DISEQUILIBRIUMS. The Individuals. Chapter 15

Monday 19 December 2016
Time: 4:30 pm


Walking along Don Jaime Street can be a bit tricky at some points of the day. According to my parents, it was good that the street was paved with cobbles, which gave this part of the city an older look. So, it was a shame that a few years ago, they removed all the cobble stones and replaced them with an asphalt surface. I liked the fact that they reduced traffic, or at least that’s what they said at the time. The problem is that the street is so narrow that there is only one lane for vehicles. So, between taxis and buses, it is often blocked, especially because the pavements are normally packed with people. Pedestrians cross the street where there are no traffic lights and cause chaos.

Today is one of those days. Compared to the Plaza del Pilar, the street is absolutely overflowing with people and cars. Since I was a child, I have always enjoyed the shops here (there are still some remaining) where they sell the traditional sweets of the city and candied fruits with chocolate. When I wanted to buy Maraschino cherries, my mother would always say, ”Sofia, don’t touch those sweets. They have alcohol in them!” They are my favourites. But as my mother said, they have some liqueur. Anyway, at 16, no one can tell me anything and I can eat as much as I like. The problem is that they are smothered in chocolate and, at 16, I have a certain problem with chocolate. I can never get the balance right with those sweets. “Perhaps, later on,” I tell myself repeatedly as we continue walking.

Fortunately, after the last part of the walk, we identify the door on the street from the note the guide gave me. I look at the door bell and then at the others. I reckon they are thinking the same thing as I am. I don’t know what to say. I have no idea how to introduce ourselves. For a moment, we wait in silence, looking at the door bell until Erik steps forward and presses it. The rest of us look at him in astonishment. He, in turn, looks back and then shrugs his shoulders as if to say, “what else are we supposed to do?!”

After a while, there is a voice on the intercom:

“Who is it?”

It is a man’s voice, not a young voice, but a deep one. We look at each other, not knowing what to say, until Erik responds rather quickly and nervously:

“They gave us a note with this address.”

There is silence. Then the voice replies:

“Where did they give you the note?”

Silence! We look at each other until Elsa answers hesitantly:

“In the Provincial Museum.”

Again, silence. Then the voice responds:

“Who gave it to you?”

David quickly answers:

“We can’t say.”

The rest of us look at him with a mixture of surprise and annoyance. I think he has just messed everything up with that response. Silently, we make our recriminations felt for what he has just done with hand signals. In the middle of this silent debate, the front door opens.

We stay absolutely quiet as we survey the interior. David, on the other hand, uses the opportunity to look at us and grin broadly.

Half pushing his way through, Samuel wends his way between us and is the first to cross the threshold and go up the steps. He only realises that we haven’t moved by the time he climbs four steps. He wheels around and with a smile I have never seen before, he shrugs his shoulders. Then, like a little child wanting to be first, he hurries up the stairs. Without looking at each other, but knowing that each of us has a smile on our faces, we follow him.

We go up the steps until we reach the house. The door is open. From inside, we can hear the voice of an older man:

“Come in, come in. I know why you have come.”


Writer: Glen Lapson © 2016

English translator: Rose Cartledge

Publisher: Fundacion ECUUP

Project: Disequilibriums

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