Foto: Paul Falardeau
My name is Esperança.
My name is Jenn.
I was 21 years old and I was really into literature.
I was 22 years old and I had published my first book.
I went with some friends to a bar called Zanzibar and he was introduced to me.
I was invited to a literature festival.
He was 25 years older than me.
He was 20 years older than me.
We talked about Balzac.
He interviewed me.
He asked me to go and meet him one day at his publishing office, after-hours.
He called me in the morning to see where we could meet.
It was eight in the evening. We were alone.
The festival took place in the outskirts of Madrid and I didn’t have much choice.
He suggested we’d eat something while we chatted.
He suggested to meet me in the hall of my hotel.
And proposed me to sit on his lap.
And I accepted.
I did not like doing it, but I did it anyways.
I did not think it was an invitation to anything else.
I was not comfortable, but I let him touch my breasts.
I was not comfortable, but the first questions were about books.
We went to a couch and he told me he was very excited.
He carried a tape recorder. Despite my inexperience, it was a formal interview.
He told me to get undressed.
Then he turned off the recorder.
I didn’t want to do it.
I didn’t understand why.
And I did not.
He made a pass at me.
I started to cry and I apologized.
He told me that I was very pretty and very young, and asked me to have dinner with him.
When I got to my dorm I got in the shower, fully dressed.
I refused. I asked him why he had turned off the recorder.
If I had undressed I would have felt he was staring at me.
When we said goodbye, he tried to kiss me.
For a long time.
I pulled away.
There is dirt that you can’t get rid of with water.
I went up to the room and I felt stupid.
Until today, with my words.
The interview was never published.
But he is now dead.
He is still alive.
(Translation by Maria Climent)