Sketch Of A Little Spanish Man (in Words)

The Small Spaniard (A Waiter Without A Table)

 At five o’clock in Lorca’s amber afternoon, he would stroll past the cathedral. He never thought to go inside and light a candle, though the heavy wooden door was always ajar and it would only take a minute. He chose instead to sit in the park, on a bench, his hands resting on his walking stick and pigeons at his feet. He wondered if the prayers muttered from this bench in a Moorish park traveled as well as one borne on a candle’s flame. He wasn’t sure, but he doubted his prayer mattered much regardless from where it was launched. There seemed to be no God very interested in him.

He always carried bread ripped from the end of the roll in his tattered suit pocket where it mixed with dust and lint. The pigeons didn’t seem to mind. He imagined the pigeons liked him, though he knew full well they liked anyone with bread in their pockets. Like women, he thought, only less dishonest.

He had been married once but his wife took lovers behind his back, and when he finally noticed, she had already gone to America without him. She had left a note on the dresser that he now kept folded under his pillow. It still smelled of her perfume. It was all he needed from her anymore, the memory. Nothing else. It had been 20 years and still her aroma lingered, only now growing faint and musty.

      Tomorrow, he thought, I will light a candle at the cathedral. And I will hold this old wife’s note over the blue and yellow plume until it is only ashes.


Finally, an answered prayer.



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