Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Un Relato

"Me da un euro?"
No, I don't have, really. I check my pockets, maybe I do. I'm a sucker for people who ask for coins. Then I think Gee maybe it wasn't such an innocent proposal as it seemed. Like this one guy, a black man with a face that screamed weed, who asked for spare change for food and I said he could have the product I had just ordered from the food machine. "No worry, no worry, have a nice week, nice week, yes."
The Man Who Asked Me for a Euro goes to the next person on the streetcar, a woman on the foldable bench horizontally opposite to me. I too am on a foldable bench.
"Me da un euro?"
"Bueno, gracias."
He walks another half a meter, disappearing from my peripheral vision into another wagon. I hear his voice, asking for the time, and another voice stating the fact that it's 7:30.
He walks across my wagon again.
And again.
The Man Who Asked Me for a Euro again asks someone else For the Time.
I think this is a good moment to describe The Man: he was of standard height, weight-wise on the chubby side. Black hair, pale skin and a sad face - an innocent face, for that matter. One that didn't realise people stared.
The streetcar stops, some step out, new people step in, and The Man Who Asked Me for a Euro proceeds to ask other people the same two questions he had been repeating all afternoon. He once again disappears from my sight. (Also, I'm reading a recollection of some of Truman Capote's descriptions of- celebrities?- no, intellectuals, so my full attention isn't focused on The Man.)
(I finish the description of Tennessee Williams. Love that guy.)
I look up, and then recall the existence of The Man. He is two meters away, asking a woman facing my way for the time.
"Perdon, que hora es?"
"Ia se lo dije hase sinco minutos."
A rude Columbian accent. True though, was that The Man had asked for the time near 15 times already in a span of 15 minutes, and obtained quite a few responses. The Man Who Asked Me for a Euro comes my way.
"Perdon, que hora es?"
I don't know. Really, I honestly don't know. I'm so useless. I flash a semi-friendly semi-I'm-sorry-I'm-of-no-use-whatsoever smile. I glance at my book for a millisecond, and smile again.
"Perdone, SeƱor, me da un beso?"
No, haha, but thank you. I give another smile, this time shy but still honest. The tram stops once more, Zona Universitaria. The Man Who Asked Me for a Euro, the Time and a Kiss steps out. He says goodbye, one foot in and one foot out of the streetcar, by asking the crisp air outside for the time.


Anonymous said...

short story?
but is it true?

Ami said...

muy buena felipe, en serio. :)
me gusto mucho!