Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta restaurant. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta restaurant. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 2 de julio de 2016

A good day

   Someone spoke, far away. It was a very deep voice, capable of piercing through walls and any other objects. It was kind of annoying because the rest of the world was at peace except for that voice that appeared not to be able to calm down. When Jay decided to get out of bed, the voice appeared to be stronger but still difficult to understand.

 Jay stood up in front of his mirror. Not much light entered his room through the small window there was on the wall, but he didn’t turn on the light either. He just stood there, looking at himself. He observed every inch of his body until he decided he recognized himself in that image. It was a very strange to do but he did it quite often, just to check he hadn’t lost his mind or something. It was his biggest fear.

 He put on the t-shirt he had wore the day before and some sandals. He looked at himself again on the mirror and went out the room. The hallway was empty so he knew he had a good chance to arrive at the bathroom and not find anyone there. He walked rather fast and, when he pushed the door, he was happy to see there was no one there.

 It was difficult to live in a place like that, where almost everything had to be shared. There was one bathroom per floor but sometimes something would go wrong on one of them and chaos would ensue as people from one floor would have to go to the one above to shower or to take a piss. It was very annoying and it happen frequently.

 But that day, everything was good and empty. After he was done, he decided to go back to his room and grab his shower things. It was best to take advantage of the unusual situation and do what he had to do in the bathroom at once. He almost ran to his room, where he grabbed his towel, soap, his shampoo bottle and toothbrush with toothpaste. He ran back out and was surprised, again, not to see anyone around.

 It really was a strange day. He showered for a good ten minutes, washing his hair, getting all his body clean and brushing his teeth with ease afterwards. When he got out of the bathroom, there was someone waiting by the door. His name was Carl, or something like that. It was one of the junkies that lived on the room opposite to his. He just said “Hi” and moved on to his room.

 Trying not to turn around and see what Carl was up to, jay knew it was best not to interact with them too much. They were really strange people and they were always high on whatever drugs they could find. Sometimes it was scary, when they got really annoying, but Carl was apparently on a down mood that day. It was best for everyone that he was.

 Once in his room, Jay noticed a bit more sunlight was entering his room and he realized he was smiling. He didn’t do that often but his day seemed to be having such a good start, it was hard not be optimistic. He put on his regular clothes for a Friday and grabbed his wallet and keys before leaving the room once again. As he put the lock on the door, he gazed towards the bathroom and noticed there was a line made up six people and it seemed to be growing slowly. He really had been lucky.

 Outside, on the street, the sun was even brighter so there was no need for a jacket or anything like that. Spring had moved on to that stage when its more like summer than like winter, which was perfect because Jay only had one jacket and it was too old now to keep using it. He needed money to buy a new one before the next winter, in order not to die frozen on the street or on his bed.

 In the winter, he usually slept clothed as the building had no central heating and his room could feel like a freezer sometimes. But now, he didn’t have to think of that. Next winter was months away and his day was doing to good to be thinking of the bad things in life. He walked block after block, ten in total, until he got to the bus stop that was closest to is home. He hoped not to be late for it because sometimes he would arrive just as the bus was leaving and it could be another fifteen minutes until the next one came into the neighbourhood.

 He stood by the stop and realized there was only one other person waiting: an old woman who seemed to be sleeping. Maybe she had already been sleeping for too long. Jay looked at his wrist, to an old watch he had found on the street, and realized it was a bit earlier than normal. That may have been the reason for his luck so far. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. In any way, the bus would be approaching in any minute.

 As if he had summoned it, the bus appeared on the street and stopped right in front of Jay. He walked towards the entrance and realized the old woman wasn’t moving. He asked the driver to wait for a moment and decided to try and wake up the woman. At first, he thought she might have been dead because she was unresponsive but she finally woke up and stood up slowly to walk to the bus.

 Strangely enough, the driver had waited and he smiled at Jay for his actions. That was something strange but even stranger was the fact that, after paying his ticket, the old woman asked Jay to seat by her side in the back of the bus. He accepted the offer and sat up there, where the seats were a bit higher than the rest. He rarely sat on the bus, always standing up.

 The old lady thanked him for his help and told him she was going to visit her daughter in the hospital. Apparently, she had some problems with her lungs and was going to undergo a complicated surgery so the old lady wanted to be on his daughter’s side through all of it. Jay nodded as she told him every detail of her life, about her husband who had died five years earlier and about her grandchildren that rarely came to visit her. She seemed like a nice person. A person that rarely has anyone to talk to.

