When it rains, fish will appear, part 8

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


"You are far away," my neighbor said, "here you have to turn of to Macael, otherwise we will go into the mountains." I was startled from my contemplations, I had driven on autopilot that is drowsy days ddo to you. The warmth that lay across the area like a blanket and the bright sunlight did that to you, without you wanting it you'd go into a languid state of consciousness.

"I was with my head in Oria and Boca de Oria," I replied, "that time we went for the birth register for your father." My neighbor laughed briefly, "it's a good thing I pay attention, otherwise we would now be on the mountain road to Tahal."

The exit led us to the outskirts of the village, where the recidencia lay, it overlooked the valleys and the marble quarries and was modern in appearance and a little later I sat outside waiting on the terrace for Chris who had gone in to get his mother. Those that had build the recidencia had chosen the place well, the terrace had a sunny side overlooking the valley, but also a part that was in the shade. It just depended on what you liked the most. The tables were filled with old people who stared blank with nothing seeing eyes, surrounded by one or two family members.

"What a way to end," I thought, "I hope I will be spared from losing my head." It struck me that people at the tables drank coffee and talked to each other, they were sitting there with the old mother or father as decorum. "They come from a sense of obligation," I realized, they turned to their parents and enjoyed themselves with stories and then took a sip of coffee, until the time would justify it to leave.


The sliding door opened  and my neighbor joined by his mother came shuffling out, he had his arm hooked through hers and his mother walked with uncertain steps, as if she did not know where he was going to take her. She had become very slender, I saw, I wondered if she ate enough, would the nursing care see to that? Or would they bring a plate of food and remove it after a while?

"Look, Mom, there is San our friend," my neighbor said, and he pushed her chair aside so she could sit more easily. "Booh," she said, looking at me inquiringly, and I saw that her eyes did not show a single glance of recognition. "Hola, Antonia," I said and nodded kindly. My words did not even bounce from her, they flew into the air and disappeared. I had seen such a glance before and suddenly I knew where and when it had been, I had a dog that could look so completely lost.

Chris had taken out a bag of peaches and before peeling one with a knife, he squeezed the cheek of what his mother affectionately. "My dear mother is here," he said, "there she is." He looked at her affectionately and bent over to her and planted a kiss on her forehead. "Right mommy," he said, "we're going to prepare some food, from the finca, nothing better in the world than your own fruits." He spoke to bridge time, I understood that and I got up and walked through the sliding door to the bar.

'A chupito,' I asked the man who looked at me waiting for my order, 'and a glass of water and for me a tinto de verano.' "Si señor," the man said, and he ducked behind the bar to find the vermouth bottle. 'That's good,' I thought, 'he prepares the summer wine himself, it does not come from the tap. "He cut off a slice of lemon and put it in the glass, poured some vermouth on it, dropped some ice cubes into the glass, a dash of wine splashed over the cubes and the rest of the glass he filled with spa water. 'One tinto de verano,' he said, then he filled a glass with cognac and put it down on the tray with a glass of water aside it. '


I walked back cautiously not to spill anything, the door opened for me and I put down the water and the chupito for Chris and his mother. I took a sip of my tinto, you could drink it all day, it was a good thirst lesser, at most 1 to 2% alcohol. "Gracias," my neighbor said, and he turned to his mother, who smiled away a piece of peach.

"Mum," Chris said, "now you're going to have a drink, that's good for you," and he brought the glass with water to her lips. Her hand, which seemed claw like, curled around the glass and then fell back onto her lap. Carefully my neighbor held the glass against his mother's lips, he turned the angle slightly and his mother drank a bit. "Some more please Mum, Mum, come," my neighbor insisted, "do it for me." But Antonia stubbornly held her lips together.

"Then first just you'll get a bite to eat," suggested my neighbor and I saw how his callous hands deftly cut a piece of peach smaller, "come Mama, you have to eat something," Chris said and brought the piece to her mouth with one hand, with the other, he squeezed her affectionately in her cheek. "My dear mother is here then," he said, and she opened her mouth a little, then loudly smacking the piece of peach disappeared. I had watched mesmerized without wanting it. I took a sip of my tinto and when I looked up, the looks of my neighbor and of me crossed. I saw a desperate look, an intense sad look and I understood why.

A loud click disturbed the terrace, and from the sound box next door came soft music, a guitar that hypnotically started its song with a second guitar that answered and repeated the song. I recognized it right away, it was Pink Floyd, 'they must also be of age', I thought. "Wish you were here," said Chris, who also recognized it. The masters of meter, Pink Floyd, let the melancholy melody lick out of the guitar in soft but penetrating sounds, and I looked at Chris and I saw a big tear swell in one of his eyes and roll down his cheek.


"Man," he said in a broken voice, "she is no longer here, god God, she is gone," and I nodded, we sat at the sun-drenched table in Macael with the Antonia's casing. A casing that occasionally said 'booh' and smacked a peach.

And Chris cried, silent tears, and they slowly fell from his chin. That tough big farmer saw the text of Pinkfloyd become flesh in front of him and he understood that what had been, would never come back and he wept without shame. I got up and walked over to him and embraced him and patted him on his shoulders, 'deja hombre' I said, 'let go,' 'la vida es asi', 'that's life.' His mother looked closely at her hand and said something that looked suspiciously like 'Booh'.

'I'll get you another chupito,' I reported and I thought, 'he has to come to himself again.' "Put something else up," I ordered the barman when I came in and stood in front of the bar, "and give me two chupitos." "Do you not think it is beautiful," the man asked in amazement? "Does not matter," I said, raising my voice, "get rid of it, it makes people upset." The barman shrugged and carefully tapped the screen.

He put down the two chupitos and I settled the bill. I heard the organ swelling in force and announcing the next song. I recognized it right away, 'good vibrations',' good God,' I thought, 'they only play dead man's music in here and I sat down at the table again. Then Antonio spoke her first sentence. 'Me voy' she said and then 'voy voy voy.!' It had taken her long enough she wanted to leave or that we were leaving. Chris got up and kissed his mother and helped her to her feet and a moment later he walked with the shadow of what his mother had been to the sliding door. I looked after them and took the last sip of chupito coinciding with the last tones of 'good vibrations.'

also read part 9

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03/01/2019 09:06

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