Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Siesta

They stood around by the vans, controlling a brazier, and the palms waved, soft black stars. His moustache stirred damply.

"But when you went back there - ?"

"Nothing."

She lifted the towel in its folds from the picnic bag, the prints of her dress in shadow. Her face came up to the child's stare, and softened.

"Come here, Pepe, you need a plate. Give us some food, Teresa. Don't these look good?"

There were tidemarks of salt on the olives. A lettuce flourished, it glistened with oil.

"..but I feel it, you know? I feel it!"

He turned to the chops piled high, and served himself, tumbling it down. The laughter ebbed and swept forward again with a football.

"If he'd come to me before, it might be different," he added with his mouth full.

"As if it was your decision," Teresa reproved him.

Rubber, a ring of metal, plastic moulded with a man's grip, another ring, leather... Pepe's eyes travelled down the bike.

"You're fond of him, aren't you? You get on well."

She nodded, busy with the picnic bag. PAÕ! went the ball off the side of the van.

"No! Enrique! - get over there!"

They flew like a dog-pack out beyond the palms, scrambling and slipping. BOUF! He sank onto his knees in agony, his palms pressing his midriff, his back a curve, his elbows out and his head butting the sand.

"Hey! - Oh-oh-oh! - Whoa!"

He was all right, though later he would notice the thorns in his knees. But he was humiliated by the laughter. He ran for Enrique and tripped him.




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