‘Evita Lives’ (Translated Text)

1.

I met Evita in a cheap hotel, oh, many years ago! At the time, I was living- well, I was with- a black sailor called Jimmy who had picked me up while cruising around the harbour. I remember it was a summer night, perhaps in February, and very hot. I was working in a late-night bar, on the till until three in the morning. But that night I had just fought with Lelé- oh, Lelé!- a jealous queer who wanted to steal all the guys from me. We were pulling each other’s hair behind the bar when the boss suddenly appeared: “Three days’ suspension for rowdiness.” What did it matter to me; I quickly returned to my room, opened…and was faced by the sight of her with the sailor. Of course, my first reaction was one of anger; still het up from my previous fight, I almost threw myself at her without even looking at her, but Jimmy- sweet as sugar- threw me a sensual look and said something like: “Come over here so that you can catch up.” Well, that was actually no lie; with him it was me who would give up in fatigue, but in the first instance- because of jealousy, the home, the situation, who knows- I said: “Well, fine, but who are you?” The sailor bit his lip because he saw that I had entered into my tantrum mode and at that time, when a surge of rage hit me, it was really terrible; now it’s not so bad, I’m more, I don’t know, balanced. But back then I was what one could call a bad queer, one to be feared. She answered me, looking me in the eyes (until this moment I had had my head in between the legs of the sailor and of course, in the semi-darkness, I hadn’t seen her properly): “What? You don’t know me? I’m Evita.” “Evita?” I said, unable to believe it. “You, Evita?” and I shone the lamp in her face. And indeed it was her, unmistakable with that shiny, shiny skin and the marks from cancer down below, which in truth didn’t suit her badly at all. I kept silent, but naturally it wasn’t the thing to appear like a dummy who is unsettled by any unexpected visit. “Evita, darling,”- oh, that’s what I thought then- “wouldn’t you like some cointreau?” (because I knew she liked fine drinks). “Don’t trouble yourself, darling, right now we have other things to do, don’t you think?” “Oh, but wait!” I said to her, “At least tell me how you two know each other.” “From a long time ago, honey, a long time ago, practically back as far as Africa.” (Afterwards Jimmy told me they had only met an hour beforehand, but these are nuances that don’t go with her personality. She was so beautiful!). “Do you want me to tell you what it was like?” I, anxious and completely indifferent to the guarantee of going to bed together, replied: “Yes, yes, oh Evita, wouldn’t you like a cigarette?”, but I was to remain filled with the desire to understand her lie forever (or else the sailor had lied to me, I never found out), because Jimmy was growing bored of so much talk and said “Alright, that’s enough”, took hold of her head- that completely undone bun she had- and put it between his legs. The truth is, I can’t remember whether I remember more of him or her, well, I’m such a whore, but I’m not going to talk about him today; the only thing I’ll say is that the Jimmy was so happy that day he made me cry out like a swine; ultimately, I was covered in love bites. She stayed the following day for breakfast and while Jimmy was out buying pastries, she told me that she was very content, and didn’t I want to accompany her to Heaven, which was full of blacks and blondes and guys like that. I didn’t believe much of this, because if it were true, why was she coming to search for them in Reconquista street of all places, do you think… But I didn’t say anything (what use would it have done?); I told her no, that I was fine for the moment, there with Jimmy (if it were today, I would have said ‘exhaust the experience’, but at that time no one used the expression), and that, should there be any cause to, I would call her, because with sailors, one never knows, you see. Afterwards, we drank the milk and she left. She left me a little handkerchief to remember her by, which I kept for some years; it was embroidered with gold thread, but then somebody- I never knew who- took it (it was such a long, long time ago). The hankie had ‘Evita’ and a boat stitched into it. My most vivid memory of her? Well, she had long nails painted green, which was a very unusual colour for nails at the time, and she cut them. She cut them so that the black sailor’s enormous dick could penetrate further and further into me and meanwhile she would bite his nipples. It was in this way that she got the most pleasure.

2.

