Saturday, December 02, 2006

Everyone’s Anna…

I started telling her about Anna; she works for a major advertising company, speaks three languages, has traveled a lot for her 25 years; she’s pretty and smart, from a good family and loves me a lot; she misses me terribly and we call each other two or three times each a day; she hates it that I’m here and she’s there and she plans to visit me in Portugal for a few weeks of holidays.

Luis, have you met Anna? his mother asked with enthusiasm as soon as I finished the story.

Luis was saddened. It was the first time in his life he was listening about this “Anna” and he was speechless with my comfortable ability to create a human being out of nothing. Just in three minutes, I had given her flesh and bones, I had transferred her from Athens to Lisbon, I sat her at the Cardoso family’s living room, where she happily joined us all for coffee, I dressed her smartly and gave her a fancy hairdo and a shining smile; I was tenderly holding her hand and looking deep into her eyes.

Anna was here, among us, more lively and real than anyone else. And Mrs Cardoso adored her. She wanted to hold her in her arms, kiss her, tell her how beautiful she was and invite her out for tea in Rua Augusta. In Anna’s face she could see the bride that one day Luis would bring home, when he was certain that this was the woman who would give his old parents grandchildren. Anna of my imagination suddenly became Luis’ and everyone else’s Anna. Of course he had met her...

Yes, mother, I’ve met her. She’s a terrific girl, he said.

Mrs Cardoso smiled and so did Mr Cardoso and me. Even Anna smiled. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon at the flat of the parents of my best friend in Portugal…


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