August drowns in a swim at La Concha beach in San Sebastian. At 10 in the morning, friendly people from San Sebastian walk the wet sand greeting each other with that cordial and distant manner so different from other Spaniards. This is how the greetings are in La Concha and I am grateful because I am aware of the waves that seem to get entangled among them, of the boats rocking in their predictable disorder, and half submerged, I think of Gerard Pique and his new girlfriend of 23 years, Clara Chía. The news resonated on my mobile during the early hours and I saw the images, stolen during a Dani Martín concert. “But it’s almost a Shakira replica,” I whispered, so as not to wake my husband.
It is not the same, but it is more controllable. The worst thing about the Shakirita syndrome, which is what this situation could be called, is the breath of male chauvinist rudeness that it gives off. Piqué, who is the father of two children with the singer, separates and wins back love with someone who combs his hair and looks just like his ex, but younger. More controllable. Why does he do something like that? Although the pink press celebrates him with that terrible “they no longer hide”, his parents must be very upset. In Miami, Shakira looks more relaxed, with an absent gesture but without that tension that in the end came over her living in Barcelona. I remember Ava Gardner, who gave her all in Spain in the fifties, until, according to her memoirs, Fraga Iribarne presented her with her tax bill. She left and never came back. His gossip continues to fill that gray stage of our country with glamor and debauchery. Shakira has also slammed the door. She returns to the controlled plasticity of Miami with her children, relatives and her maids and she leaves us her ex, the shakirita Y to the Tax Agency so that we can solve it without it.
Saint Sebastian, when he wants to, is very French. And when not, it is Spanish, and the combination is frenetic, but it is resolved. We arrived in the middle of Big Week, fleeing the heat and joining those who enjoy the north. The streets are filled with people looking for skewers and good ice cream, waiting for the fireworks that pyrotechnic companies from different countries and communities organize every day. On Friday the fireworks are courtesy of Italy and the expectation is maximum. Some find them lacking mascleta, others defend its subtlety. The fires fascinate for their explosive dexterity and their ephemeral pleasure, just like the waves, they seem to mix with each other and make their bursts whirlpools that embrace in the night. This is the fine courtesy of San Sebastian.
During the visit to Chillida LekuFollowing the explanations of Mikel, the sculptor’s grandson, we were stunned by the physical resemblance between them. Mikel is delicious and very Basque. Close and seductive but already with a wife and two children, in a serious tone of voice he explains each sculpture at the same time that he reveals the grandfather’s personality. Everything always in the family, the Basque Country is very familiar. Someone slips that now the space is financed and managed by the Swiss gallery Hauser & Wirth, who are not family. The grandchildren and heirs then become other types of sculptures, responsible for transforming the visit into an “experience”, making us feel as if we were inside a Netflix docuseries, style The marquesse.
As the waves continue to wrap around La Concha we sit on the presidenttzaren palkoa of the Anoeta stadium, invited by the president of the Royal Society, Jokin Aperribay to attend the match between Real and Barça de Piqué. It’s been years since he hugged Joan Laporta. “You are thinner, I am older and more…”; He didn’t let him finish the sentence and in the hug he asked me if I was there for Barça. I hide my answer as I can. In the first part the hosts play very well and draw. During the break I watch as Laporta, with a skewer in hand, and his team corner and circle each other like fireworks. With the second part the goals of Barça begin. I hear it said that in that triumph the new Barça is outlined, the team Xavi dreamed of. On the monitors I see Piqué, Clara Chía’s boyfriend, the shakirita, sitting on the bench. It is as if he saw it written in the sand: end of an era.
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