We were in the house where we used to gather together to smoke joints. The guy who was bringing the drugs that day turned up with a blonde woman of about thirty-eight; she had an air of wildness about her, was overdone with make-up and had her hair in a bun… Her face seemed familiar to me and I suppose to the others as well, but she was a bit stupid. She was with Jaime, who was shooting up Instilasa and I had the condom for him. I mentioned this to him in a low voice and he said something like “Cut it out, crazy,” With blank eyes, he seemed to do it in a distant way. We all sat down in the flat and she started to get out joints and joints. The guy with the drugs put his hand on her tits and she recoiled like a viper snake. Then she wanted it to be injected into her neck, the two of them rolled about together in the flat while the rest of us watched on. Jaime was just giving me a long, soft kiss, that was great because two idiots got really pale and nervous amongst all the gayness and the older woman, and they left. But then the cops were at the door and within five minutes they were all there, even the deputy superintendent, man, we had already lost; just as well Jaime had turned eighteen last week, but equally crazy was that we had asked for Evita’s rouge and nearly all of us were painted like Alice Cooper’s doors. The cops entered very determinedly, the boss ahead of the officers, the guy going around with a bag full of pot said to him: “Just a moment, sergeant,” but the policeman gave him a brutal shove. Then she- the only woman present- adjusted the strap of her summer dress and got up. “You fool, how are you going to arrest Evita?” The sergeant was pale, the two officers drew out their guns but the superintendent gestured to them to return to the door and stay in their formation. “No, you listen, everybody listen,” said the bold woman, “You want to put me in prison now, when twenty-two, yes, or twenty-three years ago I myself brought that bicycle to your house for the boy; you were just a poor police conscript, you dummie, and if you don’t want to believe me, if you want to pretend you don’t remember, I know what the evidence is.” (Wow, it was an incredible delirium, she ripped the cop’s shirt from his shoulder and revealed a fat red wart like a strawberry and began to lick it, the superintendent squirmed like a little bitch and the others watching from the door firstly shit themselves laughing, but then they began to be filled with terror because they realised that yes, this woman really was Evita). I took advantage of this opportunity to suck off Jaime in front of the cops who didn’t know what to do or where to stand; suddenly, the van driver entered into this commotion and started shouting “Comrades, comrades, they want to arrest Evita!” throughout the corridor. People from other rooms started to stick their heads out to see her, and an old woman appeared yelling “Evita, Evita fell from Heaven.” The situation was this: the cops took them, whacked the two idiots who, on top of everything else were acting all superior and she very calmly walked with the guy, telling the people first in the courtyard and then at the door: “Thank you, thank you my dears, Evita is watching over everything, Evita will return to this neighbourhood and to all neighbourhoods to see to it that nothing is done to the workers.” Man, even the old people were crying, some wanted to get closer to her but she told them “I have to go now, I have to return to Heaven”. We stayed on smoking a little longer and then left; some girls made us come into their rooms to tell them the story – the very same ones who until an hour ago had brought an unbelievable war on us. Jaime and I made a comedy of it all: she had had to take drugs because she was very unhappy, and well, man, if you were feeling down it was unbearable. Of course, the people didn’t understand us, but seeing as we hadn’t been doing base work, just ‘public relations’ in order to have a decent place to have a good time, it didn’t matter to us. We were completely off our heads and the old women wouldn’t stop wailing. We requested them to cut out this amphetamine comedown, yes, completely; Evita would be back, she had gone on a rescue mission and would come back, she wanted to share out a batch of marijuana to each poor person so that all the humble people would have a great time and no one would eat a bite more, man, not even a steak.

3.

