A few months ago, «sitting, like so often, in front of this soft keyboard,» in my small workshop, I started to look through an old Hotmail account. Four e-mails I’d marked as important remained, which for some strange reason I had not erased. One of them, dated November 11, 2009, read: «This is not the letter I offered you. I think you expected some beautiful and sad litany, like the ones I used to send you as if inside bottles.” For several years, four or five, I got used to waiting for your emails, each more beautiful than the former at first. These messages became, with the passage of time, «bitter,» one could say. I think I answered all of them, always with the fear that I missed some spelling mistake –as I surely will in this text.
That day I Googled your name and was happily surprised to find news of you: a book published –poems to share with the world, not just with me. The next day, I woke up and ran to get it. I bought five copies. I left the bookstore excited, and when I opened the book, in the middle of the street, as a thing of destiny, I got the poem Cybersex (Cyberlove): «To Rafael Perozo, whoever he may be.»
Over the next few days I did nothing but read the book and your e-mails over and over again, while working on a project that I would show very soon in my city. Once again you managed to shake my world. I felt terrible reading that poem, and I still do every time. «How easy it was to spend the night talking to you, pretending to have a Dostoevskian obsession or some postmodern (long-distance) relationship.»
Forgive me for inventing a character, for being crazy, for loving and playing dirty, for always being behind this keyboard as I waited for you, for not having a life, for being only sequins and thread, as you once wrote me, for not knowing how to express affection, much less love.
This is me stripping myself before the world, sharing this story with my friends. This the only way I can to express myself; the written word is not my thing.
My old curtain, pants I used for years to paint, a t-shirt, a shirt, and your words, once again. «I insist on stripping myself, I insist on showing your emptiness the immense everything that I am. How pleasant was our meeting! But can you understand my distance? »
José Rafael Perozo.
*About the artist:
José Perozo (Maracaibo, Venezuela) holds a degree in visual arts and graphic design from La Universidad del Zulia. His work has been exhibited in group and individual shows in Venezuela and abroad, the most recent being A/ S/L in Al Borde gallery (Maracaibo), which the piece Cybersex (Cyberlove) is part of. He was awarded First Prize at the V Salón Regional de Jóvenes Artistas hosted by MACZUL, the Zulia Museum of Contemporary Art in Maracaibo.