It is in those rare occassions when I don’t feel too inspired, that I feel generous instead. This is one them. Without setting a precedent, I will humbly cede this space today to my friend and colleague Dr. Jiménez, with whom not only I share some of the fondest memories, but to whom I’m also deeply indebted for all the years of loyal and helpful advice, and although not always intelligent, forever unbiased criticism and patience. Enjoy it.
“Early” by Dr. Jiménez
At dawn even the flourescent lights of the bar feel warm. We all look like if we just came from a funeral, sad but not depressed, because we are the ones still alive, and everything at this hour is more real and more alive, just like after a funeral. “Un café con leche, por favor.” Who is up so early? it’s not even day yet. Obviously a lot of people. Some walk quickly to work, showered and clean, wrapped in coats and scarfs, a few maybe coming home to a bed still warm from the bodies of their wives or husbands or lovers or friends. That might seem good, but they are not the lucky ones. Who knows. “The city awakens…!” says a voice on the radio, and it sounds like we hear it for the first time. But no, the city is not awakening, because the city is not sleepy, it’s just gradually getting busier, that’s it, like the night that goes away in just 30 or 40 minutes, a giant shadow in a hurry.
There is something comforting about the pressured steam of the espresso machine, the huffing and puffing of a new day. The energic banging in the trash bin to get rid of the used coffee puck, the grinding of fresh one, and the pumping of the water. The hands of one of the waiters are already pink from doing dishes. It’s February, and he’s wearing short sleaves, maybe that explains it. “¿Me pone un cruasán?” “¿Se lo paso por la plancha?” “Sí, gracias.” A cup of coffee on a beaten saucer on a stainless steel counter of a bar somewhere in Spain.