Maria & Luciana

I awoke to Ines staring at me. She had withdrawn to the far side of the bed. She asked me who Maria was. I did not know what she was talking about. Who is she? Tell me. I don’t know any Maria. Mentiroso. Tell me. Who is she? You talked to her all night in your sleep.

Apparently I was talking Spanish during the night, mumbling words but mostly calling out the name ‘Maria.’ I didn’t understand it either.

She continued with it and I was unable to convince her that I knew no Marias in Colombia. The deep wellspring of jealousy of the Colombian woman had been released. But we had sex and later, when she left for work, Ines seemed to have accepted that Maria existed only in my dreams.


Ines awoke very early the following morning and proceeded to make a tremendous racket in the kitchen preparing lunch for us, slamming cupboard doors and even broke the foot lever for opening the trash bin. I lay in bed listening to the Bogota rain. I wasn’t interested in finding out what was wrong.

In the evening she called me and said she was going to the discotheque with friends and would be gone all night and would return in the morning. I said ok. It was strange, but she could do what she wanted. Then she said it was a joke. Ok, I said. She would be home in 30 minutes. Ok. I wanted crepes and was going to make them for us. Good, she said. She loved crepes. Then she asked me if I cared for her. Yes. Mucho? Yes.

When she got home she was smiling and we hugged and kissed and she asked again if I cared for her. Si, tonta. Si, claro que si. We ate crepes and drank beer and everything seemed good again.

“Who is Luciana?” she said.

I smiled, thinking it was a joke.

“In truth. Who is Luciana?”

“I do not know a Luciana.”

Mentiroso. Last night you talked again to Maria. You said ‘Maria, Maria, por favor, por favor.’ Then you talked to Luciana.”

I laughed. I didn’t believe it.

Putas. They are prostitutes in Buga.”

“No, no, silly girl.”

Putas. They are prostitutes in Cali.”

They are not prostitutes. Que tonta eres.”

"Go to your prostitutes. In truth. Vete a Buga."

"Que tonteria. There is no Maria. There is no Luciana."

“No me quieres.” She looked very hurt.

“I am here with you now. I am not in Buga. I am not in Cali.”

It continued this way for awhile and then I told her I wouldn’t talk about it anymore. I had chosen to be with her in Bogota and not with my prostitute girlfriends. There wasn’t anything more to say about it. She could not accept that they did not exist but it was enough for now that I had chosen to be with her.

That night I lay in bed trying to think the names of Maria and Luciana out of my head. But you cannot think names out of your head. As I tried to think them away, Maria and Luciana only became more ingrained in the foreground of my mind. Then I realized I was thinking of other girl's names too and I tried to make those names go away. Then I started seeing the faces of other girls and their names and I became worried I would speak their names in the night. So I stopped all the thinking of girls and their names and I started to think of guys I knew and their names. That would be better. To speak a guy's name in the night. I thought of a few names and I repeated them silently to myself. I looked down at her, her head upon my shoulder, asleep now, her arm across my chest. She was a good girl. It would be a shame to ruin a good thing because I called out other girl’s names in the night.

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