Gabriel García Márquez changed my life. I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude when I was somewhere around twelve years old. Plagued with insomnia and not understanding how it came about, this work of art presented me with a perfectly logical explanation: I had caught it from my father. Though we both endured sleepless nights under the same roof, my father and I rarely interacted. Rather, we were like passing ships in the night, acknowledging each other’s presence and then going our separate ways. He had his infomercials. I preferred the company of my books.
I would get swept up in the worlds Gabo so expertly crafted to the point that it would be hard for me to return to mine. Never having to suspend disbelief, magical realism was a genre that fit me exquisitely. The way he presented the seemingly unexplainable demonstrated another option: That magic has a place in reality. It’s all around us. If only we’re willing to be generous.
This snippet is less risque than my usual erotica excerpts, but it feels right given the recent passing of one of my literary saviors. Read the entirely of my story, Twisted Realities, in Twisted edited by Alison Tyler and published by Cleis Press and see how many nods to García Márquez and references to his work you can spot! (I had to resist the temptation to go overboard–stopping short at working Macondo into my story–but many of my references are quite obvious. A few slightly more subtle for the dedicated magical realism fan.) I feel honored and grateful that my bit of Gabo-inspired erotica was published before he died. Rest in peace, rest in power, beloved Gabo!
My first four, semilucid nights at Misericordia Hospital were spent in a haze, and for that reason I was unsure as to whether or not I had imagined him. So picturesque, dark curls offsetting his hazel eyes, an exquisite blend of feminine and masculine, he looked like he had walked off the GQ pages of my dreams and materialized by my bedside to check my vitals. I could only recall brief flashes of him coming and going. I heard his voice, reading something about a woman too disturbingly beautiful for this world, how she ascends into the heavens, and then his words faded away in the distance. I saw him taking a syringe to my drip line and then everything went blank. I even thought I could recall his scent, trailing off into the night. My body—a much more reliable source than my mind at this point—distinctly remembered feeling how he positioned himself on the edge of my bed one night, the heat of his thigh pressing up against mine. Then gone.
Surely it had to be the drugs.
It gets quite racy later on…I promise!