 Some minutes later, she asked Jay to help her to the bus exit. He did so and she surprised him with money, a proper bill that was maybe too much to accept. She noticed Jay’s doubt to grab the bill and just put it in his hands. She said she was grateful for all the good people in the world and then pressed the button to let the driver know she was walking out. She did so rather fast, faster than he thought she could move.

 Still confused, he got out of the bus himself ten minutes afterwards. He had put the bill in his wallet but was still thinking about it. It wasn’t a common thing that random people would come up to you on the street to give you money. To be honest, his problems with money were always about not having enough, not the opposite. So he was very confused about what had just happened. As he arrived to work, he quickly forgot about it as the good day he was having may come to an end right there.

 He worked in the kitchen of a fast food restaurant, one of those big chains that makes burgers and nuggets and fries. At first, he loved the smell of it all, even of the ice cream as it got out of the machine. But now, after almost a year of working there, he had become rather oblivious to all of it. He flipped burger some days, some other he had to put salt on the fries or lift boxes with every single product they used in the restaurant.

 His shift began early in the morning and ended around eight o’clock at night. Sometimes he would stay more time because his supervisor would need something but, again, that day was a bit different. He was going to clean the floors but instead his supervisor wanted to have a word with him, He thought that, for sure, that was the end of his very good day.

 His supervisor, a very young man with lots of pimples, had decided to put him on the register. It was a promotion. He would win more money, as he had to learn some new things. He had to start right away so he had to learn fast. All day long, he did great, learning all the codes rather fast from another cashier. He smiled to every client and one of them even told him to keep the change, which was a very big tip. That day was really strange and he was really liking it.


 At night, back home, he counted the money he had made and was happy to know he was a bit closer to what his goal was, which wasn’t really clear. He thanked life for such an amazing day and hope all others would be the same.

domingo, 27 de marzo de 2016

Spies

   As Michael arrives, he asks the waiter where he could find the person he’s looking for. Apparently he is on the second floor, in the terrace area. Michael is escorted there by a staff member who points at a man smoking by the railing of the terrace. There are many people around and that is something Michael had not expected but, after all, it is a very popular town amongst tourists and every single day the streets get crowded with them.

 He walks up to the man, who’s younger than he expected and asks: “Is this seat taken?”

 The young man doesn’t turn to him, still taking a look a look at the people on the square below and smoking.

-       Starting with a stupid question doesn’t make much sense.

 Michael sits down. The waiter comes and takes their order: Michael asks for a whisky, straight, and the young man asks for a “screwdriver”. They don’t say a word until the drinks come to the table. In the meantime, they both watch the people and the pigeons come and go into square. The movements are almost hypnotic. When the drinks arrive, the young man throws his cigarette over the railing and takes a sip of his glass.

-       That’s unsafe. – says Michael.
-       I think people have better things to worry about, including you. – answers the young man. - Including whatever it is we are going to talk about now.

 Michael looks straight at him, with disgust.

-       That’s a nice mouthful of crap for a terrorist.

The young man laughs. He also looks at Michael straight in the eye. It’s the look of a mad man.

-       You kill people for sport.
-      Oh, please! You do that too. Besides, it’s not sport. I’m the same as you; I have a salary and everything. The fact that I enjoy it is the only difference.

Michael doesn’t say anything.

-       Oh, so you enjoy it too?
-       What are you talking about?
The young man stops directing his body towards the railing and decides to face directly at Michael and even comes a bit over the table.

-       What do you want?
-       It was you who contacted me.
-       True. But it’s you who wants something. What is it?
-       The truth.

Michael is very serious but the young man slowly pulls back, grinning.

-       There are many truths.
-       You put a bomb on that man’s house. You killed his family.
-       And?

Total silence. Michael’s heartbeat is fast.

-       His children…
-       Yes, they died. And no, I didn’t plan for that to happen, collateral damage.
-       That’s it? - Michael slams the table with his fist. – That’s all who have to say?

 The young man takes his glass and takes a big sip of his drink. He looks around and slowly answers.

-       That’s all I will say, yes. And I bet you don’t have much to say about those drone attacks you commanded while in the army.

Michael’s facial expression changes.

-       What? You didn’t expect me to know that? Please, any decent spy would have dug that out.

Now, it is Michael who pulls back to his seat. He’s reminded of a time he thought everyone had forgotten, that people in his job at the CIA told that was behind him. Apparently a sealed file doesn’t stay sealed forever.

-       Yeah, so that’s done. – says the young man. – So, what are you here, in town? Big party coming?
-       Shut up.
-      Come on, dish. What is it? A cartel, or slaves or what. What is piercing on your brain now?
-       How is it that you are a spy? If you really are, how did you get to be one?

 Again, the young man smiles. He drink some more of the drink and turns his head towards the square.

