So Aureliano was still a virgin when Amaranta Úrsula returned to Macondo and gave him a sisterly embrace that left him breathless. Every time he saw her, and worse yet when she showed him the latest dances, he felt the same spongy release in his bones that had disturbed his great-great-grandfather when Pilar Ternera made her pretexts about the cards in the granary. Trying to squelch the torment, he sank deeper into the parchments and eluded the innocent flattery of that aunt who was poisoning his nights with a flow of tribulation, but the more he avoided her the more the anxiety with which he waited for her stony laughter, her howls of a happy cat, and her songs of gratitude, agonizing in love at all hours and in the most unlikely parts of the house. (...)
Aureliano, whose world at that time began with Melquíades’ parchments and ended in Nigromanta’s bed, found a stupid cure for timidity in the small imaginary brothel. At first he could get nowhere, in rooms where the proprietress would enter during the best moments of love and make all sorts of comments about the intimate charms of the protagonists. But with time he began to get so familiar with those misfortunes of the world that on one night that was more unbalanced than the others he got undressed in the small reception room and ran through the house balancing a bottle of beer on his inconceivable maleness. He was the one who made fashionable the extravagances that the proprietress celebrated with her eternal smile, without protesting, without believing in them just as when Germán tried to burn the house down to show that it did not exist, and as when Alfonso wrung the neck of the parrot and threw it into the pot where the chicken stew was beginning to boil.