If I told you where I saw her for the first time, I’d be lying. It shouldn’t have made any particularly great impression on me, she was just one of the many skinny girls who used to go to the town of Viamonte; all of them were friends of a young queer there, half naked, so that we could be instantly stopped by the sleazebags. The thing is that all of them- male and female- knew where to find us, in the kiosk of Independencia and Entre Ríos. That hustler Alex would send us old men and women there any time he could; they bribed us with a couple of million, so afterwards we returned the favour to him for free and didn’t go stealing his tape recorder or fine clothes. I remember how she approached, in a black Caravelle driven by a nice blonde queer who I had already fucked once in Rosemarie. We were hanging around the flower stand with the girls when he called me aside and told me: “I have a woman for you, she’s in the car.” Just to me. I got in. “I’m Evita. And you are?” “Chiche,” I replied. “You’re certainly not trans, you beauty. Let’s see, Evita what?” “Evita Duarte,” she told me, “and please don’t be insolent, or you go.” “Go? Go down on me?” I whispered in her ear while stroking my bulge. “Let me touch your pussy to make certain.” You should have seen how she got excited when I put my finger down her underwear! So we went to her hotel; that little fag Alex wanted to watch me while I showered and meanwhile she lay in bed. Being well-endowed as I am, they just queue up to see me. She was a cunning whore, I licked her out like the gods. Three rounds later, I left her finished and kept the room for the queer, who honestly deserved it. The woman was a lady. She had a cracked, sensual voice like a radio announcer. She asked me to return if I needed anything. I answered no, thanks. Down below there was a smell of death about her which I didn’t like at all. When she wasn’t looking I opened a jewellery box and stole a necklace. I think that faggot Francis noticed, but he didn’t say anything. When we finished fucking, she said with a mouth full of semen: “All the men of this country would envy you, little one; you’ve just screwed Evita.” Scarcely two days had passed when I arrived home to find my old woman crying in the kitchen, surrounded by two plain-clothed cops. “You idiot!” She shouted at me. “How could you steal Evita’s necklace?” The jewels lay on the table. I hadn’t been able to get anything for them, because according to the Sosa, it was too valuable for him to buy and he didn’t want to rip me off. The cops didn’t ask me anything, they just gave me a brutal beating and a warning that they’d kill me if I said anything about the necklace. We distanced ourselves from that experience and that crowd. For this reason, the names that I give here have all been falsified.

Introduction

Néstor Perlongher, born in 1949, was an Argentine gay activist and writer. In the 1980s, he exiled himself to Brazil, where he worked as an essayist, translator, sociologist and urban anthropologist. He died of AIDS in São Paulo in November 1992. Perlongher’s short story ‘Evita Vive’ (‘Evita Lives’), originally published in 1975, was banned in Argentina and first became known in the English language in 1983, when it was translated by E.A. Lacey and included in the collection ‘My Deep Dark Pain is Love’. The story’s later publications in Argentina in 1987 and 1989 caused public controversy due to its perceived transgression of the widely respected figure Evita Perón.

Motivation

At a talk in University College Cork, the Chilean writer Monica Ríos spoke about the representation of Eva Perón in literature, referring to Néstor Perlongher’s revolutionary text ‘Evita Vive’. I read the story and was instantly captivated by Perlongher’s unique style and his audaciousness in treating the character of Eva Perón, who was the popular First Lady of Argentina between 1946 and 1952. She has been the subject of numerous literary and artistic works, including the play ‘Eva Perón’, by Raúl Damonte (Copi), a writer who, alongside Perlongher, constitutes one of the principal icons of the Argentine gay literary tradition.

Acccording to Eloy Martínez, “gay writers have understood her figure better than anybody in our literature.” (Van Lanen). Thus, translating Perlongher’s work ‘Evita Vive’ can provide us with a compelling, thought-provoking insight into Eva Perón; here, she is portrayed in an entirely unique and unprecedented way. At once a sexual deviant, drug addict and corpse, the female protagonist holds a “protean capacity for transformation” (ibid.). The life that Evita is given in Perlongher’s work and the respect and dignity with which he manages to treat her, despite the apparent obscenities surrounding her and indeed, in which she often partakes, is remarkable and captivating. I believe this work should gain a more substantial audience in the English-speaking world and thus found it of paramount importance that a second, more updated translation should be undertaken of the work, particularly as the only English translation from 1983 no longer appears to be widely accessible, and also as acceptable gay terminology has inevitably undergone much transformation in the past two decades. Thus, I approached Perlongher’s text with the aim of translating it for a more modern audience.

Preliminary Text Analysis

I located the source text in the form of two PDF files online, which I cross-checked against each other to ensure consistency and correctness. The work takes the form of three short accounts, each from the perspective of a different narrator: that of a transvestite man, a homosexual man and a male prostitute.

Translation Process

Translating a gay Argentine writer was unequivocally an ambitious challenge. The process required me to investigate two crucial areas which define Néstor Perlongher’s short story ‘Evita Vive’: namely, the linguistic phenomenon of lunfardo and a second category of speech which Keith Harvey terms ‘camp talk’. Here I will endeavour to discuss the process of translation I undertook and how I dealt with these issues; and the resources upon which I drew to assist my understanding and interpretation, both of gay language and Argentine linguistic phenomena.

