You Should Date An Illiterate Girl, Seriously

By Juan Carlos Rincón Escalante

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Seriously. Don’t let writers (like Charles Warnke) fool you. Find her anywhere and learn to discover the pure art that’s hidden in what is simple. If it’s at a bar, one of those impregnated by the taste of banality and resignation, don’t judge: listen.  Look at how she moves and gives meaning to the music that, seconds ago, you discredited. Try to follow her steps and, if she lets you, join her choreography. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to dance, let yourself go, what matters here is to feel. Feel with your hands that back hardened by the sweat of happiness, feel the scent that intertwines itself with the rhythm, feel the thoughts that blend themselves with the body, and blow up in passion. Feel, feel, live. Try to convince her to go back to your place and discover that rhetoric is worthless: feeling is the only argument. Leave frustrated because she came to move, not to screw someone. It will have to be another night.

Call her and beg for her to answer. Discover that she’s busy during the day. Discover that, at nights, she goes jogging with her dog, or to dinner with her friends, or to that cooking class that she loves so much, or to that language class that she really needs for she is dying to travel, or that she just simply takes a long shower, softly strokes her face and body with spices you don’t know, and gets ready for bed. When she answers, if she answers, forget the elaborate lies, the Hemingway and Bukowski quotes, don’t listen to Woody Allen or underestimate her intelligence. Understand that she’s pragmatic, that for every story you’ve read she has an anecdote, lived in the flesh. You’re not the first that looks for her, and you won’t be the last. Many failed poets have worn her patience and heart down. Be brave and honest: show her who you really are. That’s the only thing that matters to her.

If she agrees to go out with you, surprise yourself with the variety of options available other than going to see an indie film or grabbing a drink at a sketchy café. Discover the pleasure of a car ride, with the music at full volume, on your way to a nice restaurant. Admire her outfit, carefully put together to the last detail, and allow her beauty to overwhelm you and stimulate you. Learn to talk about everything without pretenses. Listen to her and watch her listen to you. Tell her your story, without embellishments, and receive hers without prejudice. Look at how the big words can be spared when comfort and trust are built. Start to feel, start to fall in love, start to need her lips, her hands, her gaze, her peace, her vitality.

In bed, hers or yours, remember her dance moves when you feel her take control. She invented what  literate girls have only read before. She’s the experience. Lose yourself again, relish in her, with her. This is the inspiration, boy. This is what your heroes speak of. Finish falling in love with her. Please her. Earn a spot in her chest. Work for the right to wake up next to her. And if you do, and if you can get her to smile, and if you watch her walk naked around the room, with that perfect back, follow her. Cook with her and let the class I told you about be useful so that she can caress your tongue yet again. Play music when you take showers together. Take her to work. Pick her up after the day is done. Share her passion for that career you found so technical and arid before and that, in her lips, in her actions, acquires another dimension. Do you see how you can love the other things, the things you had contempt for when you didn’t even know them? Talent and inspiration are not only for those who live writing, dear. Admire her.

Meet her family: her working father that improvised trades without an education but with a lot of determination; her working mother that leads her life by simple, universal and powerful values. Look at how her parents’ house is a sanctuary dedicated to nobility, to humility. Discover that ambition without arrogance is possible. Read the problems and traumas between the lines. Look at how people that don’t read also suffer, cry, and carry the burden of the irresistible insignificance of existence. Look at how they face it, with experience as a weapon, and persistence as the sole strategy. That night, after dinner, break down in front of her, confess your pain, your nonconformity, your disappointment with an unsatisfying present, with a cruel, senseless world. Look at how she understands you, and look at how, with a firmness you won’t find in many books, she helps you shake the uneasiness. She doesn’t submerge in the melancholy as if it were tragic poetry worth admiring. She conquers it. Life is a dance, boy.

After a while, and before you get married, look at how she takes you by the hand to know Woolf’s London, Hemingway’s Paris, Forster’s Florence, and the whole world of so many authors, all of this without reading any of them, but with the same curiosity and strength that in other times moved so many great people. When you return, you won’t have another choice but to ask her, screaming (note: be more creative than that) for her to be yours for the rest of your days. Marry her and you will be happy, because she doesn’t get bored, she won’t allow it. You’ll see, and this is what few seem to understand, that the girl who doesn’t read does this because she doesn’t have time: her passion is to live. There’s so much to do, to experience, to discover and dream, that her essence is that of the adventurer without destination; her goal is happiness, that word that can’t be conceptualized for it can only be felt.

Date a girl that doesn’t read, seriously. Take a chance. There are so many, so varied, so special, so problematic, so interesting, that literature hasn’t been able to narrate them all. Hurry up, though. The girl that doesn’t read waits, but not for long: life is short and she’s in a hurry to seize it.

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