Friday, June 11, 2010
“You didn’t eat,” she says.
“I’m not hungry.”
Outside my window, in a puddle of moon, the gypsies are singing some song. “Gazpacho,” Stella tells me, fixing the pillow behind me and fitting the bowl in my lap until she turns, too, to watch Arcadio on the love seat, his guitar on his knee, his fingers running hard against the strings. Angelita pulls at her dress like it’s an animal she can’t trust; she works a pair of castanets. Joselita bangs at the half-barrel and whatever Bruno sings Rafael chases with some turned-inside-out note of his own. The song is a black thing with wings.
“Eat,” Stella says.
I take a spoonful.
“What did the boy want?”
I shake my head.
“Twenty-one words,” I tell her.
“Phhaaa,” she says. “Numbers don’t count.”
She smells like soap suds and orange juice, like dill, sweat, and mint, like jam and like butter that has melted. I take another spoonful of gazpacho.