I will first address my approach to ‘camp talk’ and how I attempted to carry it over into English. In his chapter ‘Translating Camp Talk’, Harvey (403) identifies a number of cultural and autobiographical issues that a translator of gay writing may encounter. These include the “existence, nature and visibility of identities and communities predicated upon same-sex object choice in the target culture”; the presence or absence of an established gay body of literature in the target culture; the objectives inherent in the undertaking of the translation, and the sexual identity of the translator and his or her relation to a gay subcultural group. As a young heterosexual, anglophone woman, I was confronted with a whole body of gay literature and issues which I had previously never encountered. Because of my own non-pertinence to the ‘gay subcultural group’ which forms the subject of Perlongher’s work, I had a heightened awareness of using terms which are politically and socially correct and acceptable in the English-speaking world today; this necessitated research into gay terminology in English as well as a profound investigation into gay language in Argentina; whether particular words had pejorative or positive connotations and what effect Perlongher intended in his use of them. Even the word ‘gay’ appears in a number of forms throughout the story, including ‘marica’, ‘mariconcito’ and the lunfardo word ‘trolo’. I compiled a list of such terms and aimed to decide on one fitting English equivalent for each in order to ensure consistency.

Within English, however, the proliferation of synonyms for ‘gay’ and distinguishing between them can also be problematic. According to Livia and Hall (23), for example, usage of ‘queer’ is “irredeemable” for many older speakers whilst it is preferred by many younger people to ‘gay’. On the other hand, Hugh (94) states that the term ‘queer’ has, since the 1990s, increasingly been used as a synonym for ‘gay’, and predominantly in connection with male gays rather than lesbians. ‘Gay’ or ‘queer’ in adjectival form appear to be widely accepted, but as nouns less so, the argument being that “the nouns denote an all-embracing, essential property, while the adjectives denote one characteristic among many.” (Ibid.). Nonetheless, I have consciously opted to use ‘queer’ as a noun on several occasions throughout the text, particularly as an English equivalent for ‘maricón’, a word which Foster (El Ambiente Nuestro 45) refers to as “ground zero of homophobic insult in Spanish.” Thus, perhaps a word such as ‘faggot’ in English would be a more fitting translation, but having analysed the instances in which Perlongher uses the word, I do not feel that they are marked by such a strongly disparaging or negative tone.

Sontag (277) conceives of camp talk as “a type of aesthetic sensibility characterised by a delight in failed seriousness and a theatricalisation of experience”. This view is ostensibly consolidated by Harvey (406), who outlines a number of features which typify the genre, including the use of exclamatives and hyperbole, the ‘emphatics’ of camp, and the arbitrary practice of attributing proper names. A number of these characteristics can be identified in Perlongher’s ‘Evita Vive’, with some proving more problematic to translate than others. For example, the use of exclamations seems less natural in English than it perhaps would in Spanish. This problem appears in the first sentence of the text: “[…] ¡hace ya tantos años!” (Perlongher 1). Here, I ultimately decided to retain the exclamation as it gives an insight into the narrator and sets a flamboyant tone for the ensuing work.

A further feature of ‘camp talk’ detailed by Harvey (406) is the inversion of gender-specific terms, highlighting the arbitrariness of attributing proper names and signaling the speaker’s critical distance from the processes that produce and naturalise categories of identity. This can be observed in the first section of ‘Evita Vive’, which is narrated by an apparently female character; she is referred to in the feminine form both by herself and others (‘preciosa’, ‘querida’, ‘puta’), but also calls herself ‘una marica’; thus, Bollig (127) concludes, the speaker is “a homosexual and effeminate man.” Moreover, a “formal subversiveness in certain ungrammaticalities” (ibid.) pervades the text; frequently the reader is left unsure as to who is carrying out what action or who is gaining pleasure (‘gozaba’, Perlongher 2) from the sexual activity. Bollig (128) affirms that, in this particular episode, any one of the three characters involved in the scene of “perverse sexual intercourse” could be the subject of the verb ‘gozaba’. This poses an extreme difficulty in the translation process, but given the preceding pronoun ‘ella’, I took Evita as the continued subject of the verb. Nonetheless, this means that some of the ambiguity surrounding gender and sex, or more concisely, Perlongher’s “deeply confused gender framework” (Bollig 129), that pervades the source text is lost.

