In the middle of the battle of flags, the pirate flags of the skull were waved in Zaragoza with wind from the wind. More honest than the others when they are manipulated. And more identified with the subversive cause of Juan José Padilla, whose euphoric farewell to the Spanish ring, this Sunday, could only be conceived in the square where he could have died seven years ago. And where Alejandro Talavante, companion of poster next to Manzanares, announced by surprise that left the heralds indefinitely.
The news did not extend in the laying because he made it public on Twitter and because Padilla was the protagonist of the event between clamor and lagrimones. The spectators were crying. And the buccaneer cried with his one eye. The other one was taken by a bull from Ana Romero called Marquis and that it could have been called Vampiro. And that also snatched silence. The aftermath of that brutal goring left in heritage an impertinent whistle that prevents him from resting, but that reminds him at the same time that he is alive.
Of white and gold, as if he were going to make communion, Padilla filled the plaza not so much of fans as of militants and of hoooligans ("Illa, illa, illa, Padilla, wonder," they sang). The wrists of José Mari Manzanares shone – ear and ear– and Alejandro Talavante –ear and ovation– in the fundamental bullfight with the buoyant cattle of Cuvillo, but the afternoon responded to the delirium programmed and deserved. A triumphant suggestion that Padilla did not deny in the fight of Tortolito.
The diminutive did not take away the presence or importance of the bull, but his class allowed Padilla to say goodbye to hysteria. The wind of the cloak. The athletic conception of the banderillas. And the excitement of an intent, vibrating, knee-to-ground job that gave his children the serenity of a father who promises to have left the craft of artificer.
The last rush made the progeny nervous, but it never felt like Padilla was vulnerable. Nor that it was going to marrar the thrust in the media. The acabose came then, the alive ones to their mother, to the virgin of the Pillar and to Spain. And the clamor of a return to the ring that crossed embozado in the red flag, boasting of the black handkerchief that covers its head and the fifty stitches that gave the doctors in Arévalo last July. The bull had ripped off his scalp with the precision of red skin.
Ecce Homo. Here is the man patching up like Frankenstein. And turned into geography of screws and sutures. The goring of Barcelona. The one in Pamplona. The one of San Sebastián. The one from Huesca that opened its belly in channel. And that has tanned his skin like an old wineskin, until leaving unrecognizable the anatomy of that calf they called the Panaderito. Because he distributed the bread on his bicycle through the streets of Jerez. 45 years. 40 horns. Take the accounts.
Manzanares gave him the fifth bull as one who dismisses the ferryman from the other shore, but did not condescend in the tribute. Quite the opposite. José María Manzanares displayed his majesty, his cadence and his bullfighting in the best aesthetic dimension of the season, while Talavante combined inspiration, verticality and substance without fear of relativizing Padilla's latest temperamental outburst.
An eye of the face has cost Padilla to become rich, become a figure, occupy the cover of the New York Times, returning three or four times from extreme unction as one who comes from doing some errands. Martyr in life of bullfighting, patron of impossible causes, to the point that in his house in Sanlúcar has framed a white shirt with the blood of his own Eucharist. There is no explanation nor can the doctors and nurses who were summoned this Sunday in Zaragoza to give testimony of immortality.
The explanation may then lodge in the metallic sound of the chains that protect your neck. A rosary. A Christ And a mission that Padilla is sure to have undertaken, not to be a bullfighter or scandal of the complexed society, but to respond to the tests of God, between blood and chloroform. And the reward of heaven opened in La Misericordia.
It is called the Plaza de Zaragoza. And the big door was opened to Padilla –ovation in the first bull, two ears in the room–, become the step of Holy Week, idolized as a god. Stripped of the gold of her dress as if each alamar, each thread, each drop of sweat, were the relic of the Virgen del Pilar.