Que vive el toro

Que vive el toro (Excerpt)

“La emocíon del toreo es unicamente emocíon de arte.”
The thrill of bullfighting is uniquely the thrill of art.
—José Bergamín

It’s hot. Hotter than a bull’s ass on a vinyl car seat in Death Valley. Perfect day for a bullfight.

“If he goes like thees…very good pass! You shout, Olé!”

Edgar, my volunteer coordinator’s father, is coaching me and three other volunteers in bullfight audience participation. Today is Festival de Quito, when Quiteños celebrate the city’s founding by watching bulls get mauled by men. Edgar suggests another great slogan, which translates roughly as, ‘He’s got big balls!’ I commit that one to memory.

“If the bull puts on good fight, we say, Que vive el toro!”

“Que vive el toro!” we all repeat, with varying bad Spanish accents.

We join the throng of thousands streaming into Plaza de Toros. Inside, the pop music is blaring. On a make-shift dance floor, busty Quiteñas are thrusting in their pube-high teeny jeans to the music. The bass is so loud it sounds like the heartbeat of a massive beast. “Cervesas! CerVAYsas!” the tiny panama-hatted vendor ladies screech as we make our way to Gate 8, the “sol y sombre,” or “sun and shade” section. Actually, mostly sun.

The Grand Entry or corridas de toros begins: All around us Ecuadorians break out into the Quito anthem: “Yo soy el chullita quiteño, la vida me paso encantado!” The toreros and their assistants enter and promenade the outer circle of the bullring. Sunlight bounces off their trajes de luces—red, pink, and white suits with silver brocade and lovely black slippers. The hyper-feminized outfits look slightly ridiculous but they have a purpose: first, they indicate that this is not a rodeo but an artistic performance, and second, they accentuate chest, buns, calves, and more importantly, groin. Body parts with gore potential. […]

Source: Island Writer Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 2, Winter 2013