One could conclude that the most discernible characteristic of gay writing in Perlongher’s text ‘Evita Vive’ is the preoccupation with sexual activity. This proved a singularly difficult issue for translation as of course toning down the language would not be an acceptable option; this led to the issue of ‘tabooisation’ (Belenguer et als. 153), which “gives rise to a series of linguistic expressions considered as obscene […]. However, the same realities might not be considered as taboo in other cultures, or in any case not at an equal level.” This is largely pertinent to the translation of the word ‘gay’, as discussed above, but also to Perlongher’s recurrent use of the Spanish word ‘negro’ in relation to the black sailor Jimmy in the first section of the story. To constantly reiterate someone’s skin colour would be regarded as superfluous, incongruous and potentially bordering on racist in the majority of the English-speaking word, whereas ‘negro’ is not uncommon in Spanish. Thus, a direct translation of the word in every instance was not suitable and after the word’s first appearance, I replaced it simply with ‘Jimmy’ or ‘the sailor’.

A significant cultural chasm also exists between the Anglosphere and Hispanosphere in the use of obscene language. Vulgarities and swearing tend to be more acceptable and widely used in Spanish, in contrast with the deeper implications which often underline them in English. Rebassa (90) surmises: “Curses are ill-served by close translation. The translation of curses really illustrates the essence of the act: we are really translating the spirit and not the word.” For example, even a phrase which seems to allow for quite a straightforward literal translation, such as “pedazo de animal” (Perlongher 3), seems to be used more flippantly in Spanish; thus, such a term cannot be translated literally, but rather an equivalent ‘sense’ of the word must be found. The word seems to convey the idea of boorishness, loutishness, imbecility; in accordance with Eva’s slightly more elevated, elegant manner of speaking, I ultimately decided upon the word ‘fool’.

The linguistic phenomenon of lunfardo constitutes a further aspect which is intrinsic to Perlongher’s writing. Originally having emerged in Buenos Aires as a “dockside, underworld slang” (Wilson 41) influenced heavily by Italian, it is full of neologisms comprised of words with extra syllables and ‘vesre’, or the practice or inverting the syllables of a word (for example, ‘mujer’ becomes ‘jermu’). ‘Evita Vive’ is brimming with uniquely porteño slang, such as ‘laburo’, ‘yirar’ and ‘hacerse el cheto’, to name but a few examples. Such terms do not appear in standard Spanish dictionaries, or at least not in their intended meaning, so this proved an interesting translation challenge. Words which appeared Castilian often had a completely alternative meaning in lunfardo, such as ‘esquina’ being ‘experiencia’ (http://www.taringa.net/posts/arte/830902/Diccionario-Lunfardo.html). Moreover, lunfardo words often seem to have a more profound, implicit definition; ‘yirar’, for example (Perlongher 1), pertains to the Rioplatense dialect and refers specifically to the way in which one wanders aimlessly through a city’s maze of streets, but with an erotic undertone being created by the impersonal nature of human existence and mass of people (Sebreli). A number of lunfardo dictionaries exist; some were of invaluable assistance in my translation, but many were unfortunately inaccessible. Fortunately, I was able to consult a young native of Buenos Aires on several terms that appear in ‘Evita Vive’, but he was in fact unfamiliar with some: for example, ‘blues’ as a slang word for ‘police’ was unknown to him. As lunfardo is a regional form of argot, we can assume that it has greatly transformed since the time of Perlongher’s writing, but this served to complicate my translation process and precise conveyance of the original meaning.

Ultimately, I am aware that my translation is at times deficient, largely due to the difficulty of translating the uniquely Argentine phenomenon of lunfardo and the lack of resources available to me in ensuring accuracy of meaning. It was also difficult to achieve the right tone and identify significant contrasts between Evita and the narrators’ respective manners of speaking. There are few clear linguistic instances of this in the text, such as the use of the phrase ‘hacerse el cheto’ (to pretend to be of a higher class) in the second segment of the story; this is portrayed in a negative light, suggesting that the narrators are likely to be of a lower class and use corresponding language. Nonetheless, translating this important voice in Argentine literature was a fascinating, if challenging, undertaking and I hope I have done at least some justice to the revolutionary work that is ‘Evita Vive’.

