Suddenly the room gasps. I can’t believe the vivid scene on the screen. El Cordobés has been hooked and is flung, doing a cartwheel over the angry bull’s head. The gang roars as El Cordobés lands in a heap and buries his head in his arms as the bull tramples and tries to gore him. The TV replays the scene many times, each time drawing gasps in the bar.
El Cordobés survives and—no surprise—eventually kills the bull. As he makes a victory lap, picking up bouquets tossed by adoring fans, the camera zooms in on the rip exposing his hip and a long bloody wound. The short men around me will remember and talk about this moment for years to come.