Las sonrisas ocultas

"Kabuki Sugata-goyomi" (1950), Ueno Tadamasa (1904 – 1970)

“Kabuki Sugata-goyomi” (1950), Ueno Tadamasa (1904 – 1970)

GONZALO TRINIDAD VALTIERRA |

 

Cinco minutos para la presentación de un libro de cuentos. El autor es lo de menos. Viernes por la noche. La gente se agolpa en la entrada para ganar un lugar. Un evento que hay que cubrir para la revista. Escribir una nota es lo de menos; el molde ya está ensayado.

En la mesa las placas de acrílico ostentan los nombres de los presentadores en letras capitales. Casi tan presuntuosas como ellos mismos. Un tufillo a cebolla, o a siglo diecinueve, me causa escozor en la nariz. Estornudo. Lo hago fuerte y el sonido suena hueco en ese cuarto bicentenario del Palacio de Minería. Un señor, a mi lado, mueve frenéticamente los dedos de las manos como si de animales moribundos se tratara.

Una mujer frente a mí habla de lo bien que escriben el autor y sus acólitos. Al parecer en esa mesa no hay nada más que grandes escritores reunidos. Ni siquiera me tomo la molestia de preguntar el precio del libro. Lo calculo con sólo verlo y lo multiplico por tres.

El olor a cebolla y naftalina me enervan al mezclarse con el parloteo de la mujer que ahora dice algo sobre otros grandes escritores-trovadores-poetas que en mi vida he escuchado; ni pienso hacerlo. Los cinco minutos han transcurrido y antes de que sea imposible salir de esa ratonera, me largo.

Afuera la gente circula como se le da la gana. Me detengo en un pequeño estante y paseo los ojos entre los libros; Rashômon, un libro en un pajar. No lo puedo creer. Y mucho menos cuando veo el precio de cuarenta pesos en el lomo.

Con el libro en el morral y sin nota de la presentación tomo asiento en el bar Miramar, ubicado en Independencia, frente al Teatro Metropólitan. Mientras tanto, filas de automóviles se pronuncian en las calles hasta el infinito; en la rocola suena Boys don´t cry.

Me concedo una cerveza. No todos los días encuentras un buen libro a un buen precio en una feria de libros. Cerveza oscura. Una mesera, de unos cincuenta años, con dentadura de plata se asegura de que la cerveza, limones, salero y cacahuates estén prontos en mi mesa. Su sonrisa metálica, amablemente, completa el escenario.

Dejo, con cuidado, Rashômon en la mesa redonda. Ryunosuke Akutawaga, en el centro de la portada, me mira. La edición es de lo más sencilla. El escudo de Veracruz apenas ocupa un pequeño espacio. Nada pretensioso a diferencia de los presentadores de la FILPM y sus letreros engomados a las mesas.

El sonido de la rocola supera los decibeles que al oído humano le son soportables. Eso le añade a la atmósfera una vibración que no abandona el cuerpo salvo entre canciones. Es en ese brevísimo lapso de tiempo cuando todos los hombres se miran en silencio y en sus ojos un rastro de amargura alza la voz.

La luz escarlata de linternas de gas simuladas es suficiente para leer. Los sillones son cálidos. Las puertas tienen ventanillas redondas como ojos misteriosos. El cielo raso imita las costillas de un barco. Aun no he abierto el libro. Me limito a ver a Ryunosuke y él me ve a mí. No es el único ser que postra su mirada en mí; también Baco, dios del vino, me escruta con ojos de beodo, mientras se sirve un gran banquete de ostras, langostas y peces del mar Egeo. En la frente tiene un ramo dorado de vid. Y a mi izquierda, una sirena se desliza como una sombra.

Era un frío atardecer bajo la puerta de Rashômon y el sirviente del samurái esperaba que la lluvia cesara. Mientras tanto en el bar Miramar las meseras esperan que los clientes ordenen un ron, un whisky, un beso, lo que sea.

Miramar esta bajo tierra. Para entrar en el bar hay que descender. Siempre es más fácil bajar que subir. A menos que uno no sepa diferenciar abajo de arriba o que el alcohol haya causado demasiados estragos en el sentido de orientación. Bien abajo esta el bar; ahí donde deben arrastrase las alimañas y los desalmados, como los que habitan en los cuentos de Ryunosuke.

El sirviente del samurái no tenía idea precisa de qué haría después. Yo tampoco la tenía en ese momento, pues el precio de una cerveza equivalía al total de mis recursos. Pero al menos estaba contento de no seguir contemplando la autocomplacencia que siempre produce la presentación de un libro. Capaz de arruinar hasta una obra maestra; mucho más un humilde compendio de cuentos.

¿Qué podría ser más importante que sentarme a hojear una obra maestra que el propio Akira Kurosawa convirtió en otra obra maestra de la cinematografía? Ya todo está escrito: ese debería ser el lema de la próxima feria del libro. Todo ha sido dicho por Homero y por Ryunosuke. Dejen de publicar jóvenes escritores; no desperdicien las palabras que son tan preciadas como el agua en el desierto.

Bajo la puerta de Rashômon llovía. Juro que casi podía sentir el agua escurriendo por mi rostro. Afuera, en la ciudad, el calor es insoportable. Pero una cerveza helada basta para vivir un minuto más. ¿Qué certeza tengo de eso? Ninguna. Tanta certeza, por lo menos, de que realmente llueve en Rashômon o de que viviré el siguiente minuto. Pero no importa. El hombre necesita de la ficción. Es eso lo único que puede darle al mundo.

Pienso en Ryunosuke. Bebo otro trago. No puedo evitar pensar en su suicidio. Igual que Mishima y Kawabata. Igual que millones de personas lo han hecho. Pero hay algo en la muerte de estos tres hombres que resulta impostergable, una sentencia o unas últimas palabras de delirio y un sentido casi ultraterreno. Existe una superabundancia en su muerte.

Y esas palabras atestiguan la complejidad de este mundo hermoso y aterrador. Como la sonrisa acerada de la mesera. O como un cuento que en toda su simpleza contiene su profundidad. Como un lago en calma que en el fondo esconde un naufragio. Como este bar de gente que prefiere habitar bajo tierra. Un mundo repleto de cosas, sin sentido, y al mismo tiempo, vacío. Horrorosamente vacío.

Y, al hojear los cuentos de Ryunosuke, me pregunto: ¿qué hace un hombre para convertirse en un una mueca odiosa, en un asesino, un miserable o un endemoniado? No lo sé. Pero bajo la fachada de la civilización se esconden las sonrisas retorcidas de los animales humanos, de las bestias y los locos. Ellos son el rostro de la ciudad y el hombre. Como la mesera que se acerca, sonríe grotesca, y me pregunta “¿quiere algo más?”.

Para cuando le doy el último trago a mi cerveza, la presentación de libro ha terminado; mi dinero también se ha terminado. El día, triste, se ha terminado también. Y la noche se me insinúa como el fin del mundo. Pero, no es así, Rashômon reposa todavía en la mesa y el rostro de Ryunosuke, tan sincero en comparación con el de los mercachifles de la FILPM, me mira. Y yo lo miro a él.

| RMM | GT | @Seliztli |

_______________

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