Fri. Apr 10th, 2020

The tropical corner


The day a potential tenant was shown next door, Rosa saw him peeking through the gallery. She was also leaning out, taking the last puffs on the cigarette that was smoked after eating, before going to work. He found it attractive, but it was such an ephemeral image that it soon vanished.

The administrator called him the next day to tell him that they had already rented the apartment on the adjoining farm. Incidentally, he made an attempt to throw his yews reminding him that day they caught a good trunk; He wanted to explain something else to her, but she no longer gave him the option to continue fishing. Rosa was attractive, she had plenty of suitors, and had no interest in the administrator. A few months ago they fought tooth and nail because she and the other neighbors did not want them to put a tourist apartment on the stairs. Once the battle was won, she and the administrator smoked the peace pipe, emptying a few pints in the Irish pub in the neighborhood.



(Victor Poch)




When he had hung up, he thought of the man leaning out of the gallery, but he couldn’t remember his features. Rosa was a little physiognomist. In the following days he heard movement in the next floor: people coming and going, the noise of furniture, drills drilling holes in the walls … The smell of paint, by far, he even liked. But those who started hammering at eight in the morning, when she still had a few hours to sleep, made her mad.

When the neighbor had already moved, Rosa never heard anything. Of course she had the hours changed, came home at dawn and slept until the sun was high. Sant Jordi was approaching and at work they had doubled shifts. Since he had his partner on the other side of the world, he had offered to work the afternoon and evening hours.



It rose a lot, in the gallery, where a corner that looked like a tropical garden had been made ”


The days went by, and Rosa never saw the neighbor. Nor on the landing, because they entered through different portals. Since he must not have been a smoker, he did not lean out of the gallery window like she did to smoke outside the apartment. She wasn’t trashy, but she missed the little conversations with Cisco, which lasted for her cigarette puffs. It was the previous tenant, an older man who died of a strange virus. Rest in peace.



Rosa read a lot, in the gallery, where a corner had been made that looked like a tropical garden. Since his job was mechanical, he worked as a bullfighter in a book store, up and down with the pallets, at home he relaxed and engaged in less physical activities. His body was toned; It felt like he went to the gym every day.

There was more and more work in the warehouse. The orders for Book Day were crazy. From the Poble Sec apartment to Sant Feliu de Llobregat it took a little over half an hour on a motorcycle, which he used to put his music lists on the small speakers of the helmet and sing loudly.



Suddenly she heard a “good morning” that shook her ”


But suddenly the pandemic also reached Barcelona. He no longer listened to music, he played the news. She was not a hypochondriac, but she suffered from her parents, who were older and delicate. Until they were all confined. Neither Sant Jordi nor stories. He had a lot of news to read and a full pantry. And the couple only on Skype. Emotionally, he did not notice any difference: one connection for chatting, and another for erotic games at bedtime. Now, with the shift change, they had more similar schedules. So go ahead with confinement.



The first three days were sunny. Between routines, he tried not to smoke more than he knew, now that he was home all day. He smoked a cigarette and smoked it on the window. Since there was more life on the other balconies, he would entertain himself for a while. Suddenly she heard a “good morning” that shook her. For so many days without speaking to anyone in person, she felt a small shiver of unexpected pleasure, because it was a voice that embraced. He turned slowly, savoring that voice, and found the neighbor’s forgotten features.



She had a book in her hand, the same one she was reading, and they soon realized that they shared a passion for reading and very similar tastes ”


He looked nice without being an adonis, but the voice and the ways made him charming. She had a book in her hand, the same one she was reading, and they soon realized that they shared a passion for reading and very similar tastes. She became attached. From his tropical corner, I sometimes heard him weakly talking on the phone. He strained his ears, and though he understood almost nothing, the tone was agreeable to him. When she connected with Bet, she would tell him about her problems with the neighbor and the two of them would be happier.



He always kept himself polite, a prophylactic sentimental and viral safety distance. Little could he imagine that Rosa and Bet had fantasies with their voice. Some time ago they had talked about having a threesome with an uncle once, another game in their intimate relationships. They would never have imagined that confinement would bring them that gift, and the hypotheses with Toni in the trio made home days more bearable for Rosa.



Some time ago they had talked about having a threesome with an uncle once, another game in their intimate relationships ”


Bet, who was pursuing a biology master’s degree in Seattle, had not yet been confined and encouraged Rosa to close the safety distance. In summer he would return to Barcelona and thus they would already have advance work. But Rosa did not advance in this regard and, furthermore, she did not feel comfortable. Now he realized that, with Toni, with so much reading, the saint had gone to heaven and they had never talked about work. Only books, authors, fictional stories to counter the sick world they had to live. When they talked about what they had read, the hours passed, and they decided to read the same books at the same time to do their reading mini-club, both of them looking out onto the gallery.



When they had gotten used to that routine, the authorities lifted the confinement. The return to the other routine, the one of a lifetime, was slow, it was difficult to get back to the rhythm. And it was time to stay. Encouraged by
Bet, Rosa invited Toni to have coffee at home and he accepted. It’s now or never, Bet told him. I’ll be back next week and we should have it on track by now, I told him from the West Coast. It was a way of playing at a distance, of course. But Rosa was not clear about it. He had found a friend from reading and now maybe he didn’t feel like mixing it up with other things. But it is also true that he had his point …

Toni knocked on the door punctually like a nail. He had bought some cookies at the bakery on the corner. He also had a wallet, because after he went to work, he had already told him. And he was also dressed in black from head to toe, with a collar.


Other stories

Each with his mug. Carlos Zanón

The reckless. Julià Guillamon

The little plane. Gemma Sardà

Domestic rituals. Sònia Hernández

Chet Baker at the Guinardó. Miquel Molina

I want to go out. Màrius Serra

Confinement… have it
there. Raúl Montilla





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