Wednesday, July 8, 2015

the last book I ever read (The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa, excerpt four)

from The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa:

Pepín had never been one of those overly pious boys who took communion at every Mass at school, the ones the priests flattered and tried to convince that they had a vocation, that God had chosen them for the priesthood. He was the most normal boy in the world, athletic, fond of parties, mischievous, and for a time he’d even had a girlfriend, Julieta Mayer, a freckled volleyball player who studied at the Academy of Santa Úrsula. He fulfilled his obligations by going to Mass, like all the students at La Recoleta, and he’d been a fairly diligent member of Acción Católica, but as far as Rigoberto could recall, no more devout than the others and not especially interested in the talks dedicated to religious vocations. He didn’t even attend the retreats the priests organized from time to time at a country house they had in Chosica. No, it wasn’t a joke but an irreversible decision. He’d felt the call from the time he was a boy and had thought it over carefully, not telling anyone before deciding to take the big step. Now there was no going back. That same night he left for Chile. The next time they saw each other, it was many years later: Pepín was already Father O’Donovan, dressed as a priest, wearing eyeglasses, prematurely bald, and beginning his career as a die-hard cyclist. He was still a simple, amiable person, so that every time they saw each other it had become a kind of running joke for Rigoberto to tell him: “Good to know you haven’t changed, Pepín, just as well that even though you are one, you don’t seem like a priest.” To which Pepín always responded by teasing Rigoberto with the nickname of his youth: “And those donkey’s accessories of yours are still growing, Ears. Why is that, I wonder?”

“It’s not about me,” Rigoberto explained, “it’s Fonchito. Lucrecia and I don’t know what to do with the boy, Pepín. He’s turning our hair gray, honestly.”

No comments:

Post a Comment