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For the distinguished critic Agustín Cabán, music is indispensable to sexual emotion. Forced to retire from his San Juan newspaper, Agustín is writing his memoirs, which describe his long career seducing the women and men who were among the most brilliant classical musicians in the world.The Australian pianist Clint Verret offered a passionate and tender interlude. Clarissa Berdsley, the French horn player, was submissive and playful. The flamboyant violinist Manuela Suggia ...
For the distinguished critic Agustín Cabán, music is indispensable to sexual emotion. Forced to retire from his San Juan newspaper, Agustín is writing his memoirs, which describe his long career seducing the women and men who were among the most brilliant classical musicians in the world.The Australian pianist Clint Verret offered a passionate and tender interlude. Clarissa Berdsley, the French horn player, was submissive and playful. The flamboyant violinist Manuela Suggia turned out to be a vengeful and demonic lover.
In Deep Purple, Mayra Montero explores the relationship between sexual desire and music. For Agustín Cabán ultimately finds, in that deep and mysterious place that is the core of human sexuality, nothing less than the meaning of life.
Saying good-bye to one's profession is like saying good-bye to sex, one clings to it, I cling to this brief piece of writing as if it were a woman's body, the last I will ever embrace in my life.
I walk with a firm step through the editorial offices and notice that no one gives me a special greeting. In my heart of hearts, I expected just the opposite: that they would seem uncomfortable or nervous, afraid of seeing themselves in my mirror, and for that very reason feeling a certain urgency to be rid of me.
I don't have to ask for Sebastián, the entertainment editor. I know I'll find him in the office of the editorial writer, the most private and remote of all the offices. The man goes out for lunch between one and two O'clock, and Sebastián takes advantage of his absence to lie down under his desk, put on a mask, and take a little nap. Before he falls asleep, he leafs through the magazines that he does not dare to leaf through at home: athletes with big buttocks, extravagant mulattoes, young boys in bloom. Any day now he'll retire too, and when he leaves his profession he'll leave his magazines as well: the torsos he lightly caresses with his fingertips, the thighs he will never bite, the bellies that will never experience the licking of his aged tongue. When he leaves the paper, he'll leave everything he desired in silence. I am leaving; I desired in silence, but I have also attained my desires: quietly I have devoured the world. Or so I've wanted to believe.
"Sebastián," I call. "Are you awake?"
In addition to the mask, he has a plush band tied around his forehead. The band is soaked in bay rum, and that means a migraine has dug its claws into him.
"Here's my last piece," I say, and I lay the papers on the desk.
"The photographs arrived," he replies, removing his mask.
The band soaked in bay rum is the only vice he owes to his wife. That, at least, is what Gloria, his wife, says; a teacher of English literature, she is a phlegmatic, subtle woman who knows very well what she has at home. All women try not to know, but deep down they do.
"You should have kept count," Sebastián says to me, half-opening his eyes. "With all the virtuosas you fucked, you could have formed your own band."
"One or two male soloists fell too," I admit, relishing his surprise ahead of time. Or perhaps he isn't surprised?
Sebastián laughs, but as if he were slightly shocked. I know I've plucked a dangerous string, and he sits up in order to hear better. Then I think I ought to give him this happiness. For him, too, it must be happiness.
"It was about twenty years ago. He was an Australian pianist -- perhaps you remember him -- he wore his hair in a little knot in back."
He stands and shakes out his trousers, very carefully, to gain time. I look only at his expectant face, those eyes that have filled up with an intense, melancholy astonishment.
"Of course, he loosened the knot. His back was white, very white, and his hands were freckled."
"I remember that pianist," Sebastián murmurs, and he begins to chew for no reason, a gesture that means nothing but old age.
"Clint Verret." I say his name curtly. "And I assure you he wasn't the only one."
He shakes his head, trying to appear incredulous. But at this point, with my final review lying on the desk, which is like saying with the barrel of a revolver pressing against my temple, he knows I'm incapable of lying.
"I followed him to Denver. We spent three days there."
"You must be ready to die," Sebastián prognosticates. "I can't believe you're making a confession."
"I'm already dead," I say to him quietly. "When I finished writing that review I died of despair."
We both know what I will have to endure now. In less than five minutes they'll call me to the managing editor's office) I'll go there as if I didn't suspect a thing, and I'll find a little farewell party. Some people will try to console me: they'll talk about how lucky I am to be able to travel, and how much I'll enjoy my grandchildren, and what a delight it will be to sit down and read the books I didn't have time to read before. I won't tell them that I don't travel anymore; my wife insists, but I've lost interest. Or that I have no desire to devote myself to my daughter's children, taking them to shopping centers and buying them trinkets; who wants to grow old like an idiot? Or that at this stage of my life I have no reason to start reading the books I once ignored. I want to do exactly what I was doing when they suggested I retire: teach orchestral history and literature at the conservatory, and write music criticism for the paper. My work at the conservatory ended some months ago, but I had hoped to continue writing my reviews. I possess all the necessary experience, and I'll bet that after so many years I'm the only one who has the perfect dose of malice. I know how to gauge musicians from the first moment I see them. With a woman, I look at how she raises her shoulders, or the manner in which she purses her mouth. With a man, I always notice his crotch, and in particular how he moves his thumbs.
"Write your memoirs or something," Sebastián suggests. "Didn't you say you were keeping notes for a book? Write it, Agustín, do it now. We can sign it with a pseudonym."Deep Purple