I do not know why we moved here. I do not know if we bought this house or if we inherited it from someone. Maybe we won it in a quiz show. It doesn’t matter. The only important thing is that it is too big and it is too far from the nearest city. There are not even residential complexes around here. Only this house and the sea there in front, there on the side, twenty meters away. Echoing all day, brsshhh, chap-chap, brrrssssshhhhh. Fuck… This place is not even appropriate to be used as a second residence. Here it is cold at night and in the morning, even in August. And the incessant wind. Neither breeze nor air. Wind with that scratching noise. I do not know why we moved here. One must devote several hours every day to clean the sand that drains through the cracks on the windows, through the keyholes on the doors. And you can never manage to remove it; only contain it for a time and at a certain distance from you. You move it around until it manages to colonize every damned corner. And when you sit down to rest you can see it advancing on the floor and through the air. It covers the tips of your shoes. It rises towards the sofa and forces you to get up and dust it off. At times you even feel the microscopic hardness of the sand grains between your teeth.
Our first important fight was because the television set broke. It was one of those top of the line TV sets, with a super-slim screen and dolby surround. She had left the window open during the night. She liked the smell of the sea. She even liked the noise of the infinite waves. She said that it relaxed her, that never in her life she had slept as much and as well and as continuously as in this house, with the coolness and the sound of the sea in the background. The thing is that that night, I don’t know why, she left the window next to the now damaged television set open. The next day I could not watch the Formula 1 race celebrated in Melbourne, Australia. And we fought. We shouted at each other and we insulted each other as never before. Silenced truths surfaced. She left to walk by the shore. Or it was me, I can’t remember well. Because of a stupid small thing: that’s how the trouble begins, the shit. Logically, a few hours later we loved each other again. Again we fought side by side against the invading sand. In a gesture of good will, she telephoned the Phillips technical service of, but they answered her that employees did not displace themselves so far away, and that we should take them the device. In a gesture of good will, I told her: It doesn’t matter, honey; they only show trash on television anyway and this way we will have more time for fuck. And that we did during weeks. We were younger or maybe simply we were very bored. Or perhaps it was a matter of speaking less to avoid fighting again. But the electrical appliances continued breaking. And everything else. Any object that contained a mechanism, even the simplest hinge, ended up cracking. And it generated our umpteenth argument. And afterwards we signed peace, each time more mechanically, and we went to the freeway store. We bought replacements. A useless doorbell that nobody ever rang. New loudspeakers for the radio-cd. Cans and more cans of lubricant oil. We bought replacements for the replacements. We remained in the store longer than the necessary time. Each one in a different aisle, concentrating on the absurd objects on the shelves. To lengthen the time out of the house. We read the vacuum cleaner instructions, the components of industrial glue, the price of nails. But we had to go back. We always returned very slowly, reducing even more the car speed when the silhouette of the house appeared in the horizon, on which the sea and the wind projected restlessly a nebula of saltpeter strands and tiny salty drops.
The nails that held our avant-garde pictures of a modern home, our entire house, rusted quickly and stained the walls. They had to be replaced frequently. The whole furniture had to be replaced frequently. We spent all day long doing DIY, something we had sworn never to do. Her sister phoned every Sunday night. They talked for hours. And after she would come to the living-room or the kitchen or wherever with a red face and teary eyes. I suppose her sister said fantastic things to her, about how much she, in the filth of the city, envied us for having had the courage to leave it all, that we had fulfilled anybody’s dream, a beach house and all the time in the world to be happy. I would have also cried.
The power drill, the vacuum cleaner, the broom, the dustpan, plastics clicking on the window and door jambs … Those things are not a part of the set in anybody’s dream. Neither is the corrosion. Neither the silence. The silence as absence of words, because the house was a constant hammering, drumming, buzzing. Tools fighting against the deterioration of walls and furniture. Now it’s so easy to say that we should have restored other things. The communication, the trust, the respect and those concepts in use in modern western countries, in women’s magazines and by therapists. But I guess that the invisible, what can neither be weighed nor measured with accuracy, would have been still more difficult to repair. So we limited ourselves to nail, screw, paint, varnish, sand… And the sawdust mixed on the ground with the immortal sand. And on the walls. And in the mirrors, making your reflection unrecognizable to yourself. And it didn’t matter how much we swept, vacuumed or blew. Dust was all around. Shreds of things.
That morning I opened my eyes and I heard her rushing about downstairs. Over the snorts and the marine roars, I got the clear and distinct sound of a closing suitcase and a pen writing something on a piece of paper. I don’t know if was good or bad luck. I only know that it was strange, because for a long time the wind and the sea had hindered us from hearing each other say good morning. I went down the stairs barefoot. On the last or first step, it all depends; the fear was confirmed and it paralyzed me. The front door was open and a post-it that looked like a dead moth drifted in the room. Tons of sand slipped in the house, silently, crawling like a horrible and gigantic snake with all the tonalities of brown. I hesitated. Perhaps I lost some precious seconds. At last I made up my mind and I leapt to enter the deserted living room. I strived towards the dark ocean rectangle that was all I could see from the other side of the door. With a lot of effort; my feet sank in the sand up to my ankles, my knees, more and more and more. I had to hold on to the furniture, to the cable framework of our arsenal of electric tools condemned to failure… I managed to arrive at the lintel and looked outside. I didn’t see anything. The damned wind had erased her tracks in a matter of seconds. I don’t even remember if I heard her start the car. The thundering cloud of water, salt and earth closed the view only some steps in front of me. Nothing could be seen. But I started to walk in circles. I ran and I sweated and thousands of sharp particles battered me revoltingly. I broadened the spiral until the cold waves splashed me. And suddenly the sweat was dispelled. As fast as it had surfaced. The sweat and everything else. The mist, the deafening noise and the gale stopped as if by magic. Black magic. I suppose they already fulfilled their mission. I entered the house wrapped in an absolute silence. A calm too perfect I enjoyed only a few minutes. Because after showering, scrubbing, after trying to get rid of accumulated crust, and as I went down the stairs, on the last or first step, it all depends, I heard for the first time the noise of the true corrosion. It sounded like my own voice. It sounds like my own voice. And since then it has not ceased, even for a moment, knocking me down, making me a ruin with blows of conscience.
Traducción: Ana Bosch y Ana Ruiz.