(Post 32. 29/04/2011. Yelmo Cineplex Icària, Barcelona, Catalunya)

Promesa (del lat. promissa, pl. de promissus) 1. Expresión de la voluntad de dar a alguien o hacer por él algo. 3. Augurio, indicio o señal que hace esperar algún bien.

"(...) when I'm really close to you like this, I'm not the least bit scared. Nothing dark or evil could ever tempt me."
"Well, that answers that," I said. "All you have to do is stay with me like this all the time."
"Do you mean that?"
"Of course I mean it."
Naoko stopped short. So did I. She put her hands on my shoulders and peered into my eyes. Deep within her own pupils a heavy, black liquid swirled in a strange whirlpool pattern. Those beautiful eyes of hers were looking inside me for a long, long time. Then she stretched to her full height and touched her cheek to mine. It was a marvelous, warm gesture that stopped my heart for a moment
"Thank you", she said.
"My pleasure," I answered.
"But I'm so happy you said that. Really happy," she said with a sad smile. "But it's impossible."
"Impossible? Why?"
"It would be wrong. It would be terrible. It..." Naoko clamped her mouth shut and started walking again.
I could tell that all kinds of thought were whirling around in her head, so rather that intrude on them I kept silent and walked by her side.
"It would be just wrong... wrong for you, wrong for me," she said after a long pause.
"Wrong how?" I murmured.
"Don't you see? It's just not possible for one person to watch over another person for ever and ever. I mean, say we got married. You'd have to go to work during the day. Who's going to watch over me when you're away? Or say you have to go on a business trip, who's going to watch over me then? Can I be glued to you every minute of our lives? What kind of equality would there be in that? What kind of relationship would that be? Sooner or later you'll get sick of me. You'd wonder what you are doing with your life, why you were spending all your time babysitting the woman. I couldn't stand that. It wouldn't resolve any of my problems."
"But your problems are not going to continue for the rest of your life," I said, touching her back. "They'll end eventually. And when they do, we'll stop and think about how to go on from there. Maybe you will have to helpme. Don't you see? Why do you have to be so right? Relax, let your guard down. You're all tensed up so you always expect the worst. Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up."
"How can you say that?|" she asked in a voice drained of feeling.
Naoko's voice alerted me to the possibility that I had said something I shouldn't have.
"Tell me how you could say such a thing," she said, staring down at the ground beneath her feet. "You're not telling me anything I don't know already. Relax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up. What's the point of saying that to me? If I relaxed my body now, I'd fall apart. I've always lived like this, and it's the only way I know how to go on living. If I relaxed for a second, I'd never find my way back. I'd go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away. Why can't you see that? How can you talk watching over me if you can't see that?"
I said nothing in return.
"I'm confused. Really confused. And it's a lot deeper than you think. Deeper... darker... colder. But tell me something. How could you have slept with me that time? How could you have done such a thing? Why didn't you just leave me alone?"
Now we were walking through the frightful silence of a pine wood. The desiccated corpses of cicadas that had died at the end of summer littered the surface of the path, crunching beneath our shoes. As if searching for someone we'd lost, Naoko and I continued slowly down the path in the woods.
"I'm sorry," she said, taking my arm and shaking her head. "I didn't mean to hurt you. Try not to let what I said bother you. Really, I'm sorry. I was just angry at myself."
"I guess I don't really understand you yet," I said. "I'm not at all smart. It takes me a while to understand things. But if I do have the time, I will come to understand you better than anyone else in the world ever can."
We came to a stop and stood in the silent woods, listening. I tumbled pinecones and cicada shells with the toe of my shoe, then looked up at the patches of sky showing through the pine branches. Hands thrust in her jacket pockets, Naoko stood there thinking, her eyes focused on nothing in particular.
"Tell me something, Toru," she said. "Do you love me?"
"You know I do," I answered.
"Will you do me two favors?"
"You may have up to three wishes, madame."
Naoko smiled and shook her head.
"No, two would be enough. One is for you to realize how grateful I am that you came to see me here. I hope you'll understand how happy you've made me. I know it's going to save me if anything will. I may not show it, but it's true."
"I'll come to see you again," I said. "And what is the other wish?"
"I want you to always remember me. Will you remember that I existed, and that I stood next to you here like this?"
"Always," I said. "I'll always remember."
She walked on ahead without speaking. The autumn light filtering through the branches danced over the shoulder of her jacket. A dog barked again, closer than before. Naoko climbed a small mound of a hill, stepped out of the pine wood, and hurried down a gentle slope. I followed two or three steps behind.
"Come over here," I called toward her back. "The well might be around here somewhere."
Naoko stopped and smiled and took my arm. We walked the rest of the way side by side.
"Do you really promise never to forget me?" She asked in a near whisper.
"I'll never forget you," I said. "I could never forget you."
Tokio Blues (Norwegian wood). Haruki Murakami, 1987. Tusquets Editores (2006)

Salgo del cine sin hablar. Tampoco tengo con quién: la sensación de ir a ver una película solo cada vez me gusta más. Si tuviera alguien al lado, hubiese dicho lo de siempre: es mucho mejor el libro; el director se ha dejado muchos detalles importantes; ¿cómo no ha podido usar la canción de The Beatles como hilo argumental?
Pero no lo hago, porque no tengo nadie a quién comentárselo. Mejor. Me pongo la chaqueta y recojo los dos euros y medio de cambio que se me cayeron de los bolsillos durante la película con un ruido excesivo que me avergonzó. Dos euros y medio que me hacen recordar lo caro que es el cine ahora.
Creo que es la primera vez que no quiero pensar en nada de la película, ni en por qué fui a verla. Sólo tengo ganas de volver a casa, tratar de terminar el libro que tengo en la mesita de noche (curiosamente otro Murakami, De qué hablo cuando hablo de correr), y dormir.
Me pongo la chaqueta, recojo los dos euros y medio de cambio que se me cayeron de los bolsillos. Me enciendo un cigarrillo. Desenredo los cables de los auriculares, enchufo el iPod. Suena Cerca, de Ellos.

Cerca - Ellos

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