Michael Jackson and the drama of the immigrants along the Mediterranean coast. “(…) In their interested amnesia they had forgotten the colonial plundering carried out by European countries in Africa and in almost all the continents, the massacres and looting with the excuse of El Dorado committed by the Spanish Empire that impoverished most of the people and peoples of America for centuries. Despite the tension of the moment, one morning, our friend wore the attorney’s gown: –Are you afraid of the African rat-a-tat-tat? Are you afraid to be invaded by the Zulus or Masais? And could they steal your sandwiches? –He sprang it on them while biting his sandwich made from bread, olive oil and salt. Like deaf and blind zombies who do not return their looks they remained in silence as an answer of terror and lack of respect to immigrants. They never understood Jackson’s song “We Are The World”. Some minutes after, George heard some radio interferences in the news broadcast by Matias Prats, a radio he had on a cabinet at work. Nobody moved to tune it. George approached the set to tune the channel and turn up the volume. An Algerian small raft had run aground on the Torrevejense coast. Thirteen men, a pregnant woman and two four-year-old children drowned! Seventeen stomachs that were looking for food. (Page 57)
Alejandro Sanz and "The broken heart" “(…)George survived with his broken heart involved in the daily maelstrom of his job at the newspaper and at the radio station at a rate of two hundred taps a minute on the computer keyboard and hardly had the time to die. (Page 142) “(…)There was an extraordinary fellowship between Maria and George, who at last became friends. She was all the time chanting one song by Alejandro, that very popular song “corazón partío” (Broken Heart). And as they spent longer time together than the other guys at the newspaper, so gratitude flourished between them: (Page 150)
Paul Newman in Indianápolis and song ‘My Way’ by Sinatra. “(…)Thank goodness George could break the action-reaction-action enslaving chain… and “what about me?”, my friend’s kind ego gave in to learning how to be faithful to his promises and love till the end. Already in Alcoy, after their quick trip to Madrid, he felt the same pleasure as Paul Newman did at the steering wheel as if he had won the Indianapolis 500-mile Race. George parked his car in the square and stepped his left foot on the sidewalk. As Maya was speaking about gratitude, she stepped into the mud caused by the neighborhood street works: –Don’t leave my apartment, George. I love you in my way! –Maya wanted to dance a tango: coiling up her foot to his, chaining him with an appealing hook. But he recalled the freedom Gardel’s soul maintained in his tangos... It was already seven o’clock. He looked at her in the eye and remembered the popular song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. He went silent. On that beautiful sunset George felt the freedom of the sun at the crack of dawn. He had promised himself to “love her!” –and respected his promise without any signs of lies or fears in the pursuit of love and as far as his will could. The word which is said might lead you to immortality. Never speak for the fun of eloquence. Speak just because “your word is your bond” and maintain the holy fire of the only truth. (Page 269)
John Lennon honored in the novel. “(…) When they got to the station he heard a song by John Lennon (“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans…”) and judged his idea about his future and above all life. The summer and the hot days were dimming out. And the afternoons were shorter and, of course they were traveling in third class. (Page 102) “(…)Consequently, more than once George has remembered the sentence by John Lennon (“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans…”). Because thanks to a steady job as the one he had at the Mail Service he developed an independent attitude as well as that desire to know himself and Sapiens’ special features. (Page 121).
Plácido Domingo and Othello, Pavarotti and Monserrat Caballé. “(…)At about five o’clock in the afternoon Maya opened the bull pen door and charged at George while her chocolate ice-cream was melting down her mouth: –I’ll bring back my friend from Cuba. –She put two tablespoons of black mousse into her mouth and then she made some excuses and threw the Minotaur’s horns against him. Was it to make up for the wounds left by other men who had been unfaithful to her or to settle an unbearable dilemma? George’s heart was in his mouth. The scent of the cinnamon he was sipping vanished. He furiously remembered Othello played by tenor Placido Domingo. And then he felt a sad pianissimo duet sung by Pavarotti and Caballé. But he put his hand on his left side to cover the treacherous stab. At the same time he took out his capote (cape) with the mastery of bullfighters Belmonte and Curro Romeo and fought back the beast’s rushes. –What will happen to me, Maya? (Page 251)
Elvis, Woody Allen and Armstrong and Julio Iglesias in the isle of Tabarca (Spain). “(…)On the isle of Tabarca during the festivals heifers were released in the afternoon and there was dancing at dusk. After supper the child musicians crossed the square that was full of couples dancing cheek to cheek. Clarinetist Woody’s band and the awesome Armstrong along with Machín, as the vocalist were playing and singing Mexican folk songs by Rocío Dúrcal and ballads by Julio Iglesias: “There is always something to live for, to fight for and someone to love./In the end, works remain, people go,/other people who are coming will continue them:/ Life goes on just the same./” (Page 76).
