April 05, 2014

Cold Asian Night Kisses


She had asked him to leave the curtain open while he took the shower. The bedroom and the bath were only separated by a wide window through which she could now see him covered on soap and he could watch her laying on the bed. Dressed only by that mysterious smile.
The same smile that had hypnotised him some hours earlier during the dinner with that Asian city at hundreds of meters below them. She didn’t need to wear anything while she smiled, and a man needed all kind of shields when the smile disappeared. He had never felt more naked in public than seconds after she erased it and a serious expression with her lips not completely closed followed. The ambiguous expression that may invite a man to kiss a woman or warn him to stay away.
Now, with the hot water, hitting his eyes, that moment looked like ages ago in the past. For once in his life he had been brave enough and his reward was now looking at him from the bed while he could only feel that he was getting into troubles. The familiar feeling of fragility, intensified by his nudity, so weak and so meaningless compared to hers.
He closed his eyes for a second to rinse the soap in his eyes, and when they opened again she saw her near the window, standing in front of him, with only the thick cold glass, covered on steam now, between her body and his fears. She approached, leaned and, still looking at his eyes, kissed the glass. A long, warm and distant kiss.
Days after, already far from that Asian room, during his nights in hotels at this side of the world, that kiss would torture him. It would come back as a short knife every time he took a warm shower or he looked at a different girl laying under his sheets. It was only one of the thousand kisses that they exchanged that night, but the glass between them, the image of her body at only some millimetres from his skin and the feeling of the bracket that it was closing made it be the most exciting memory of the night. The intense momentary feeling that it could be it. That finally the pieces of the puzzle were falling at the right place and that maybe, just maybe, he had reached the end of the road. Sunrise reminded him however that those lips were just the price of freedom and the cost of flying high enough to follow smiles that end up in cold kisses on a glass.

Posted by antonio at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2013

A Night in Town


He does not know her so well actually. They met only three or four other times in different cities before, in different continents with different excuses. He somehow suspects that she is married, and she somehow suspects that he is lying. It would be easy to ask and talk through it. That is in fact the only thing they do outside bed: to talk. It would be easy to ask but that would break the spell. They discuss about everything, about him and about her, but never about them. They don´t want the other to fall in love, but they dont want to listen they are not either.
He has slept for a couple of hours and while his eyes accomodate to darkness her profile appears most wonderful than ever in front of that window. It takes him some seconds to remember in which city they are. The only things that come to his mind are the flashes of the short talk at the lobby of that fancy hotel, her small luggage, her eyes moving up slowly after hearing her name, the sweet taste on her lips from the last sip of gin tonic and that familiar feeling of surrender.
Some months ago he promised to himself after a goodbye kiss that tasted as this one, that it would be the last time. But now her image gets more clear in front of him and her mind starts thinking on the evening that is about to start: the warm shower, her sexy dress, the subtile make-up, only for him, the hidden restaurant, the dizziness of the red wine, the discrete looks of other men in the room, the taxis with silent drivers,... the happiness.
The fast, fragile and deep conviction that this is it. That life is about waking up in some unknown city with the smell of a person we like on our skin, in a bedroom that we have never seen, on a bed we do not own. Knowing that the sunset that she has just seen naked from that room is the start of a magic night in town. With the girl we love.
Even if in the morning a quick kiss resets that love and sends us again to that world where sun brights too much to leave the curtains open and to ask the questions with answers that we don´t want to hear.

Posted by antonio at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2010

Love the job you do...


... and be proud of your past.
Back in 2005 I posted something here about my happiness for having decided to come back to CERN and help to make those two bloody beams run inside the LHC.
2010 will finish soon and I am not working for the LHC anymore. However, the two beams run now at the speed of light along those 27 kilometers that I know so well. Very few things make me happier than remembering from time to time that I had something to do with that.
ITER is the most ambitious, risky and complex scientific project ever envisaged by the human being. Even the Apollo looks simple next to this huge tokamak. More than half of the population on this planet is contributing with their taxes to make the dream of unlimited and clean energy possible. We are a team with more than 30 different nationalities working together from eight different sites in the world. And we know we will manage. It's the most exciting project in which a nuclear engineer like me can be involved. I am the responsible of a beautiful system, I learn, I decide, I spend money and I get to travel a lot. I meet every day people much more experienced and wiser than me who are willing to teach me everything they know. I have a nice salary, a nice flat and a nice life...


