Guillermo Garabito: Lola



In every city there is a Lola who stands up the staff. A Lola to make him a book, to say good morning to him, to swear a flag and for whatever is necessary. There is also the Lola from Café Quijano, who is told by the people of León who at the age of seventy still wore neon thongs. But I am referring to the other Lolas, those who knew how to grow old with dignity. To those who Valladolid was too small and the city did not give more of itself but they were becoming more beautiful and more impossible. I think that in every city there is a Lola, even that there is one for each generation. There is a Lola in each city as there is a Plaza Mayor and a river and the bells ring religiously every time the needles mark the time.

José Delfín confesses that when he arrived in Valladolid in ’58, Lola, Lola first of all, was already sixty years old and was still a woman “for whom even a priest would turn around.” And I believe him. She explains that she was a lover of a president of the Provincial Council all her life, that he wanted exclusivity and she wanted none. Lola must have been so pretty that when she crossed a terrace the gentlemen would get up to watch her pass.

Oh Lola I never met! When I was born in Valladolid, times were different and Lola would have really died years ago. Only José Delfín, who is the city’s official chronicler for that, remembered her. I had another Lola. I don’t really know her name, but it’s the same, her name was Lola and it was the only reason she went to university in the morning when she had already despaired of understanding statistics at eight. She took the bus like clockwork in the Plaza de Poniente because she also got on to take her two children to school. He would get off three stops earlier and I would take myself to the university.

I never heard from you again. If Valladolid had swallowed you, if I had made the wrong career in the middle of grade, if ours was never real. How cruel cities are sometimes, two years coinciding every morning and suddenly nothing. The absolute nothingness, the city debasing itself. I didn’t know what would have become of you, Lola. ‘Lola, dark mirror’ by Darío Fernández Flórez, Lola by José Delfín, my Lolita. And suddenly the city, again, at last. Yesterday I found out on Twitter that he started following me.

I don’t know what happened to all the Lolas we have ever dreamed of, Lolas from our generation, from the previous one and from the one to come, but the whole city is still waiting for them standing.

See them

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