Other Relevant Texts

  1. ‘Esa Mujer’ – Rodolfo Walsh
  2. ‘Santa Evita’ -Tomás Eloy Martínez
  3. ‘Eva Perón’ – Copi (Raúl Damonte)
  4. ‘Cámara Gesell’ – Guillermo Saccomanno (translated into English by Andrea Labinger)
  5. ‘El Pibe Barulo’ – Osvaldo Lamborghini

Tools for Translating Lunfardo

  1.  http://www.asihablamos.com
  2. http://que-significa.com
  3. http://www.taringa.net/posts/arte/830902/Diccionario-Lunfardo.html
  4. http://www.lingue.unipr.it/Materiali%20didattici/Forino/diccionario_lunfardo.pdf

‘Evita Vive’ (Texto Original)

1.

Conocí a Evita en un hotel del bajo, ¡hace ya tantos años! Yo vivía, bueno, vivía, estaba con un marinero negro que me había levantado yirando por el puerto. Esa noche, recuerdo, era verano, febrero quizás, hacía mucho calor. Yo trabajaba en un bar nocturno, atendiendo la caja hasta las tres de la mañana. Pero esa noche justo me peleé, con la Lelé, ay la Lelé, una marica envidiosa que me quería sacar todos los tipos. Estábamos agarrándonos de las mechas detrás del mostrador y justo apareció el patrón: «Tres días de suspensión, por bochinchera». Qué me importaba, rapidito me volví para la pieza, abro… y me la encuentro a ella, con el negro. Claro, en el primer momento me indigné, además ya venía engranada de pelearme con la otra y casi me le tiro encima sin mirarla siquiera, pero el negro –dulcísimo– me dirigió una mirada toda sensual y me dijo algo así como: «Veníte que para vos también alcanza». Bueno, en realidad, no mentía, con el negro era yo la que abandonaba por cansancio, pero en el primer momento, qué sé yo, los celos, el hogar, la cosa que le dije: «Bueno, está bien, pero ésta ¿quién es?». El negro se mordió un labio porque vio que yo había entrado en la sofocación, y a mí, en esa época, cuando me venía una rabieta era terrible –ahora no tanto, estoy, no sé, más armoniosa–. Pero en ese tiempo era lo que podía decirse una marica mala, de temer. Ella me contestó, mirándome a los ojos (hasta ese momento tenía la cabeza metida entre las piernas del morocho y, claro, estaba en la penumbra, muy bien no la había visto): «¿Cómo? ¿No me conocés? Soy Evita». «¿Evita?»–dije, yo no lo podía creer– . «¿Evita, vos?» –y le prendí la lámpara en la cara. Y era ella nomás, inconfundible con esa piel brillosa, brillosa, y las manchitas del cáncer por abajo, que –la verdad– no le quedaban nada mal. Yo me quedé como muda, pero claro, no era cosa de aparecer como una bruta que se desconcierta ante cualquier visita inesperada. «Evita, querida» –ay, pensaba yo–»¿no querés un poco de cointreau?» (porque yo sabía que a ella le encantaban las bebidas finas). «No te molestes, querida, ahora tenemos otras cosas que hacer, ¿no te parece?» «Ay, pero esperá», le dije yo, «contame de dónde se conocen, por lo menos». «De hace mucho, preciosa, de hace mucho, casi como del África» (después Jimmy me contó que se habían conocido hacía una hora, pero son matices que no hacen a la personalidad de ella. ¡Era tan hermosa!) «¿Querés que te cuente cómo fue?» Yo ansiosa, total igual tenía el encame asegurado: «Sí, sí, ay Evita, ¿no querés un cigarrillo?», pero me quedé con las ganas para siempre de enterarme de esa mentira (o me habrá mentido el negro, nunca lo supe) porque Jimmy se pudrió de tanta charla y dijo: «Bueno, basta», le agarró la cabeza –ese rodete todo deshecho que tenía– y se la puso entre las piernas. La verdad es que no sé si me acuerdo más de ella o de él, bueno, yo soy tan puta, pero de él no voy a hablar hoy, lo único que el negro ese día estaba tan gozoso que me hizo gritar como una puerca, me llenó de chupones, en fin. Después al otro día ella se quedó a desayunar y mientras Jimmy salió a comprar facturas, ella me dijo que era muy feliz, y si no quería acompañarla al Cielo, que estaba lleno de negros y rubios y muchachos así. Yo mucho no se lo creí, porque si fuera cierto, para qué iba a venir a buscarlos nada menos que a la calle Reconquista, no les parece… pero no le dije nada, para qué; le dije que no, que por el momento estaba bien, así, con Jimmy (hoy hubiera dicho «agotar la experiencia», pero en esa época no se usaba), y que, cualquier cosa, me llamara por teléfono, porque con los marineros, viste, nunca se sabe. Con los generales tampoco, me acuerdo que dijo ella, y estaba un poco triste. Después tomamos la leche y se fue. De recuerdo me dejó un pañuelito, que guardé algunos años: estaba bordado en hilo de oro, pero después alguien, no supe nunca quién, se lo llevó (han pasado tantos, tantos). El pañuelito decía Evita y tenía dibujado un barco. ¿El recuerdo más vivo? Bueno, ella, tenía las uñas largas muy pintadas de verde –que en ese tiempo era un color muy raro para uñas– y se las cortó, se las cortó para que el pedazo inmenso que tenía el marinero me entrara más y más, y ella entretanto le mordía las tetillas y gozaba, así de esa manera era como más gozaba.