Whitney Houston and Jackson in the isle of Tabarca (Alicante-Spain). “(…) The echo of a gospel melody made the musicians head for a sea of fantasy. On the golden sand a black girl with an angel’s voice was singing. People clapped and she introduced herself: “I’m Ciccy Houston’s daughter! I gave my body-guard the slip!” Whitney Houston there? The moon’s smile turned the marine surface into a dance hall. Just like the bright light beam called young George with fluorescence and young George went out through the front door, over there on the beach the selenite wake invited him to stand up and walk on the waves. Michael, the youngest of the group moved his knees and slid smoothly as Elvis used to do. While dancing in the water on the lunar carpet, his suntanned skin suddenly became white. He looked like Michael Jackson. That night in Tabarca Poseidon and Neptune were competing on the back of white dolphins on the waves. The sail of a yacht anchored in a cove of the isle looked in the moonlight like the luxurious hotel Burj Al Arab of Dubai. George raised his eyes and gazed at the canopy of heaven. Gorgeous starts. Seven lighthouses in the Great Bear constellation! He gazed at the mythological constellation and fell in love for ever with the blinking of Mizar pointing towards the north. (Page 76)
Joan Manuel Serrat with poet Miguel Hernández, Neruda and Benedetti. “(…)Within such a fantasy young George’s soul gazed at his friend Miguelillo in a moon’s white night reciting with Serrat, the minstrel, a singer-songwriter by trade: “Apart from your womb/everything is confusing./Apart from your womb,/everything is future,/brief, past/useless, cloudy./ (…)Apart from your womb/clear and deep.” Neruda and Benedetti clapped. Flabbergasted by the child poet, el Nano of Poble Sec, who was sucking a licorice stick… promised Miguelillo: “I know you want to present your poetry in Madrid. But some day, just remember this, boy, I’ll take you to my homeland… my heart will extol your poems… and the entire world will sing and recite your verses!” Within this dream George saw himself tumbling inside Rosa about to be born. And he was delighted by the Catalan minstrel. How funny! And in such an idyllic enclosure he would not have known what his mouth, nose, eyes, ears, hands, fingers… were for. Everything grew bigger. Genetics surprised him. What was going on? (Page 35-36)
Chopin and the Funeral March. “(…)–Who’s yelling! –Aurora flustered stopped kissing him. She jumped out of bed and went out to the balcony. She saw the storm ahead. And she saw the funeral cortege marching on playing music by Chopin. They all were wearing black clothes except her boy, a bird just about to fly high up into the sky. They were bringing her child who had drowned in a tidal wave, a blow by furious Poseidon. She was terrified howling in the sitting-room. George who was in the bed-room could neither see nor understand anything! He waited for explanations. But all the contrary, his lover fell silent. And then, just in a sudden the mournful clamor on the street made him jump out of bed. He ran to the sitting-room barefoot. –Aurora, where are you? –George nervously begged without seeing her. George went to the large window and unfortunately he saw her corpse on the paving stones in the middle of a pool of blood. Out of his mind he rushed downstairs to death and knelt by her side and kissed her, as he had done by the Roman altar. Blood was pouring out of her mouth –lips that death mercilessly kissed again– George cried inconsolably for that loss of flesh. –I’ve lost my love! Why? Why? –he crazily cried out in desperation. But his clamor was useless. Because hell survives inside you… and your happiness, your Heaven is always in continuous danger. Because of the insane dependence such losses caused him, loneliness left George again at the mercy of that ghostly, funereal, traveling Great Lady. He took the gun he had in his waist, put it on his temple and put his finger on the trigger. For a second, his soul recalled him the dagger in his throat and how blood was gushing out of his mouth and his orphan daughter. He also remembered the swamp and the boatman’s warning. Then George rejected that suicidal idea. He wanted to live! But why did he really cling to life? (Page 198)
Elton John and Leonard Cohen. “(…)Wednesday: In the afternoon the dogs in the orchard close to the hospital barked crazily. They sniffed the storm of lies was looming. George was with his convalescent father in a room. It was getting dark: the shadows dragged across the orange grove like a reptile. Allied with darkness they gained ground. But the subtle moon’s wisdom suddenly took up the baton from the sun so that light prevailed. The cell-phone rang on his bedside table. He had a look at the screen. Maya’s phone number! He walked out to the hallway, a lively ballad by Elton John was being played. George had the phone in his right hand. He had an apple he had been eating in his other hand. –How’s your dad? And you? Bad quality fancy costumes tear and without forewarning they suggest their content. This also happens to people who dyes their white hair that ennobles the countenance of his experience. Maya loved the world of show business. In the waiting room of the hospital where the phone conversation was taking place some poems sung by Leonard Cohen could be overheard on the background music. And he saw how the storm clouds blinded a sky that threw up on his own face, fortunately protected by the window, a clayey spurt that gushed out like blood. After Maya’s introductory words who was apparently interested in George’s father’s health and some phone flattery she went straightforward to the heart of the matter. But before taking off her mask she strategically went round the bush like Kubrick did in the Almost Perfect Bank Robbery: –When can you have a day off this month? –she wanted to test the situation by enhancing the importance of the conversation. (Page 265) The Beatles in ‘Fallas’ Valencia and Freddie Mercury and Queen, Carlos Gardel and tango, Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel with ‘La Puerta de Alcalá’, and Chavela Vargas, Camarón and Paco de Lucía, Edith Piaf, Bob Marley, Bi Bi King y Ella Fitzgerald, ukelele (Hawai), txistus and trikitixas in Bilbao and Donostia San Sebastián… Mikel Laboa and ‘Txoria txori’, Pau Casals and Beethoven symphony and much more...(See the Music section at the end of the novel/Second Part)