Palmeras en el desierto pampeano

Con esta carta, el cronista estrena su columna y describe un día en Arata alrededor de una extraña palmera, como todo el norte pampeano.

Sr. Director:

                     Le escribo estas líneas en plena tarde del 21 de noviembre. Ah, todo parece ser nuevo bajo el sol, las flores (menos que antes) bostezan sus pétalos, las abejas apuradas gritan desde las copas de los árboles, algunos jóvenes descubren un amor, otros se enfrentan a su primera experiencia sexual en un campo de trigo; están los que se emborrachan contentos, mano a mano, tête à tête, entre amigos y amigas; está la música, la poesía, los paseos, la bicicleta; también están (infaltables) aquellos seres magníficos ahogados por alguna angustia, por un recuerdo oloroso, postrados en su cama y cerrando los ojos cada vez que pasa un automóvil cerca con la música alta. 

     Por Arata todo bien. Yo me encuentro contento, escuchando Johnny Cash y mirando de a ratos las nubes y pájaros por la ventana; recontento de no dejar que mi endemoniado brazo derecho se enfríe y deje de escribir. Me siento dichoso. Disculpe que me torne monotemático pero cuando digo dicha es porque me vuelven las ganas locas de vivir y de hacer vivir a todo el mundo, como si yo fuese una locomotora recorriendo todos los pueblos, repartiendo extasiantes flores cannábicas. Todos tan muertos de risas, viviendo, ¡imagínese! 

El día está tranquilo, así que para más tarde, si no refresca mucho, con alguna amistad se sacaran las sillas a la vereda y nos prenderemos como Rómulo y Remo a una damajuana de vino blanco, despacio, rumiando alguna que otra bronca filosófica. Pero ya basta hablar de mí y vayamos a lo que nos interesa: Bife.   

También están (infaltables) aquellos seres magníficos ahogados por alguna angustia, por un recuerdo oloroso, postrados en su cama y cerrando los ojos cada vez que pasa un automóvil cerca con la música alta”.

¿Qué es Bife? No lo sé –o mejor dicho no sé qué será de Bife en un futuro no muy lejano, cuando esté encarnada en los lectores-. Hace un mes atrás, cuando me comunicó que se vendría revista nueva, con sus cositas, más pituca, exigente, no le creí un carajo. Ahora con el paso de los días y acercándonos a la primera lanzada supongo que debería pedirle disculpas, pero no quiero caer en un chupamedismo vomitivo y que usted se me ría. Prefiero decirle que me siento (¡qué cursilería la mía!) como en aquellos días en que supe estar enamorado de una morocha preciosa. 

  Me paro, enciendo un cigarro, camino por la habitación, me apoyo en el marco de la ventana e invito a bailar a esa pregunta “¿qué puede llegar a ser Bife?”. Imagino una altísima palmera en medio de un desierto cualquiera, horizontes por todos lados; arriba todo azul y un sol altanero; abajo todo arena, con la palmera clavada al medio de esa palangana gigante. 

  Sé que es una visión intrépida, así que enciendo otro cigarrillo y sigo con las imágenes, a ver qué pasa, como ese loco que pasaba horas frente a una pared blanca y decía que estaba mirando películas que él mismo había filmado. 

Prefiero decirle que me siento (¡qué cursilería la mía!) como en aquellos días en que supe estar enamorado de una morocha preciosa”.

   De pronto el sol parece enfriarse y mirar por detrás de un vidrio esmerilado, la arena se vuelve tierra y de la tierra brotan yuyales, pasto punas, chañares, etcétera, y la palmera mansita como esperando algo. Comienzan a aparecer caballos, gatos, perros, vacas, jabalíes, pumas y centenares de bicharracos más. Entre esos bicharracos está el humano. Están los humanos que se levantan temprano para ir a trabajar, los que salen a caminar o a pasear el perro, los que salen a cazar liebres y perdices, los que viajan en autos y camiones, los que salen de la casa de ‘otro’ furtivamente, los que le sacan una foto a su plato de comida, los que no tienen comida, los que hacen colas de una cuadra buscando un empleo, los que salen borrachos de un boliche, los enfermos, los que están a punto de suicidarse (…) toda esta desquiciada humanidad en movimiento hasta que un loco grita “¡Pareeeeen!” y la humanidad se paraliza horrorizada.

El loco retoma la palabra, con su brazo extendido, señalando con el índice “¡Miren, una palmera!”, un sabiondo que estaba al lado, de aspecto nervioso y sonrisa soberbia le refuta: “En varias plazas de La Pampa hay palmeras, también en jardines y patios. ¿Qué tiene de relevante esta palmera?” “Esta palmera nunca estuvo aquí” responde el loco “y no es de esas palmeras que se ven en las plazas ¡fíjese en los cocos! ¡qué grandes y jugosos se los ve!” El loco tenía razón y el sabiondo cerró la boca al comprobar que ese tipo de palmeras solo crecen en el caribe. 

   Además del loco y el sabiondo, la palmera comienza a encontrarse rodeada cada vez más de una multitud. Los poetas sacan sus libretas y garabatean composiciones débiles; los periodistas escriben crónicas exageradas; los músicos improvisan con una guitarra. Se le escucha preguntar a un empresario que conversa con un ingeniero: “¿Cuánto costaría hacer un mar artificial cerca de la palmera?”. Un nihilista repite frenético que la palmera no existe. Un hachero se babea por rajarle la panza. Dos traviesos tratan de treparse para arrancar esos cocos del tamaño de una calabaza. En breve se forma una fiesta: la multitud ríe y grita y llora y canta y baila y se angustia y se vuelve a reír. La palmera es una máquina de producir sensaciones, de provocar sensaciones y, sobre todo, calmar la sed con sus cocos imposibles. 

   Terminemos con las metáforas. No hace falta aclarar que esa etérea palmera sea Bife, revista que le hará frente, como diría Girondo, a la impermeabilidad hipopotámica del honorable público. 

La palmera comienza a encontrarse rodeada cada vez más de una multitud. Los poetas sacan sus libretas y garabatean composiciones débiles; los periodistas escriben crónicas exageradas; los músicos improvisan con una guitarra”.

  Por lo pronto disculpe mi prosa embriagada e infantil pero deseo ardientemente que esta revista se convierta en un verdadero parque de diversiones. Y, parafraseando a Victoria Ocampo, yo pienso que La Pampa es joven, y el mundo no lo es, o Baires no lo es, y que nuestra provincia se parece a esos niños cuya infancia se marchita al vivir entre adultos. No seamos esos niños-ancianos por favor. 

   No le jodo más, Señor Director, pero permítame despedirle con otra girondeada: ¿Por qué no admitir que Bife puede ser una revista soberbia y extraordinaria, si creemos en la existencia de Rimbaud, sabio, vidente y poeta a los 12 años?

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