 

2.

Estábamos en la casa donde nos juntábamos para quemar, y el tipo que traía la droga ese día se apareció con una mujer de unos 38 años, rubia, un poco con aires de estar muy reventada, recargada de maquillaje, con rodete… Yo le veía cara conocida y supongo que los otros también, pero era un poco bobo, andaba con Jaime que se estaba picando con Instilasa y yo le tenía la goma, se lo comenté en voz baja y él me dijo algo así como: «cortála loco sabés que sí». Con los ojos en blanco, parecía hacerlo de modo impersonal. Nos sentamos todos en el piso y ella empezó a sacar joints y joints, el flaco de la droga le metía la mano por las tetas y ella se retorcía como una víbora. Después quiso que la picaran en el cuello, los dos se revolcaban por el piso y los demás mirábamos. Jaime apenas me daba un beso largo, muy suave, para eso sí que era genial, porque dos pendejos repálidos se rayaron totalmente entre lo gay y la vieja y se fueron. Pero estaban los blues en la puerta y a los cinco minutos se aparecieron todos con el subcomisario inclusive, chau loco, acá perdimos, menos mal que no había ningún menor porque Jaime había cumplido los 18 la semana pasada, pero igual loco, le habíamos pedido el rouge a Evita y estábamos casi todos pintados como puertas tipo Alice Cooper. Los azules entraron muy decididos, el comi adelante y los agentes atrás, el flaco que andaba con un bolsón lleno de pot le dijo: «Un momento, sargento» pero el cana le dio un empujón brutal, entonces ella, que era la única mujer, se acomodó el bretel de la solera y se alzó: «Pero pedazo de animal, ¿cómo vas a llevar presa a Evita?» El ofiche pálido, los dos agentes sacaron las pistolas, pero el comi les hizo un gesto que se volvieran a la puerta y se quedaran en el molde. «No, que oigan, que oigan todos –dijo la yegua– , ahora me querés meter en cana cuando hace 22 años, sí, o 23, yo misma te llevé la bicicleta a tu casa para el pibe, y vos eras un pobre conscripto de la cana, pelotudo, y si no me querés creer, si te querés hacer el que no te acordás, yo sé lo que son las pruebas». (Chau, fue un delirio increíble, le rasgó la camisa al cana a la altura del hombro y le descubrió una verruga roja gorda como una frutilla y se la empezó a chupar, el taquero se revolvía como una puta, y los otros dos que estaban en la puerta fichando primero se cagaban de risa, pero después se empezaron a llenar de pavor porque se dieron cuenta de que sí, que la mina era Evita). Yo aproveché para chuparle la pija a Jaime delante de los canas que no sabían qué hacer, ni dónde meterse: de pronto el flaco del trafic entró en el circo y se puso a gritar: «Compañeros, compañeros, quieren llevar presa a Evita» por el pasillo. La gente de las otras piezas empezó a asomarse para verla, y una vieja salió gritando: «Evita, Evita vino desde el cielo». La cosa es que los canas se las tomaron, largaron a los dos pendejos que encima se hacían muy los chetos, y ella se fue caminando muy tranquila con el flaco, diciéndole a la gente que estaba en el patio primero y después en la puerta: «Grasitas, grasitas míos, Evita lo vigila todo, Evita va a volver por este barrio y por todos los barrios para que no les hagan nada a sus descamisados». Chau loco, hasta los viejos lloraban, algunos se le querían acercar, pero ella les decía: «Ahora debo irme, debo volver al cielo» decía Evita. Nosotros nos quedamos quemando un poco más y ya nos íbamos, entonces algunas tipas nos hicieron pasar a las habitaciones para que les contáramos –las mismas que hasta hacía una hora nos habían hecho una guerra que no podía ser–. Jaime y yo les hicimos toda una historieta: ella decía que había que drogarse porque se era muy infeliz, y chau, loco, si te quedabas down era imbancable. Claro, la gente no nos entendía, pero como no estábamos haciendo laburo de base sino sólo public relations para tener un lugar no pálido donde tripear, no nos importaba. Estábamos relocos y las viejas déle coparse con el llanto, nosotros les pedimos que ese bajón de anfeta lo cortaran, sí, total, Evita iba a volver: había ido a hacer un rescate y ya venía, ella quería repartirle un lote de marihuana a cada pobre para que todos los humildes andaran superbien, y nadie se comiera una pálida más, loco, ni un bife.

