.

I am the ocean without a rudder, everybody is drifting over me.

I wish that this Spring the toast in your birthday will be for the future.


Madrid, September 14th, 1976

Nothing is possible in a world where everything is possible. Freedom will end up killing the human being. Having conquered, together with exile, idleness is like having conquered space. Like space, an absolutely useless idleness. Some day Iíll conquer some time but I imagine that that will be possible with some work.

Each day I become a little crazier but nobody will realise it, nobody. Following advice from my old friends, in a Christian country nobody can doubt of a Turk who prays. In the middle of exile I feel that changing religion is simpler than changing life.

The four walls of the hotel room, fall over me and nevertheless I feel like a king. Iím king of my soul, empty, serene, able to stand any sortilege. Spell of oblivion,  I am the one who gets sad when Summer parts.

I am a child dying of cold. I am a small fish at the verge of being engulfed by the waters. If they knew how small I am, they would crush me like a small cockroach, but it is also true that loving flowers does me good, each time I pass in front of flowers I drop a curtsy.

Madrid will sing, donít doubt it, under my feet of a mad dancer. Words like rocks, hard rocks, thrown with no piety against the enemyís vital cores. What a turn of a screw Iíll give to the world, darling, what a turn of a screw!

My name is feared here where our ancestors were everything. And if my name is feared, my name is desired and that is good for all of us. 

Darling, gambling twice to the same thing makes one a professional. Iím a professional of the soul and this, at last, is a truth.

As you may see, Iím quite crazy, enough to be able to bear this distance that separates me from my loved ones.

What kind of a jerk may have come up with this idea of my journey? And nobody answers me, I myself,  barely answeringÖ


Madrid, October 23rd, 1976: 

Darling, I do the best I can but I also realise that the best I can isnít yet enough and I dream of a peaceful life walking down the streets. I know that everything will come out well, but sometimes I canít bear to wait.


 Madrid, October 26th, 1976: 

Darling, Iím going to die from sorrow. I need some books with me.

Reality hasnít changed a bit, but I feel a little calmer, somewhat recovered.


Madrid, November 10th, 1976: 

Darling, I NEED MY BOOKS MORE THAN BREAD. Please send me some copy by air-mail. I donít know how to ask for my books.


Buenos Aires, November 16th, 2000:

 Today, in a couple of hours, I will go back to painting, it can be said that since a year and a half ago I draw small faces that with a certain movement seem to have a body. But during that time I didnít paint much. The canvasses are already travelling, I hope to have time to finish this issue before next Thursday.

To go back to painting makes me feel a sort of illusion. Each time I return it seems like the first time. So long, Iím going to paint, if any of my strong lovers appears Iíll tell her that because reading is the fashion, I paint. Sheíll think that Iím strange and wonít bother me.


Buenos Aires, November 21st, 2000: 

I have stained six canvasses and Iím already saying good bye to Buenos Aires, once again, the day has to come in which I donít have to say good bye nor arrive in any place because my country will be the world.


Madrid, June 2nd, 1997: 

Example of letter.


I make attempts in vain to normalise myself and each time it is easier to recover my lack of equilibrium.

Back from Buenos Aires, I was already in MŠlaga and now again in Madrid, I donít know the direction of the cardinal winds. I live as if I controlled the universe, my body, the stars, juicy businesses, but in reality life gives me everything and takes away everything, it is also true that I have enough work as to make enough money to be able to spend sufficiently and pretend in front of myself, that working is not so necessary for me.

But here I am, perfumed offspring of a century on the verge of dying, I stop on the summit of what I donít know and catapult myself to a future that is uncertain but at the same time generous, and I stop and think from that deviation (an uncertain future) our life.

I do as if I were flying, I mean to say that the whole world sees me flying, but that is an illusion, I continue sitting in my chair, punishing the typing machine.

Sometimes I see myself knitting history and I feel like a true historian, capable of inventing any feeling or earthquake or revolution or war or misfortune or beauty or odd unknown dimensions, everything to make things happen as they happen, other times I realise that Iím a small puppet in the hands of a cruel wind.

When I think it over well, Buenos Aires has another destiny either than money, at least for me, I donít want money from Buenos Aires, I want everything from Buenos Aires. A whole city between my arms. What bravery, what simplicity, what nostalgia!

Nowadays, thinking of our old age I feel as if I had less creative strength  but with a great organising strength, I have proposed to myself that we should all live an honourable old age and that means money, a lot of money. That is the only possible dignity for old age. To be able to buy  care, love, friendships, sunny afternoons, always opposing Spring to the limiting seasons, to be always able to show a bill so as to make others say: Yes, Sir; this way Sir; what can I do for you, Sir ?; Sir, suck my balls; Sir, caress me.

Later my power will also grow and Iíll surround myself with jerks that will try by all means to stop us from getting together. My love, my love, I always loved power only to get together with you and now my power brings us apart, turns the face towards night, because there, immersed in the most slow and underground saying, nobody will be able to discover our love.

And poetry smiles to me not from far, but  at a distance enough for me not to be able to hold  it completely and poetry smiles and runs away in that smile that already doesnít belong to me and we will meet again if poetry wants and some day itíll come unexpectedly, and Iíll have everything ready for the moment poetry, the mad one, wishes to return.

And this way Iím waiting the whole day for poetry to return and when it returns Iíll hold it by the neck and bump its head against the dictionary  and Iíll remain with the sensation of having done some good to humanity.

From the phone, while I write to you, I control: first year classes in School, International Congress of Psychoanalytical Clinic, Book Fair in Madrid, two revisions of small things and the print shop where Carmen is hurrying the machinist so that he can hand in today Juneís LAS 2001 NOCHES for a second revision, because I want it to be at the Book Fair for the weekend.

Sometimes I feel like someone is running after me and I run for him not to catch up with me, as if it were me who he was running after, some other times I feel more tranquil  than a linden and I donít remember anything and I have nothing to say about the future and enjoy not knowing from whom to defend myself  and I realise that life is various lives and skipping some stops I predispose myself to put learning into practice.

And some  will tell me that I never tuned a guitar well and Iíll tell them that itís true, and some will say of me that I was the music of the Twentieth Century and Iíll tell them that it is true.

And others will say  that I could never totally love a woman and Iíll tell them that it sounds very real and other thousands will say that that not everything I gave them turned them crazy and Iíll tell them that it sounds very real.

Several  will say that I gave everything to poetry and I wonít say a word and many more yet, will say: what is happening to him now is because he wanted to eat up poetry, now poetry persecutes him searching for the part that is missing.

Poor me, some will say, without knowing what to say when they see me flying between the crossed legs of the world, without words.

Poor me, my dead mother will say wrapped up among clouds  split by the sun, poor me, light lover of the abyss, there I go without any apparent thought to know myself author of my own novel, tearing silence of the poem or untied fog or fierce solitude and stories where the maiden faints before joy or those splendid afternoons where it looked as if the sun was going to burn everything and nobody escaped from the solemn moment of love. Frosts reddened by desire, jumped into pieces, small clamours of a flesh made of fire, in the air, they looked like desolate stars allowing the imprudent child or blind lovers to touch them.

I didnít exactly see  the universe folding over me, but it was something that happened in your mouth, a movement like deliriums racing, thousands of gazelles, millions of voices claiming for freedom to fly, some madness for the poor daily feelings.  

ďThis novel is a monument to desire, not to its satisfaction  and desire doesnít fit in moulds  normsĒ    

 Leopoldo de Luis

ď Menassa transforms eroticism into a real  encyclopaedia of sexual relationsĒ.   

Juan-Jacobo BajarlŪa

Indio Gris