Jun 10, 2009

Book Club

Today I'll have lunch (luckily) with an old acquintance of mine, from a book club I used to be in a while ago. he works now quite close to my workplace, and so we decided to meet for lunch at a small cafeteria, that wears all the traditional signs of an office diner. The cafeteria is located at an Office Plaza, so to say, made of seven larger buildings, all of them with offices, some times entire floors rented to different organizations, that range from banks to call centers to airlines. There's a new building being build up there, a 17 store "tower" comissioned by one of the public banks of Costa rica, and which has been rented by our company. An e-mail sent by the CEO office informed us that we would be moved there by March 2010, but something tells me that's more like August 2112. Not like I mind, for I have the distinct feeling taht I won't be around, by the time that happens, if you know what I mean ^_~.

My friend, named Robert, is maybe 10-15 years my senior, married, balding. He has a very soft manner to himself. He's one of those extremely rare Costa Ricans who read. The club through which we met is a certain "clubdelibros" or something of the sort, which back then started with a yahoogroup forum and from there it seems to have grown into a site filled with all kinds of articles on writers and books, all of them in Spanish, allegedly available in Costa Rica. Once we shared a coffee at a corner store in Heredia, and delved into the thrill of the books we read.

I remember Robert more like the kind that reads self-help books and some lighter literature. Nothing too "forbiden" or "groundbreaking". Does have a few controled "revolutionary" tendencies, reading "reddish" texts, maybe he has even read the Communist Manifesto curled under his desk, with a flashlight, but definitivelly has never read "Against Ratzinger" and you can bet your head you'll never find him in possession of "Miene Kampf". He will read Oppenheimer's "Cuentos Chinos" (Chinese Tales, which is a Spanish way to say "big, fantastic lies". The English title is "Saving The Americas"). Robert brings all kinds of interesting, comtemplative questions to my mind. He seems to be such a peaceful kind of guy, who enjoys curling up from time to time with a book and delve into it without really getting lost in it. His life seems to be a sequence of "out in the open" actions, all socially proper, and secrets, thoughts and actions that he keeps to himself, within which he finds out that he isn't happy, not because life is bad to him, but because his choices hasn't given him what he expected. His passive resolution, the flickering flame that goes out in him makes you think about the horror of chosing a mate for the wrong reasons.

If I remember correctly, I was a dark secret, not because we had an affair (which we didn't), but because his wife was the jealous type, and as must jealous people, of such an irrational nature that thinks his or her "otherhalf" has no friends, only lovers, because really, all he does is look for the nookie. It made me sad. There I was, free as a bird, independent like all the Declarations of Independence of every nation in the world has intended their citizens to be, and he, from the same nation, was held hostage of the irrational emotions of a mentally crippled person. It made me smile tenderly that his freedom could only be achieved in the pages of the books he scouted, for that was the only place in the whole universe, where his wife were not to chase him and question his affiliation.

Today I'll have lunch with an emotional inmate.

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