dijous, 13 de juny de 2013

English Translation: Women


     I'm walking fast. It's cold this morning and the puddles on the street return hazy images. The first woman I see when I enter is sitting at a table in the middle of the coffee shop. She is facing a man who can't stop looking at her. From afar she looked younger than she really is. She's wearing low-heel shoes. She has a small, wrinkled face, and her hair is pulled back. She's not pretty, but she lights up like a Christmas tree while chatting away, animatedly gesturing with her hands, her eyebrows, her entire body.
     The second woman, fair-skinned and with long, curly hair, is leaning on a chair and staring out of the window with a vacant look that reveals nothing that she is thinking. She seems exhausted. She turns to glance at the tables and, slowly, almost without changing position, she starts wiping clean the closest table.
     The third woman doesn’t move and it’s difficult to see her eyes. She’s slumped into an arm-chair, next to a man reading a newspaper. She’s also reading, or, at least, she’s holding a thick book with her dry and spotted hands. I’ve been watching her for three minutes but she still hasn’t turned a page. Perhaps she doesn't like the book, or perhaps she’s forgotten her eyeglasses at home.
     I come across the fourth on my way out of the café. Young and with beautitful blonde hair. She walks slowly, and I wonder if it's just because she's pregnant. She has dull skin and fluttering eyes. Although she looks furtively at me as she turns toward the hospital entrance, she doesn't look afraid. But the weight she's carrying seems too heavy for her to bear alone.

     The fifth is sitting at the bus-stop bench. Her hands are folded in her lap. She pretends she's not looking at anything. Her body takes up half the bench and the man next to her seems uncomfortable. I'm too embarrassed to openly look at her. I want to tell her to not worry, that she is still alive inside that strange body, that her parents were wrong when they threw her out when she fell in love, that her neighbors who turn their back to her when she comes down the stairs, because she is too big for the elevator, are bastards, that the SOB who left her when she started gaining weight after their fourth child deserves to go to the slammer. I want to grab her by the arm and unfold my hidden wings and take her with me flying to another world. Where women are always laughing like Christmas trees.

Translated by Lina Strenio