At first I said no, let someone else take him, please let me study in my room. She just stands back a little bit with her hands clasped together, and when I see her gray hair falling over her forehead I have to turn around and say yes, of course, right away. So then they went away without another word and I started getting dressed, my only consolation being that I could break in a pair of yellow shoes that shined and shined. I felt her slip something into my pocket. I think I said see you later, something like that, and then I reached into my pocket for the five peso note, smoothed it out, and tucked it into my wallet where I already had a one peso bill and some change. I found him in a corner of the back room and grabbed hold of him the best I could.
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At first I said no, let someone else take him, please let me study in my room. She just stands back a little bit with her hands clasped together, and when I see her gray hair falling over her forehead I have to turn around and say yes, of course, right away. So then they went away without another word and I started getting dressed, my only consolation being that I could break in a pair of yellow shoes that shined and shined. I felt her slip something into my pocket.
I think I said see you later, something like that, and then I reached into my pocket for the five peso note, smoothed it out, and tucked it into my wallet where I already had a one peso bill and some change.
I found him in a corner of the back room and grabbed hold of him the best I could. We went out through the patio to the gate into the front yard. I could still see the face of the cop talking with Papa in the doorway, and then Papa serving two glasses of rum, and Mama crying in her room.
It had rained that morning and the sidewalks of Buenos Aires were even more of a mess than usual; you could hardly walk without getting your feet soaked in a puddle. I did what I could to walk on the dry parts and not get my new shoes wet, but right away I saw that he actually liked going into the water, and I had to tug with all my strength to keep him at my side.
In spite of this he managed to get to a spot where there was one stone that was sunk deeper than the rest, and by the time I caught on he was completely soaked and had dead leaves all over him. I had to stop and clean him off, all the time feeling the eyes of the neighbors watching me from their yards, not saying anything, just watching.
What bothered me was being forced to stand there, with my handkerchief getting all wet and muddy and full of bits of dead leaves, and having to grab on to him the whole time to keep him away from the puddle.
It was really incredible having so much bad luck at the same time. So I was aghast when we got on, because the streetcar was almost full and there were no double seats unoccupied. The trip was too long for us to ride on the platform; the conductor would have made me sit down and find him a seat somewhere else.
So I hurried him in and found him a spot in the middle next to a woman who had the window seat. Ideally, I would have sat behind him to keep an eye on him, but the streetcar was full and I had to keep going forward and sit quite far away. I had to get up and now two or three riders were watching and make my way to the other row. He punched one, looked at me a minute, then handed me the ticket and lowered his head, just kind of peering at me sideways with one eye.
The gorilla punched the other ticket and handed it to me; he was about to say something but I gave him the exact change and beat it to my seat without looking back.
The worst part of it was that I had to keep turning around to see if he was still sitting quietly on the seat behind me, and that was bound to draw the attention of the other riders. Then I started counting to ten, like in a boxing match, and that worked out to about half a block. Each time I reached ten I snuck a look back, by fixing the collar on my shirt for instance, or putting my hand in my pants pocket, anything that would look like a nervous tic or something like that.
Finally it seemed to me that she really was about to try to get up, and I could have sworn that she said something because she glanced to her side and I thought I saw her lips move. Then I pushed him up against the window and sat down next to him, so relieved even if four or five idiots were watching me from their seats up front and from the platform where the gorilla must have said something to them.
Now we were passing through the El Once district. The sun was shining brightly and the streets were dry. Once I timed myself and it took me exactly thirty-two minutes, granted that I ran part of the way, especially at the end. But now, on the other hand, I had to keep an eye on the window, because one time somebody caught on to the fact that he was capable of opening the window and tossing himself out, just for kicks, like so many of his other whims that nobody can explain.
Once or twice it seemed to me that he was about to lift the window, and I had to reach around behind him and grab it by the frame. The inspector was a tall, skinny guy who appeared on the front platform and started punching tickets in that chummy way that some of the inspectors have. When he came to my seat I handed him both tickets and he punched one; then he looked down, looked at the other ticket, started to punch it and froze for a minute with the ticket poised in the jaws of the punch, and the whole time I was praying for him to just get on with it and punch it and give it back to me, because it seemed like everyone on the bus was starting to stare at us.
At Sarmiento and Libertad people started getting off, and by the time we got to Florida there was hardly anyone left. I really like the Plaza de Mayo; when somebody says downtown I immediately think of the Plaza de Mayo. I like it because of the pigeons, because of the presidential palace, and because it carries so many memories from history, of the bombs that fell when there was a revolution, and of the caudillos that said they wanted to tie up their horses at the Obelisk.
Because of that I thought that the best thing would be to bring him to the Plaza de Mayo, away from the cars and buses, and just sit there for a while until it was time to go home. Sooner or later a cop was bound to come by; that would have been a disaster because the cops are good guys and so are bound to stick their noses in. I bought peanuts and caramels, I gave him a few, and we were all right there with the afternoon sun shining on the Plaza de Mayo and people going this way and that.
All I can remember is that I was shelling a peanut for him and at the same time I was thinking that if I pretended to be throwing something to the pigeons who were just a little further off, it would be easy to go around the Obelisk and be out of his sight.
It must be very hard to think of everything, like wise men and historians; all I was thinking was that I could just leave him there and go for a walk downtown with my hands in my pockets and buy myself a magazine or go in somewhere and have an ice cream before it was time to go home.
I started tossing around the ones I had left, and the pigeons surrounded me until the peanuts were all gone and they lost interest. Out of habit I kept looking back, but there was no way he could follow me; the most he could do would be to wallow around next to the bench until some lady from the benevolent society or a cop came by.
After a while I was able to breathe normally again, and some boys were there watching me and one of them said to the other that there must be something wrong with me, but I shook my head and said that it was nothing, that I got cramps all the time but that they always went away. One of them offered to get me a glass of water, and the other said I should wipe my forehead because I was sweating so much.
I smiled and said I was fine, and I started walking again so they would go away and leave me alone. Halfway there I fell down but I got up again right away before anyone noticed, and I dashed across the street between the cars driving in front of the Casa Rosada. After a while I cleaned him up a little and told him that it was time to go home.
We walked the last block very slowly, him trying to get into the puddles and me struggling to keep him onto the dry stones. Maybe another time… Who knew how Papa and Mama would look at me when they saw me leading him by the hand.
Despues del Almuerzo
Vitaur It is impossible to make a diagram of this text 92 Translation from Spanish to English Summary of the features of the two texts Schaffer Typical of most American authors 1. First page of an experimental novel author: Wlmuerzo EU had to find new ways of funding their work and new industrial applications for their discoveries. Paragraph Division Task 9. Translation from Spanish to English jjlio Juan and Maria have been estado 4.
Después del almuerzo