We don’t slice, cut, chop or crop, tear, rip or shred. We don’t focus our attention on tiny pieces. We go for the whole thing and we work for the whole thing. We definitely don’t season. Maybe we spice things a little. And we wait. Oh yes, we definitely wait. First, we scout and explore; we carefully select you. We stare at you, study your back and front, both of your sides. We examine your color, the amount of blood in your flesh. We make sure you will be a tender prize. Then, we leave you lying somewhere, alone, unattended; we forget about you while (oh yes) we wait for you to defrost. We don’t start until you are warmed up at room temperature.
Suddenly, the initial wave of heat comes along. A blast of hot air burns you out. The thin layer of your body that receives the blaze I have punctiliously been preparing is now a delicious overheated shell that protects your interior. While your outside is roasted by my endless combustion, your interior starts to heat up like a rising fever. All your liquids inside rise in temperature. You feel your guts boiling and some of your overheated fluids begin to leak through your flesh. First, in sweet lengthy doses, coming out in slow motion; you can feel the small drops slithering over each millimeter of your tender body. Then, all the fluids emerge with the strength of a volcano, an unstoppable cascade. You are almost there.
And we wait, oh yes, we definitely wait until you are ready and – slowly and sharply – I get inside you, and – slowly but ruthless – I tear open your flesh; vapour escapes from inside. I fuse your body with mine. I eat you up until there is nothing left.
The doorbell rings and I find myself talking to what we call media res, half a cow. It always happens when I get back to Buenos Aires from a long period in Europe: I’m preparing a barbecue and I find myself talking to a beautiful, bloody, fat piece of red meat.
IN MEDIAS RES
Isabel ‘Coca’ Sarli (Argentina’s sex bomb from the 60’s) is being chased by a big, almost automaton, man. She works in a slaughterhouse and the pursuit takes place in a cold storage plant between hundreds of half cows hanging from hooks. Despite his clumsiness, he reaches her, he grabs her, he shakes her while a half cow drops from its hook; he improvises fast and uses the dead animal as a mattress. And then he rapes her. The movie is called Carne (meat) and it is one of the most popular – and cult – erotic movies from that period.
Juan Díaz de Solís, an adventurous Spanish sailor that docked in many places like Mexico, the Caribbean and Brazil, was the first European to step foot on Argentinian soil. It was a beautiful day in 1516 near Buenos Aires, when he saw a group of Aboriginals on the shore, probably Guaraní. Without knowing it was going to be his last journey and leaving some crew behind, he disembarked. The loyal crew, yet on the river, saw how Díaz de Solís was dismembered, barbecued and eaten with delight. He is remembered in history to be the discoverer of our country, although he was just the first man to attend to a barbecue on the beach, one of our most popular traditions to date. The stunned survivors fled to the north and on their way back to Europe they gathered some Pau-Brasil, the Brazilian wood that was one of the major exports from that country during the colonial era.
1924: the avant-garde writer Oswald de Andrade, lord of Cannibalism, writes his first manifesto on Pau-Brasil Poetry, where he states: ‘Pau-Brasil. Barbarous and ours’.
2012: My female friends from Argentina living abroad complain how civilized European men are. They miss the chase and, sometimes, the lack of respect. Most of us are still proud of our barbarism. We are hunters. We don’t collect the fruit and we definitely don’t go for the leftovers. We choose and chase.
So, the doorbell rings…
She enters amongst a crowd of other people and is much taller than me. She is the first Northern European stepping onto my territory. Everybody sits at the table. The barbecue is almost ready. We open some wines.
I love women that anxiously wait for the meat and don’t even look for the salad, a simple stopover to stretch the legs in an adrenaline-fast race.
I like her. I like her bloodshot eyes staring at my meat; her saliva, still invisible, preparing for conflict.
