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TRIUMPHAL ARCH
Yesterday afternoon Giorgio dropped in
again. I took him to lunch.
He showed me the poems he’d written in the
morning. Then he called up Alfonso
at San Luis Potosi, 113 A. Alfonso said
he’d wait for us on calle Jalapa but we
missed each other. We made it to
his old colonial house and waited out
front. He arrived in a Volkswagen, his head
shaven. I knew immediately he was a magician.
He seemed to take an interest in me.
He took us through the rooms, we talked
about Lévy, Sir Randolph. He was telling me
about his Zen teacher, he showed me
the book he was finishing: World Nutritional
Plan. Then we smoked something
he called plain grass from Palenque.
I was holding his things – swords,
spheres, rope crosses, playing with
little bottles of mercury. He said he would
perform a little show for the two of us.
He danced, he played and blew,
grinning constantly. You’ll be amazed
at the horrible power that kills, he said.
You won’t be able to resist joy.
Now I’ll continue writing my book,
he said, and drive you both downtown.
We got out at the Niza­–Hamburg
crossroads. We started walking. I was astonished
to take such large steps, to breathe so deeply,
move so smoothly. Where are we going,
I asked Giorgio. We’re going, he replied. Are you
scared? I said. He said he was sure
I wouldn’t kill him. I didn’t know anymore.
I felt the power would lead us
through the temple, that I would
eat his heart. We went somewhere to sit,
to have a drink, as our mouths
were very dry. We went on foot,
upon a carpet. We arrived at Avenida Juarez,
Giorgio pointed at the immense Triumphal Arch
on Plaza de la Republica. There’s my
hotel, he said. We walked for a mile
on a red carpet, a huge flag
fluttered from the Triumphal Arch. It was
November 20th, the Day of Mexico. Where are we going,
I asked him. To the beginning, he replied.
They’ll all be there, even the President of the Republic
and the Spanish King. I only felt my strength
growing, how I would first make love
to him and then eat up his heart. You know,
he said, Alfonso told me how
once a snake crawled before him. He stepped
aside yet the snake slithered toward him. It didn’t
kill him, because he gave it all the power. Do you think
I am the snake now, I said. No, he
said, you’re not a snake.
You’re walking parallel to me. He pointed
to the right, away from the carpet, which led
to the perpetual fire under the Triumphal Arch.
I grew sad. We walked for another hour
or two, the temple was always
either on our left or right. I remember
the sound of the fluttering flag. Then he
pointed out a window, that’s my window.
You decide, he said. The Hotel Pennsylvania
is all in tile, all covered with blue
glazed tiles. An old woman was
sleeping at the reception desk. Up in the room, 
he smoked and said, it’s your decision, it’s up to
you whether to kill me or not.
I stopped undoing my belt. I stopped
taking off his boots. I lay down and
fell asleep. When I woke up, Giorgio was
sitting on a raffia chair by the wall,
crying. You’re not the only one
who’d like to love, he said. I knew it was
done. I had drunk up his heart. I’ll be
off now, I said. Giorgio’s face was
radiant and beautiful. You see, he said,
reconciled. Light is for everyone. This
morning when I went out to breakfast, I
bought a paper Uno mas uno, and
read that 383 Americans committed
ritual suicide in the rain forest of Guayana
under the guidance of Jim Jones.