He felt something strong when he saw her for the first time, he tells her.
They sit at a square wooden table with an open window facing the side of Museo Palacio Ferreyra. She stares at the prettiest building in Córdoba lit up by shifting colours. The 19th century mansion with purple, blue and red light flashing from the spotlights. She tells him she would like to live there.
The owner of the Irish pub walks in and she breathes in the smell of damp wooden floors and evaporating ale in the air and she’s not sure she’s in London or Argentina’s second biggest capital.
It’s another travel romance with a best before date, but right now it doesn’t matter. He tells her she doesn’t need to do a thing and she lays her head against his chest and tells him a life without feelings is boring.
When he takes her hand and they walk along Avenida El Buen Pastor she feels an unfamiliar sense of belonging. The avenue stretching itself wide between the apartment buildings and only a couple of cars passing them by. It’s Sunday and she thinks she is in love.
She’s not sure what she’s doing but she knows it’s always easier to commit when there’s no time for definitions and the distance is too far for a long lasting relationship. Maybe it’s the experience and the getting to know people. Like gonzo journalism with a romantic twist. Or maybe it’s just the romanticised idea of romances abroad fuelled by reading too many Hemingway novels. They are the Catherines and Brets of her life.
He brings her to his family’s summer house in his white pick-up truck, to the hills of the sierras and the shrubs are thorny and the sunrays are burning. There’s no one more scared than him and no one higher on the travel bug than her.
She’s resting her head on the river bed at Las Aromas with the sun warming her skin. She closes her eyes and dreams or thinks or realises she has had her horses and mountains. She opens them again and thinks of the hills and the horses at dusk. Sees herself picking up the hay from the ground handing it to him. She doesn’t want to wander any longer. Is this it?
She leaves the hot streets of the city and falls in love with him and at one point she is 17 again and in no control of her emotions. She sits in an Air Bnb flat drenched in a spiral of thoughts. Surrounded by brochures on the Jesuit ruins, hostels and maps of Córdoba spread out on the wooden floor, she stares at her phone wondering when he will text her.
In the end poor, poor dear Cat dies.