CRISTINA PERI ROSSI
I am going to the local supermarket. It’s on several floors and sells everything from a box of pins to a motorboat. What I like most is to arrive – there are two entrances on the ground floor – with a list in my pocket of all the things to buy for Ana’s visit.
At first I had imagined that it would be inconvenient for Ana and me to live in different cities, but I soon thought otherwise, for I got pleasure from desiring her during our separation. We have no fixed dates for our meetings. In fact, thinking of it, I don’t even know anything about Ana’s life; all I know is that she lives in a city four hours away by plane. I had no wish to ask for her telephone number, but I gave her mine. Which she does not use. All I get from time to time is a telegram: “Meet me on Thursday at eight in the evening, Ana.” That’s fine by me. Any word unconnected with desire, any information that adds nothing to it and may distract us, seems unnecessary. Desire is exacting, intolerant, and despotic. It does not want to know anything unrelated to the body and its activities. Though I never told her, I appreciate the fact that she never asked any questions that had nothing to do with our desire. Why would she want to know about my work, my relatives, what my politics are, or my favorite hobby?
She asks no questions. Nor do I. I don’t even know if Ana is her real name. What does it matter? What matters are the secret names we call each other, not those that appear on our identity cards.
Her telegrams arrive unexpectedly. Sometimes the doorman gives them to me, at other times they reach me by telephone. But our dates are always fixed for late in the evening. Which is good, because it gives me more time to prepare things during the day.