I discover myself thinking on those 27 kilometers, and the people who made it possible. All of them great professionals, some of them amazing colleagues, a bouch of them very good friends. And I miss them.
I miss the dicussions, the fights, the long morning shifts, the long evening shifts, the long (and exciting) night shifts. The redundant meetings, the disapointments, the fears, the alarms, the patrols, the twenty phone calls per hour, the wake up calls at 4 am with a woman voice asking you about hotness with your girlfriend waking up next to you, the 24/7, the pride, the sadness, the worries, the familiar stress, the long walks, the boring rides, the patrols again...
and, above all, the dream team. Those friends who shared it with you, the commissioning guys.
We were the best.
I just put a picture of us next to my desk at ITER. When the hard times come (we had some already this year and more are about to come) it helps to remind me that we are doing this for a reason. Not only for solving the energy problem once forever but also to prove to ourselves that there is hope.
Because if mankind is able to do things like the LHC, things like ITER... if we manage to show to the world that the hardest technical barriers can be broken and the most complex intercultural problems between Men can be solved, everything is possible.
If we manage to success in these endeavours, we dont need to worry about our future, if we can do them we can do everything.

It started one morning in September 2008, I was there, and I did it with my friends.
I miss you guys.

Posted by antonio at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2010

Eleven years

The only book I really enjoyed from Coelho talks about a Brazilian prostitute working in Geneva´s rue de Berne. Just two steps away from my beloved Rue de Fribourg, the little street where I spent the best years and moments of my life. It´s called Eleven Minutes and when I was riding back from work I remembered that I arrived to Geneva eleven years ago, March 1st, 1999.
Anyone who follows this blog (thanks again) knows that I left my city to come to Aix four months ago and, although it´s getting better, I still wonder why I left it when I loved it so much and my life just could not be better.
I left Barcelona because of work when I was 22, scared, stupid and virgin. I have never missed Barcelona again. I left Geneva being 33, sad and single, and I know I will miss it for years.
When people asks me about my professional life I enjoy explaning that each big scientific project I have been involved in has costed me a girlfriend. The LHC made me lose Estela, ALBA saw my last year of real happiness with Raquel and ITER was the reason why the perfect thing with Natasha had a sudden, fast, and sad ending. I am still in love with her and I think that´s the reason why I dont get to fall in love with ITER.
Eleven years.
Eleven years since I was forced to change my life, my future and myself. Eleven years that include four incredible girlfriends (my Romanian love did not finish because of Science but just because we spent two years fighting each other instead of just loving each other, Natasha made the rest). Eleven years of many loyal friends that I hope they know I would kill for them (long life to the GSS!).
Eleven years of Lea.
Eleven years of Geneva.
Eleven years that made me change completely. Eleven years that almost made me forgot who I was before I left Spain.
There was always one thing that helped me to keep the best of me, the little part of myself who kept reminding me the young wannabe engineer I used to be, leaving Barcelona crying on that tragic first of March, she lived with me for years, she is geting married in three months, and nothing would have been so amazing if I could not have shared it with her. Thanks Esther. We used to say ´they cant say we never tried´ and now apparenlty, we made it.
I will write the same post in 2021, and I am sure it will be even happier than this one.

Posted by antonio at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2009


Today, at last, we have started to put current in the 28-km ring we managed to break last year. We have done it quietly, in silent, almost in secret. We will never forget the picture someone took in the tunnel almost two years ago where a hundred of people tried to fit their smiling faces in a little control room just after we put 10 Amps in a tinny magnet not bigger than my wrist. Today we made hundreds of Amps run along two magnets weighting seveal tones and bigger than my Micra, in the picture only three faces: Mirko, Matteo and myself. But still smiling. We won´t have the media looking at us and each success wont be followed by a "well done!" but by a ¨hurry up!". We have to do everything again, it will be boring and tiring, stressing and unexciting but we´ll try to keep the smile and this damned machine will see those protons running again by fall.
The morning was pretty hard: the same problems again, the same dissapointments, the same rushes of last year. At the begining of the afternoon, while I was trying to convince a technician not to step into the tunnel unless he wanted to get hurted (by me) I looked at one of my colleagues, he had spent the morning in front of a console fighting against some stupid bug in a code which is supposed to help us with the analysis of the tests. There are one million things that have to perfectly fit to put those Amps in the magnets, and those code lines are one of them. He hadn´t had lunch and in his face one could see that he was not going to have dinner either. Suddenly he made a very small move, almost instinctively. It was like if not even him noticed, but he did it.
For a moment he moved his eyes down from the screen and while puting his hands together, he played for some seconds, milliseconds, with his wedding ring. And then, I swear to god, he smiled. Not a tired or helpless smile but a warm and powerful one. It´s not difficult to understand that his mind forgot for some seconds that computer bug and focused on something that happened not many hours ago in a place not far from our control room or, even better, on something that he knew would happen in some hours in that same place, much less populated than hour dear CCC but for sure much more exciting.
Although the only ring I have to take care about is the LHC, some people ask me from time to time which is my idea of the real utility of that smaller ring.
The smile of my colleague would be my only answer.

