domingo, 6 de marzo de 2016

Caravan (16) July 1967

    Dylan is approaching the caravan with his usual tilting gait -right hand in the back pocket of his trousers, a rolled up newspaper in his left. He raises it in greeting to which Rick responds with a similar gesture. I just say a rushed “Good Morning” followed by an invitation to try and hide my excitement:

    - Anyone for coffee?

   Rick does not have the time, he explains as he says a hurried goodbye leaving me standing there alone, opposite my own reflection in the dark glasses behind which Dylan still hides his eyes. His voice breaks the spell:

   - Make it a strong one!

     I go in to the caravan; he stays on the stairs and lights a cigarette. Whilst I wash up my two best cups, I invite him in to sit down at the table. He takes a seat with his back to the large window, leaving his glasses by the ashtray, and silently looks around at the chaos that sums up my living space. I take my time preparing the coffee so that the grinder noise frees me from the need to say who-knows-what. When the din subsides, it is Dylan who speaks first.
   - Five guitars in sight, not bad for such a small place. Where do you keep the Ibanez you brought down to the basement the other day? 
   - It´s in the maroon case over there, get it out if you like.
   Whilst he tests out the instrument, I put the coffee on the heat and start rummaging through the shelves hoping to find some sugar and not be the one to have to speak first. I run out of excuses when the coffee is ready to serve and Dylan puts the guitar aside and lights up his cigarette again.

    - It sounds good, doesn´t it? What was that you were playing?
   - I´ll tell you after you tell me who you are and what you are doing here.

    Dylan at point-blank. My story cut up in black and white sketches. Music with tar, smelling like seaweed. Synopses, synesthesias, meaninglessness. Stopped time.
   When I stop talking, I realize that I am standing next to the door; he has finished his cup of coffee and is drinking mine, forgotten on the table. As his only response to my story, he arches his eyebrows; putting out his last cigarette in the almost full ashtray, he unexpectedly fires again:

   - What´s that on the wall next to the mirror? 

   I turn my head and, alongside my reflection, I see what awoke his curiosity:
a 10 x 15 postcard, dark and light in equal measure. I unpin it and offer it to him.

   - It is Velazquez´s
Christ Crucified. I spent some time looking at him in El Prado, when I was last in Madrid.
   - That sign on the cross... Can I keep it?”

   Without awaiting a reply, he hurriedly gets up, putting on his glasses.

   - Thanks for everything. We´ll talk, now I have to go.

   He leaps down the caravan steps and a few meters on, his back to me, he says goodbye waving his left hand.

    - That was Josh White I was playing before. Bring the Ibanez to the basement this evening! - I hear him say.

   By the door, now on the grass, lies the newspaper he greeted us with when he arrived. Rustling in the wind, the pages resound like propellers. As they turn, a headline:

   “ Sensational find in Tulsa ”.

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