She approaches the grill, about ten meters away from the group. I’m alone; I’m the lonely savage in the middle of the Pampas; I’m shirtless; I feel confident because I have hair on my chest; and I’m sweating. Some stripes of charcoal dust grace my face. I’m ready for war, so ready that I can fight the NATO tonight. She looks at my infernal creation carefully exploring every ounce of meat uniformly bathed by the red shining of my lava-like display. I like her. I like her bloodshot eyes staring at my meat; her saliva, still invisible, preparing for conflict. I test her, offering a delicious piece straight from the grill; I take it out with my big fork and go straight to her refined mouth. The piece has a small amount of fat, enough to turn it into a bite of heaven and simultaneously scare the average European asparagus fan. She tenderly blows on my hot chunk of meat; she closes her eyes and with surrendered faith engulfs everything in one, almost imperceptible, movement. While chewing with the elegance of a civilized woman, she never opens her eyes, just slightly her lips to let the vapour out. I’m in love.
I open my eyes; I’m almost naked, deeply drunk and attacked by mosquitoes. I ate many parts of unforgettable wild animals tonight. I thought that everyone left but I see her crouched in the middle of my jungle, under an exuberant tropical trunk. Her eyes move abruptly and crazy while she gnaws the last bone left. Her uncovered chest oscillates slightly, echoing the abrupt shift of her eyeballs. She is only wearing red panties flooded with fluids around her holes, making it gauzy and desirable. I’m disturbed by the perfume coming out of her beautiful pink butthole that I can smell from the distance. I have the nose of a wolf but I crawl like a silent and fast lizard through the new viscose meanders of my jungle. I’m close to the source of an inexhaustible spring.
As I’m approaching the cave the air gets thicker, like the breath of an ill-rested dragon. I force entry as a drunk man thinking he is finally getting into his own house. I’m the lord of the cave, I’m the primitive pride, barbarous and ours, I’m all in. I stretch my tongue, long like the lizard’s, and slowly make a lingus promenade through the cave’s walls trying to grasp every molecule of that moist taste. I realize that I’m not inside a virgin cave, but one that had already hosted many sanguinary rituals; it is an alive organism with a sacrificial stone as its most important organ. I’m not the prey, but the butcher; the bloody smell of the organism awakes my hunger. I lick and nibble and the cave trembles. My head is a void and I’m the earthquake. I keep licking and nibbling, almost chewing every inch of every corner of every wall while the cave starts wildly shaking, shocking, crushing, tossing and increasingly glowing. I’m a 9.8 Richter scale earthquake. I have the power to end civilization; I have the power to transform everything that was built during many years into ruins; into a beautiful new beginning. But I stop.
Oh yes, I stop and wait. Then I try to talk with someone. I wait to see who is still there. The only survivors in that devastated land are some weird small white creatures, spiritual entities with ancient knowledge. We don’t speak the same language but I understand that they point out the end of the photic zone. They encourage me to go deeper into the dun. I swim upstream but with no effort; going back and forth, submerged in a steamy jelly, a pleasing bath. I enjoy advancing slowly. The cave isn’t shaking; it’s seems like a smooth era where all the creatures float in a tender happiness. We float in jelly. We float harmonically. We float without walls. We could be the unicellular organisms that are mixed for the first time to bring new life after doom.
But as I get deeper and deeper the space of the cave narrows and I grow bigger than ever. When I’m arriving to the finale, I’m airless; everything gets tighter so I start chewing and gnawing, biting and shredding. I use my jaw, but I could have used a spoon. The cave is tender, not overcooked nor raw; the perfect dish at the right temperature in the right moment. I hear screams, feel spasms and looseness. I’m a beast having a marvellous feast. Blood, sweat, saliva and sticky liquids – like cream whipped for hours – are mixed at every bite. I’m full but I can’t stop.
I heard the last breath of a foreign animal; I ate it all from the inside out. I wake up and there are no remains of her. My body is about to burst but I’m happy. I don’t like leftovers.