Posted by antonio at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2009

From CERN with Love

From abstrusegoose.com...


We might be a bounch of clumsy nerds but we also have feelings :-)

Posted by antonio at 02:32 AM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2009


Some people in Spain, me among them, firmly believe on guardian angels. Beings which are not always visible and don´t necessarily show up in a human form. Often they are just a thought, a feeling, a heavy rain or a clear sky without stars on a summer night. Sometimes, rarely, they pop up as a lucky chain of random events, so unlike that they look unnatural and people call them miracles, they are not miracles though, they are angels.
In very seldom cases, these beings come to us with the form or a man or a woman.
Last year I have heard about some of these angels and, even more strange, I have seen one. It left me just one year ago.
2008 has been a strange year, the strangest of my life, and the most exciting. My world had fallen apart when fall 2007 started, I did not see it coming and when it happened I could not figure out how the hell would I manage to go through the next months, I knew it would be over eventually, but I did not know when and did not know how.
It took 4 days to her, to it, to arrive. Angels can fly and that's the way it came, however, knowing how scared I can get, it just told me that it took a taxi. They can fly and they can lie too.
It stayed next to me for three months. It knew what I liked, it knew what I missed and above all it knew what I dreamt. It told me about the tales I had read when I was not even a teenager, reminded me the princesses I had fallen in love with, it took care of me and only let me look back when winter arrived.
It left with the first snows so that I could stop staring at it and open my eyes to reality again. Winter had come and my world had changed. It had taken my hand and walked me out of the sad fall to leave me in the middle of a promising winter. I have never seen it again, nobody knows about it and the only thing I have are those strange pictures that it made me take to remember the night when it let me see its wings.
2008 has been a great year because of it, and I am glad for having met it, for having heard its soft voice, kissed its thin lips and felt its airy body. I know I will not see it again, not with that form.
Winter has come again and with the first cold nights I have realised that there is a price to pay when an angel comes to help you, in my case the price is to miss it each time a new winter arrives knowing that its wings, her cab, is not going to bring it to me tonight.
It said she came from Bryansk, and sometimes I still miss her.

Posted by antonio at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2008

Geneva Experience 2008

This post is just an excuse to make a political issue dissapear from the first page of GinebraConHelio. I love politics, but like some other interesting things, I just enjoy it in private.
So let's come back to the core of this blog, its soul, the ciy it worships.
It's been a strange year. My not so new marital status has made it interesting and sad, exciting and uncertain, stressing and lonely.
The worst: Esther leaving our city to come back to Barcelona. Nothing has been the same since May, and I miss her.
The best, nobody can express it as Lea, from Africa she is still my partner in this threesome, this is not mine, this is hers:

The overwhelming freedom
the dizziness of alcohol
the taste of starbucks on Sundays
the sunny days, the rainy days, the cloudy days
the smell of that person on my skin
the recurrent soundtrack
the caresses and the orgasms
the overwhelming warmth
the deceptions and mistakes
the expectations, the experience, the loneliness
the choices and indecissions, the future
the new freedom

I am going to Sierra Leone in 3 weeks. I don't want to but I made her a promise. Let it be the strangest end to the strangest year of my life.
It has not been easy, but it has been amazing.
Thanks to my very best friend, my very best lover and those angels whose eyes I have seen opening so many mornings next to mine. New year's eve will not be sad this time.
I am thankful to you guys and I will never forget it.

Posted by antonio at 09:32 PM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2008



You made me rediscover Geneva, changed the idea of usual hours and normal distinctions between day and night, weekend and working days. Now you are making me redefine the word holidays. It looks already like centuries, you are living your dream and have managed to convince me to live my nightmare.
I just know I will be scared, unconfortable and broke, but will miss it as soon as I sit down in the airplane to return to Geneva.
Our Geneva.
I have very few heroes and you are one of them.

(Foto: Geneva Sessions by Fred Hamel and Lea)

Posted by antonio at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2008



Geneva hasn't been always Esther but it has had meaning because of her. They are not a place or a person but a shelter and a goal.
The routines, the smell of coffee in Cornavin, the grappas at the end of the dinners in pyjamas, the useless expensive shopping on Thursdays, just on Thursdays, the hangovering Saturdays, the hangovering Sundays, the rush, the fights, the unestability, the mid-term plans, the rent delays, the debts, the loans, the accidents, the girlfriends, the boyfriends, the lovers, the four night stands, the unprotected life.
Everything is never possible, but one can at least try to get it if he has a backup. They are mine.
One proud past, two tough presents, two places, one city.
We have been here and it has never last, in the meantime the loneliness cares for her while Geneva takes care of me.

(Photo: Geneva by Fred Hamel, model: Lea, thank you guys)

Posted by antonio at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)