-       I suspect we have been doing this for the same time, you know. – he smokes as he talks, pausing from time to time. – The thing is you were chosen to be a spy because you were a good soldier. I, obviously, wasn’t that.
-       Obviously.

They both smile.

-       A woman that knew a lot about all of this stuff picked me from an early age. She chose me because, in her words, because “I wasn’t noticeable”. Apparently, I didn’t stand out in a crow.
-       So you stole since you were a boy?
-       Yeah. You didn’t?

 A flock of pigeons passes over them. They both looked at the birds, with so much happening in their minds.

-       So that’s how I started. I have a face that doesn’t stick. I can be in a crowd and you wouldn’t look at me twice.
-       I would.
-       Sweet but I meant normal people. Besides you know who I am now so, it’s pretty obvious you are going to look for me every single day of the rest of your life.
-       You think you’re that important?
-       No, but you do.

 Some children yell and run on the square, scaring more pigeons. People take pictures and talk, a lot.

-       They say you don’t only kill your targets.
-       Who is “they”?
-       You fuck them too.

 The young man laughs so hard that he snorts a bit.

-       Only the men.
-       And the women?
-       I don’t kill women. I thought you would know that.
-       Why?
-       Because.
 He looks at his watch. Michael notices this.

-       Somewhere to be?
-       Nope. I’m just where I need to be. You?
-       Same.
-       Awesome. Why did you become a spy? Childhood dreams?

 Michael moves in his seat. He has never liked to talk about the subject, it makes him uneasy because it is private and he doesn’t handle private very well.

-       Sorry, too personal?
-       No.
-       I don’t care, Mike.
-       Don’t call me Mike.
-       Fuck you Mike.

There’s a silence between them. They drink the last of their drinks and the young man turns his body against towards Michael. He looks at every single feature of his face. He smiles.

-       You’re handsome, beneath that shell.

Michael exhales, annoyed.

-       You are. And I guess there’s a nice little brain inside of there. You knew I was here and no one knew that.
-       No one?
-       Nope. You are the only one that knows and that makes for a nice little relationship, don’t you think?

 He leans over the table and grabs Michael hand. He pulls back but the young man is much stronger than anticipated. The young man caresses his hand and finally says:

-       I came here to do my job, Mike. And that’s what’s I’m doing. No psychological shit today, ok?
-       What?

He leans over even more and says, in a whisper, “enjoy the ride”.

 Then, an explosion occurs in the square below. Every person in the balcony looks below but Michael cannot. The young man grabbed his arm, making him unable to move, and then punched him hard in the stomach. Then threw him on the ground and ran. Michael chases him downstairs, barely breathing. He sees his jeans running down the street and turning left but then, a second explosion happens just a few meters away. Michael is thrown to the floor again and remains there for a while.


 Later, in the hospital, he receives a big bouquet of roses that only have one white card with one symbol on it: the imprint of his lips in blue lipstick.

martes, 8 de marzo de 2016

Natalia on a date

   Natalia was trying to listen to every single word that came out of Robert’s mouth. But it was impossible. He talked so fast, so much; that she didn’t even had time to process any of what he had said. The fun thing was that he had just arrived to the restaurant, after she had been waiting for him for about twenty minutes. He hadn’t said “Sorry”, or anything like that. He had just laughed at some stupid thing he had said and started talking and talking like a mad man.

 The restaurant was a very nice place for a date between two people that loved each other. Many couples were sharing some time around them. But as Natalia noticed, all of them were having a much better time than her. Even those who were by themselves, with friends or family, seemed to be having much more of a good time than her. She only looked around and put on butter on those tiny breads they give you before properly beginning dinner. She realized, after several minutes, that she had already eaten about five of ten, after having filled every single one of them with butter. She was supposed to be on a diet, but the hell with that.

 Finally, the waiter was bold enough to speak and Robert had to shut up for the first time in a while. Natalia took this precious moment to stand up, stretch her legs and go to the bathroom. He asked if he could order for the both of them and she said yes, anything to have a couple of minutes away from him. Walking slowly to the bathroom, she reminded herself never to date relatives of their friends again. Robert was a cousin of her best friend Laura and had nothing to do with her. Laura was a funny gal, full of life and color. Robert was just full of life but because he wouldn’t shut his mouth.

 In the bathroom, she washed her face to be a little more awake, and then she applied a new layer of makeup and also peed for much too long. She loved to count something that took long when she was in there, like how many Pokémon she knew or how many colors she could name. Sometimes she would get so caught up in her own game that she would pull out a small notebook out of her purse and start write the names down. Natalia was not really and obsessed person but she was distracted easily and preferred rapid, intelligent exchanges than long and tiring conversations.