 

3.

Si te digo dónde la vi la primera vez, te mentiría. No me debe haber causado ninguna impresión especial, la flaca era una flaca entre las tantas que iban al depto de Viamonte, todas amigas de un marica joven que las tenía ahí, medio en bolas, para que a los guachos se nos parara pronto. La cosa es que todos –y todas– sabían dónde podían encontrarnos, en el snack de Independencia y Entre Ríos. Allí el putito Alex nos mandaba, cada vez que podía, viejos y viejas, que nos adornaban con un par de palos, así después a él le hacíamos gratis el favor y no le andábamos afanando el grabador o las pilchas. De ésa me acuerdo por cómo se acercó, en un Carabela negro manejado por un mariconcito rubio, que yo ya me lo había garchado una vez en el Rosemarie. Con las pibas estábamos haciendo pinta junto al puesto de flores, así que me llamó aparte y me dijo: «Tengo una mina para vos, está en el coche.» La cosa era conmigo, nomás. Subí. «Me llamo Evita, ¿y vos?» «Chiche», le contesté. «Seguro que no sos un travesti, preciosura. A ver, ¿Evita qué?». «Eva Duarte», me dijo «y por favor, no seas insolente o te bajás». «¿Bajarme?, ¿bajárseme a mí?», le susurré en la oreja mientras me acariciaba el bulto. «Dejáme tocarte la conchita, a ver si es cierto». ¡Hubieras visto cómo se excitaba cuando le metí el dedo bajo la trusa! Así que fuimos al hotel de ella; el putito quiso ver mientras me duchaba y ella se tiraba en la cama. También, con el pedazo que tengo, hacen cola para mirarlo nomás. Ella era una puta ladina, la chupaba como los dioses. Con tres polvachos la dejé hecha y guardé el cuarto para el marica, que, la verdad, se lo merecía. La mina era una mujer, mujer. Tenía una voz cascada, sensual, como de locutora. Me pidió que volviera, si precisaba algo. Le contesté no, gracias. En la pieza había como un olor a muerta que no me gustó nada. Cuando se descuidó abrí un estuche y le afané un collar. Para mí que el puto Francis se dio cuenta, pero no dijo nada. Cuando me lo terminé de garchar me dijo, con la boca chorreando leche: «Todos los machos del país te envidiarían, chiquito; te acabás de coger a Eva». Ni dos días habían pasado cuando llego a casa y me encuentro a la vieja llorando en la cocina, rodeada por dos canas de civil. «Desgraciado –me gritó–. ¿Cómo pudiste robar el collar de Evita?» La joya estaba sobre la mesa. No la había podido reducir porque, según el Sosa, era demasiado valiosa para comprarla él y no me quería estafar. Los de Coordina no me preguntaron nada: me dieron una paliza brutal y me advirtieron que si contaba algo de lo del collar me reventaban. De esa esquina y del depto de los trolos los vagos nos borramos. Por eso los nombres que doy acá son todos falsos.

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