A Drama of Our Time part 2/4

A Drama of Our Time part 2/4

by Fernando Sorrentino
Translated from the Spanish by Michele Aynesworth

     "Uh . . . With the girl . . ."

     "What girl, se๑or? What girl are you talking about, se๑or?" The thundrous voice now carried a note of menace.

     How do you explain something to someone who doesn't want to understand?

     "Uh . . . With the girl on the balcony." My voice was a tiny sliver of glass.

     But this didn't move him. On the contrary, he became more enraged:

     "Don't bother us, se๑or, please! We're working folks, se๑or!"

     An irate click ended the conversation. For a minute there I was speechless. I looked at the telephone and began cursing it between clenched teeth.

     Then I spoke harshly of that stupid girl who hadn't taken the trouble to answer the phone herself. Suddenly I decided it was my fault for calling too soon. The man with the booming voice had answered so quickly, the telephone must be within reach, maybe even on his desk. That's why he'd said, "We're working folks."

     And what about me? Everybody worked, that wasn't so special. I tried to picture him, giving him awful features: he was fat, florid, perspiring, and potbellied.

     This stentorian-voiced fellow had served me an unconditional defeat by telephone. I felt a bit depressed and wanting vengeance.

     Afterward I returned to the balcony, resolved to ask the young woman what her name was. She wasn't there. "Of course," I deduced optimistically, "she's standing by the phone waiting anxiously for me to call.

     With my spirits somewhat renewed, but also with trepidation, I dialed the seven numbers. I heard a ring; I heard:


     Terrified, I hung up.

     I thought: "This troglodyte can tyrannize me just because I'm lacking one thing: the name of the person with whom I want to speak. I must obtain it."

Continue >>>A Drama of Our Time part 3/4

Further Part
A Drama of Our Time part 1/4
A Drama of Our Time part 3/4
A Drama of Our Time part 4/4

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