Concha Velasco, the woman who was saved by laughter

A depression that came from the evils of the economy that mark the mood and life led Concha Velasco to suicideat the very edge of that immense swamp that awaits those who see only death as the replacement of sadness.

In a huge hotel room, where only the sounds of the elevators are heard, ingested a contemporary poison, poured himself a glass of whiskey and he prepared to contemplate, in his own carelessness, the consequences of a program by Andreu Buenafuente, in case it soon fell into oblivion and nothingness.

Like many people who find in that farewell tunnel a final relief in the joy that other people’s humor produces.that actress who has just died now, at the age of 84, having been one of the happiest women on earth, seeing in the growing grace of one of the best cartoons in history, on the list of Gila or Eugenio or Tip and de Coll, a moment that seemed like air in a world of lead.

Until Buenafuente, from the screen, got it right, for her, with a medicine that has no parallel, that of the joy of telling. She burst into laughter, in such a way (pardon the redundancy) that the vomit came to the aid of life and that was the end of his misfortune, and the restart (the reset) of life.

He told me this in an interview I did with him in Barcelona, ​​some time later, in the hotel where he always stayed, at his premieres and during his long Catalan stays. She was a woman, then, happy, settled, having lived through terrible stories (familiar or anti-familiar), but, like a character that Alfredo Bryce Echenique tells in one of his books, “He knew anguish and pain, but he was not sad one morning.”

Now that Concha Velasco has died, that episode has come to my mind, which emerged, told, as her way of happily reliving what had been the beginning of a life that had been born, from her native Valladolid, for the cinema, for the theater, for joyful passion. The story was twisted, but humor saved it, and also the humor that came from televisionanother of her workhorses, in which she measured herself against greats on stage and with greats from behind the scenes, among them José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, the director of so many of her films, the man who loved her, among many others. , and that I accompanied her once she premiered in Tenerife, where I was a youth journalist who was lucky enough to interview her and after interviewing her so many times.

That time she told me her story (already about love: she would go to his programs, it became her fetish, her gratitude for Buenafuente was that of a daughter and a mother at the same time, she loved him so much) she also told me about the era contemporary, this time in which we live. She was a committed woman (with politics: it was left-wing, from the party that is now in power), and he was also a human being aware that unliving, that is, forgetting, is of no use.

She had become an existentialist (she would persist in existing, she would never return to pills, she would watch television, drink whiskey and laugh at the devices) in love with the future. And nostalgia, Concha? “It is a mistake, indeed… Too many people looking back in Spain… I don’t want to look back, but I don’t want to forget either. The past is the past, rectifying it is rectifying life… “His son Manuel was his staff, like Paco, that a grandson had given her when I interviewed her that time she told me her story with vomiting and the joy of coming back to life thanks to Buenafuente.

She remembered the loneliness, which since she was a girl she had fought surrounded by the whole world, if she could, and by the actors, “when we enter the dressing room it already seems like they are lifelong friends… And no, it’s not like that, alas.

She was a great reader of newspapers, “of all newspapers”, she could not stand sectarianism, and he was a normal being who even doing the biggest thing seemed to be back, with his mother perhaps with his grandchildren, from shopping or from a premiere… “I am a diva, and I want to continue being one on stage…” But she was also the woman who paid attention to what was happening in a country that disrespected even the highest authorities of the State, on the contrary, she said, that in the United States, “where the president is the president even if he catches flies with his hand.”

What he said was, once again, about Buenafuente, his idol of the nights and resurrections. “He is my idol, the author of the humor that I like, the intelligent one, Buenafuente’s humor is not that of others who come out insulting for the sake of insulting & rdquor; & mldr; I was then amazed at the evil that had taken over the most direct means.“Haven’t you seen?” he told me, “that when they do interviews on the street they always bring out ugly people, who don’t know how to speak, kids who throw fireworks, angry people, who only have fuck and shit as their vocabulary.” ?

That time when the sadness from which her admired Buenafuente finally saved her came upon her. “I had a huge debt with the Treasury coming up, losing my house…”, heartbreak, bitterness… “It was the year 2000, when I hit rock bottom, I lost everything, I felt immense pain, and you see, I got ahead… I’m already recovering… My life is a continuous survival, a constant sacrifice. You have to survive, and I have survived, although they have hurt me unnecessarily”…

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When we were finishing the conversation I asked him if he wasn’t afraid of hate. Yeah, he said me. “Because I want to sleep peacefully… I’m terrified of losing my mind, of Alzheimer’s coming… And I tell myself: girl, don’t rest on your laurels, the bad guys are there.” What do you forgive the least, Concha? “The lack of loyalty, not infidelity, because we are all unfaithful, since we were children. “Disloyalty.”

She was on the verge of death, Andreu Buenafuente saved her, from television, what things are… Yesterday the comedian who was on the screen that night to decorate with laughter that very sharp moment in the actress’s life told this journalist when it was learned that that woman had died: “Concha Velasco was and will be the most modern and luminous artist of this country. We had the honor of her, in my family, to be close to her. She said that my humor saved her life and that is something that surpasses me and excites me. And that’s how it will always be because she will always be in our lives.