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?"
"No."
"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.

2 comments:

Jamie Wang said...

short story?
hahahaha.
but is it true?

Ami said...

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