I put on my only nice, dressy dress – I just finished ironing it. I turn on the radio, not too loud, and remain in the dining room listening to Pedro Infante sing, looking at Hector standing there, in the middle of the garden. What can I do, how can I make him aware that I want to help him?

I write a letter full of foolish things. Read it, and tear it up. I listen to the radio – now Miguel Aceres Mejía is the one singing – and look at you there in the yard while evening falls. I hear my mother rattling around in the kitchen; she’s making (creating) dinner. Soon I’ll turn on the dining-room light, turn off the radio and help set the table. The three of us will sit on our stools. And an unbearable feeling will come with the smell of the food and fill us with fury.

My mother, acting like she doesn’t have a conniving bone in her body, pretending, will ask Hector again whether there are still no jobs at the factory and when they plan to reopen and whether it wouldn’t be a good idea to go look for a job someplace else. Finally she says a friend of hers, an ‘acquaintance’, told her they needed waiters in who knows what restaurant and tomorrow bright and early he ought to go and start work.


A Question of Geography
Reflections on Exile