Anything But Love
by Gustavo Pérez Firmat
Publication Date: March 31, 2000
Some people would call Frank Guerra fussy, even compulsive–but they’re wrong. He simply believes in perfection. He strives to make every textbook he writes into a work of art, and he intends that every Cuba Libre he mixes come out textbook-perfect. (The key? Exactly six drops of lime juice for each ounce of rum.) And Frank also believes in romantic love.
In fact, he believes in love so strongly that he’s willing to divorce his faithful wife Marta (who’s a real mensch about it), lose his old friends, and even leave behind his adoring daughter Emily–all for the sake of his new americana, a sedate but supremely sexy schoolteacher named Catherine O’Neal, or Cat for short. But it’s worth all the pain: Cat believes in their love, too.
So why, when he looks deep into Cat’s cool, sphinx-like eyes, can Frank never penetrate into her depths? Why does he begin to see only his own gaze reflected there, as if from twin funhouse mirrors? Is she hiding something from him–anything? (Everything, maybe?) Is his Cat merely toying with him? Frank finds the possibility disturbing. He expects his perfect love to be fully and equally reciprocated. After all, in an imperfect, unstable world filled with disappointment, isn’t there any ideal, anything, that’s really worth living for, maybe even dying for? Frank can’t think of anything but love.