The big door opened and I move my head slowly in; then my body followed, half with fear and half curiosity and with a weird air of hope. “Pase, pase, Señora,” a voice came out from this large mahogany desk behind which a gentleman stood up, stretching his hand to me, “Welcome… please sit down.” This nice old colonial-style room with expensive-looking antique furniture; the room had a high ceiling, and this short good looking older men was directing all has attention to me. He seemed to be saying to himself, “What am I going to do with this young Lady?” Curiosity seized my soul, so firmly and quickly I went up to this man and shook his outstretched hand, saying, “Como esta Ud. Senor?” (in Spanish of course). In so many words he made me welcome, after this initial formality that I knew so well. I asked, ” Where am I? and how long will I be here? ” “Oh, that depends on your Lawyer,” he assured me. (I did not know I had one! I never met him, but I did not want to question my situation and was satisfied with being here and not their in that “pocilga”). Leaving his office, he said, “Just sit on the bench back there. If any news comes, my secretary Senorita Pepita will let you know…” I could only say “Gracias Senor Rodriguez”
No one stopped me from walking around, looking and inspecting this cazona. I was kind of free, and it felt great, walking around looking hoping to get same rum or aguardiente, anything to calm the insanity going on in my head. I found the location of the kitchen, or what suppose to be a sort of kitchen? I kept walking on to this big room like a storeroom, a gigantic space piled high with boxes of what looked like powder milked and more boxes and people behind the counter going through papers. The secretary of senor Rodriguez was giving instructions which I did not understand clearly , and towards the front of the room toward the street was a long counter separating the room in half. A long counter so that the people entering from the street couldn’t reach the boxes on the other side. Then I went walking toward what looked like the patio I had seen when I walked in. But now I could see clearly there were many men in there: Why? I thought I understood why they were there,? but I don’t know why I was here at all ???.
So I went back to my bench and soon it was closing time. Everybody was going home but a couple more policemen arrived, maybe 4 or 5; one or two of them went to the patio where the men prisoners were, and one went to the front doors looking and closing them better. Two of them sat by a table not far from my bench. I wanted to sleep, so after yawning and saying goodnight, I said to them “I wish I could have a drink of something strong? my nerves are going to explode!”, Pedro said, “We’ll see,” so I just had a glass of water.
I was still shaking a little, because there weren’t any women there that I could see, except the old lady in the corner at La bodega de la esquina. The front door was half open with the policia talking to the one standing in the street. I finally closed my eyes and in no time I felt someone standing in front of me , I opened my eyes in fear and there was Pepe with that crocodile smile, picara, passing into my hands a flask of rum and a package of cigarettes, I asked, ” Cuanto le debo?” but he replied , nada (nothing);,
God bless this guy, I’ll never forget him.
I drank up all that little bottle of rum and lay down again on the bench in a fetal position, with whatever I had as a pillow and went to sleep feeling okay: God had not forgotten about me.
Snoring in a sound sleep, I was brutally awakened by the screaming siren of a police car, and through the big central door came a few more drunk men covered in bruises. My God, they must have been beaten by the policemen! I did not move, I just lay there watching them all go straight into that patio where all those other men were…
Let’s get back to that dream whatever it was! Anything would be better than this..