By Teresa Duran (From the book of the same title. Perifèric editions, 2008)
Paco is a man of short stature and sparse word.
Paco is a loyal friend, shy, generous and humble.
Paco works silently in the heart of a bustling and shooter of firecrackers Valencia.
But what does he do? Ah! That is what is unique about Paco!
Paco is a tamer of lines.
That work requires lots of patience and lots of concentration. Sometimes lots of time, too much…
That’s because lines are hard to tame, they are harder to domesticate and even harder to catch on the flight.
Like a safari hunter does, Paco awaits a line to jump in the middle of the trap of the blank page. But not any line. It must be a wild line, with the claw of a tiger and the heart of a lion. He does not care about the wishy-washy type lines. He doesn’t even look at them when flitting around.
After a time, usually long, and after a wait that can be maddening, bang! A savage and bestial line falls on the page. It has to be caught on the fly, it has to be cornered at an angle and it has to be shown just with one’s gaze that it has no escape. Line shakes, bristles, rears up, tenses, and it is then, just then, when the tamer of lines waves his pen whip and tame it, showing the exact, precise, location, that the beast has to occupy in the composition.
And back on waiting.
Another line jumps, tenses, and bang! It stays there, nailed, expectant, at tamer orders, who with himself and with all the lines leading cornered, can ride a circus where to display a mulatto girls with outright buttocks as moons, horses with unruly mane, girls showing their belly buttons, warriors from other epic, labyrinthine cities, daunted monsters, fireworks…
Impossible not to clap to his show.
Impossible not to claim for more, not to require an encore.
He has performed his work so cleanly, with such neatness in the scenography and in the attrezzo, the lighting has been so precise, the choreography has been so accurate the viewer remains stunned by such spectacle.
Certainly is not of those that are seen every day.
Even the beasts of his lines seem to be happy with their new state. By being tamed, they have lost their freedom, but not their poise, their wildness, their arrogance. The best thing is that, by taming them, Paco’s circus has not ridiculed them.
Because Paco is generous with them, he’s kind, he does not require from them more than they can give in an extreme situation.
And they know it. They tense and they bow; they rear up; they resist the restraint imposed on them, but suffer it reluctantly. They jump, they even seem to float in the air, and then, bang! Again the crack of the whip, once again the cage of the scanner, the brushing of colour, the prison of the book, the tedious waiting looking for the reader…
Paco is used to expect.
If you are not, please come and see.