The life of some writers – mine, at least – is very similar to that of traders or commercial travelers. Luckily, they do not put us in pensions with fleas or in caravans and they still lodge us in hotels worth four stars with breakfast included, as if literature continued to matter to someone. It is there, freshly risen, in the buffets that we barely try, stirring the coffee with boredom and nibbling on toast with oil and salt, when we fall where no decent and neat person should ever fall: the morning television.
In the most chic and cramped hotels they put the CNN for breakfast, but most choose TVE or Public mirror or Ana Rosa. Those of us who travel alone have no escape: no conversation frees us from sticking our eyes in that carousel of talking letters and busts that put an accent of melodrama on the days that have just begun.
More than one cup of coffee has left me cold when I am happy with the rhythm of morning TV, and when I have brought it to my lips it has been known to Calvinist guilt. To be hypnotized by the daily quarrel during office hours, when everyone should be at their chores, is to deceive the day, such as escaping from work to go shopping or get into a bingo. I tell myself that I have an excuse, that I am a prisoner of my life, that when I am at home I do not turn on the TV in the morning, but I know that I cheat myself. Deep down I like that feeling of unproductiveness, of laziness, of absolute loss of time. And I think that is the greatest triumph of those programs, that their viewers know that they should be doing anything else, feigning any occupation. Even sleeping late is more honorable.
At the second coffee, I detach myself from the screen, but every day it costs me more. I know I could spend the whole morning there and throw it all away. Maybe one day it happens and I even forget to write these lines.