Monday, July 23, 2007

Corrida La Madeleine

It was the number 7, the lucky one some might say, but it was not supposed to be on the spotlight and it turns out to be the best of the late, hot and sunny afternoon.

The crowd buoyed the two ones before asking the presidency to change the bull, but they stayed put and did not recognize the week temper of the main actors. It was true that after few picks, none entered into the cape straight, refusing the fight and falling on their knees.

It was true that the El Vellosino cast was considered by certain not as strong as it used to be, especially after few unfaithful appearances in various arenas in the south of the border. But after all we were only at the second Corrida of the Temporada and we all hope that we could witness a bigger than life story, one you want to tell your friend and family at the fire place when the winter become thinker and colder than ever.

The 6 Toros were going to be partnered with one of the most solid crew that the stadium was able to have this summer. The 3 companions (Curro Díaz, El Juli and J.M. Manzanares) entered under the sun of this Monday 23rd of July with the same bravura that any torero have when risking his life is his way of making a living. I am now almost sure that they kept the last one for the young prodigy and wanted to spare it for the end.

This is what happened. After a quick tour under the sun, the number 6 was replaced almost instantly by the number 7, from another cast and region. It color and strength was totally different from the other ones we saw so far. The best was raw, strong, and courageous. It took some time for the crow to calm down and stop murmuring before El Juli start welcoming the Toro by few left and right passes, semi-knee and half Veronique.

It sounded promising. The Toro was big and heavy from the torso, almost like in comic book but without the chance to read the story tomorrow. After 2 minutes of understanding and judging how to kill the best, El Juli went back to see his Peones and asked some confirmation about it reaction under the stress of the competition.

It was at that precise time that number 7 decided to jump over the fence and ran into the corridor. Staff, Peones, photographs and other civilians jumped inside the sanding round box to avoid a deadly face to face with the new ambassador of the animal kingdom. Screams, laughs and movements helped me to realized the danger of dancing dressed like a woman with a Toro in the middle of the afternoon in front of thousand people who whish that nothing will happen but keep looking at it.

Number 7 finally find its way back in the middle of the place, where it deserved to be, and was welcomed for the second time with a round of applause. The picks and banderillas did not do too much to weaken its strength, but amplified the mission of our representative in the middle of the day.

The magic happen then.

El Juli started to dance with number 7 in a duo that would have left anyone in the audience more convince that death and life are one unique thing. He moved number 7 in the middle of the circle and forced it to dance around him. Here is a left, and here is a right. Two feet grounded, the red cape flying above the black beast, our new blond hero was encouraged each time by some ole. The crowd was content and pleased to see that a human being, one of the best and strongest of its kind, was there defying death with honor, bravura and dignity. The clamor went bigger and could barely surpass the band that started playing to illustrate the famous paseo.

It was time to salute for a last time number 7 and give it what it came for in the first place. The place was anxious to see if El Juli the magnifico could give it the supreme sentence in one shot, forcing the presidency to allow him to go out the door al hombre with two hears in one hand, and the tail in the other.

But he failed, at the last second number 7 understood and moved it head back at the afternoon dancer, and refuse it final destination. That was it. The rest is just a line in history book.

El Juli killed number 7 at his 3 attempts and did not get the triumph he deserved that particular day, but I still remember his look facing the Toro. Both of the 2 actors where as close as they could get to me, and I could see in his look that it was or him or number 7, the death was between the two, and it could have been a different line in the history book.

Life in a Corrida is very simple, it always get down to how you look at the bull before killing it.

I could never raise my eyes at a bull, I am too scared.