There is no point trying to understand why people fall in love. My contact with Yolanda had been so snatched, yet the impact had been intense. I was forty-three years old, but I had lived only for a few days. Once you wake up like that, you don’t drop back into sleep. Not easily. Since Monday, when I had bumped into Yolanda in the Bullrich Arcade, I had hardly slept. My heart had become a vast and uncomfortable thing. It reared out of my chest, throwing back my head so I could breathe only with difficulty. As I pressed my forehead to the dark Perspex strip, I could no longer hide from myself the reason for these feelings, this behavior.
In the next few hours that remained until I saw her again, this is what I argued: I was in the saddle of a passion which could lead nowhere. I sifted Yolanda’s character for faults, fumbled with them to that narrow bar of light. She was immature, unpredictable. She had chubby cheeks, an unquenchable appetite for cakes, ugly feet. I pictured her in revolting positions. I summoned her feet and stamped their deformed features on her face, over her eyes. There! Could I find her attractive now? I did. I did! I was in pain. I was miserable. I was ashamed. I was thrilled. The smallest detail rang with her name, from the outline of the jacaranda to the pattern of specks on the Perspex.