Almudena Grandis and Carmen Balcis on the favorite train

It would have been a nice meeting, but for a while there was no other choice but to imagine it. Carmen Balcellsthe literary agent who twisted the arm of history and set up the Spaniards to deal with Hispanic-American literature as the canons of the best fictional history dictate, and Almudena Grandiswhich changed the face of the Spanish feud and made those who were defeated so Deserved pride of solidarity.

These two women, both with that guts Inner beauty, not the one who is seen, who is heard, who is felt. These two women together, for example, by train stationfor square, for love, for literary or lively loves, they almost resplendent together in the affection due to them, and the admiration they had, one at Barcelona, ​​she was his queen, the other at Madrid, her kingdom too was of this world.

Balsiles Died in 2015. Calm at dawn, after completing all the tasks, and those that were missing. It was a bold and beautiful life, silent about its most appetizing corners His silence was worth goldwanted by its authors. Almudena died here, near covid, in 2021, before anything. Her embers continue, like Carmen’s voice, like the one we used to listen to, on the phone, in taxis, in rest areas, leisure areas or work, always expecting, always asking Quiet friendship.

Carmen used to be at home, in that house she made a kind of public archive of secrets, where she received, for example, those who were her friends, when they were leaving, like Manuel Vasquez Montalbanwho was as godson as his son. Almudena was more than just a party. She always went where friendship offered wine or laughter, and she had more than a laugh. He laughed, sometimes, it was clear on his face, so that others would be happy, okay She was generous and loyal As if he had taken both drugs to give to all his family (and those who came) the wit of what he had discovered from a story which he would later share in literature (and in life).

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Two personalities. Once, in Barcelona, ​​going to the plane, from Saint Jordi Book FairI’ve seen Almudena Grandis as sad or sad on the trailing edge. It seemed like he was making his head dwell on another project, in another life, something was happening to him. The intuition he lent me certainly made me ask him this question:

Do you fall in love?

He looked at me as if I were mighty, and in an instant told me everything, even saying his name.

You already know your name. Now, for example, the poet Luis García Montero, that love he would have bought for her (as Balcells: he was too much for this kind of transport), the whole cab-cab collection from Madrid, Barcelona or Granada, for example, is a hero The novel of the greatest success of his commitment to the country and his literary future. Well, the success of the language conference held in Cadiz, also the home of the one he fell in love with, is due in large part (for the good part). To pursue her he would buy a fleet, and indeed his words about her, Written by poeticDedicating her, what you say about her, what you sing about her, is a tribute that every day expands the character of that woman who used to throw back her hair and head, and said to me:

– This is called Luis Garcia Montero.

To laugh immediately because that was the truth, It was not a pseudonym.

This Saturday the train of (good) wishes that life has brought together, Almudena and Carmen, in my humble existence as a journalist who sometimes finds, on the street, on trains, or in taxis, reasons to believe in goblins who provide you with beautiful news. At noon on Friday, the festivities in Cádiz ended, and Luis García Montero disembarked in the prisoner of the academic army and disarmed it. Atocha station to open, with the minister and administrators, with relatives and friends, editors or writers, the station which has long been named after his wife.

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And the reporter passed by, amazed that what appeared to be a real name was opening up like Almudena Grandes Station. Before he uttered some words which I will review later, I had to go to Barcelona in search of Carmen Balcellsto manage words (that ended in love words de Serrat) is a tribute paid by Ada Colau and its cultural communes from Balcells to the literary agent who decided to America never ends in Buenos Aires But only at that point, for example, where the celebration took place: the square next to the Gabriel García Márquez Library, which now bears the name of this prolific woman, for her wit, her laughter and her tears too.

There was his son Luis Mikel Who took her reins, who wisely (wisely, like her mother) bid farewell to her granddaughter Laura, whose tears I thought I saw, as I saw her in tears Leticia Fiduchiand all the friends who attended, such as Ana Salís, widow of Manolo V el Empesinado, who Juan Marcy And like so many others, they experienced the earnest joy of being close to Big Mama.

At night, when I returned from Barcelona, ​​with the memory of these coincidences, I got off the train at Atocha-Almudena Grandes. I came to read a very beautiful book, wilderness (Manuel Calderon, Tusquets) What a wonderful book for both of them, I thought that these two women who lived to read (and in the case of Carmen, to keep silent) the good books that made this country better than thanks to them, for example, would not be so stingy or So shove.

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Well, on thinking of it, I notice that they have already put all the light in the proud space, like an unusual bird-box, as it corresponds to the reading, in fluorescent: Great city station.

In Barcelona Carmen. In Madrid Almudena. On the train of well-wishes, crying is sadness, celebrating coincidence that never ends.

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Louis said so in the case of his wife. “how Poet and philologist I have always avoided phrases like I have no words or I can’t find the words to express them…, but today I submit to that formula, because it is very difficult for me to explain the feelings that my three children and I feel every time we hear on the train Next stop Puerta de Atocha / Almudena Grandes’. Yes, memory gives meaning to our lives, and our next stop is always Almudena. Season is the best summation of life: arrival and departure. Hello and goodbye. Today I feel The first step in hospitalitythe door of the house in the city of Almudena like Madrid & rdquo;.

This train takes us all.

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