 After what felt like forever but ended up to be something like twenty minutes, she went back to the table where the waiter was putting down their food. Apparently Robert thought she loved salad because she could only see green leaves on her plate. As she sat down, she reminded herself that if she didn’t have any meat, she would have to call to the burger place she loved by her house and order the one with the double patty. She was really hungry and that salad wasn0t going to do the trick.

 Moroccan. That’s what he said the salad was. It was on a big plate and had a number of things in it but she didn’t really care. She had already decided on her burger and was already looking forward to it.

 Again, Robert started talking and talking and she began counting Pokémon on her mind again and then trying to remember what she had to buy in the supermarket the next day. She had promised her mother to invite her home for lunch and she had to do something nice. Maybe pasta was the best choice but it seemed so simple, or maybe some kind of steak. But if she ate steak, she couldn’t really eat a burger the night before, it would be too much and, after all, she could only break her diet once. Well, she could exercise more and not do any diet. She wasn’t that fat. Natalia thought she had a nice body, curvy but not like a porn star or anything like that. Just good enough for any use. She laughed at her own joke.

 Robert smiled. She looked at him and smiled kindly, not knowing what he had been saying. Thankfully, he broadened his smile and just told him he loved her laughter and how she listened so attentively to every little thing he said. He told her she was the most beautiful girl he had met and that he would be honored if she could date him again. Natalia’s smile turned into coughing. At first, even she thought it was because she had no intention of answering that question. But then, she touched her neck and knew something was wrong.

 She felt she was drowning, as if some unknown force was choking her. Then she saw her fingers and they were getting swollen. Robert called the waiter and asked for an ambulance. Natalia didn’t want that, but as she couldn’t even breathe, it was not really a time to refuse any kind of help. The paramedics arrived some moments later and they immediately gave her a shot, something to counter the allergy of whatever it was that she had suffered. The paramedics decided it was best for her to go to the hospital and spend at least one night there, under surveillance.

 It all happened so fast, even Robert had no words. He just grabbed her purse and gave the waiter some bills to pay up the meal. He was scared, livid, as he jumped into the ambulance that rushed through the city’s crowded streets. Natalia seemed to be getting sleepy in the ambulance and she couldn’t really hear or say anything. The paramedics gave her another shot and started asking questions but she couldn’t heat them. For some reason, she only wanted Robert to take her hand, to feel someone was with her in that trying moment, to feel some friend was taking care of her. But Robert didn’t do anything. Just as she closed her eyes, Robert turned his body towards the back doors of the ambulance.

 Natalia woke up early the next morning. Her nurse, a very nice young woman, told her that she had had an allergic reaction to something she had eaten. Natalia smiled and the girl looked confused. She explained to her all about Robert and how he talked like mad and how she didn’t even know what she was eating. The nurse understood, with that face that means “Men!” and told Natalia that they would check what the ingredients of the salad were but that it would help if she made them a list with all of her allergies. But she only knew about her allergy to cat hair and she doubted that was one of the ingredients.

 The doctor that walked in laughed and Natalia was thrilled he did because he was very handsome and his teeth were all so perfect and white. She had the best time talking to him; about what had happened the night before and about what she had been through overnight. He was a very nice person and explained to hear that they wanted her in for one more night to check everything was good and to identify her allergy. He also told her that her mother was there and that she had brought all the paperwork from her insurance and all that annoying stuff one has to do to get sick.

 Natalia laughed and that was how the doctor decided to leave, on a high note. Her mother would come some time afterwards. She was really good friends with her and explained the situation at dinner with Robert. Her mother understood exactly what she was saying and advised her never to allow that to happen again. She said life was to short and too wonderful to be listening at idiots talking stupid stuff. It was best to stop things right on time if you realize the person in front of you is just not that interesting. Natalia nodded and agreed.

 The allergy was determined to be related to a certain type of pepper, not the common one used in most dishes (black pepper) but a rare kind only found in North African cuisine. Natalia laughed, as she thought it was at least nice of Robert to take her to a restaurant that served the real cuisine of the country that the dish was from. Even Laura, her friend, laughed like crazy the day Natalia was allowed to go back home. She pushed her friend’s wheelchair to the main entrance and all the way there they laughed at poor Robert, Laura even confessing she knew he was annoying but not at that level.


 Natalia asked Laura If she knew why he hadn’t come to visit her. After all, he had been with her when it happened and it seemed only natural. But Laura told her friend that Robert was one of those men that like to show off in front of women but when they fuck up, they are afraid forever of the person that sees them being real humans. Natalia thought that was very weird but moved on. She had had much worst dates than one!