Despojo

Photo by Jonathan Eden-Drummond

Se desliza el móvil de mi mano y siento que aún lo puedo retener, que si aprieto su contorno lo suficiente no se va a ir. Confío en mis reflejos un segundo. Imagino que alguien – ¿mi marido que está frente a mí? Pero no es su mano…- me está gastando una broma, o que el desequilibro que suele acompañarme se ha puesto en movimiento y quizá el teléfono se va a caer. Continue reading

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This is the End


The traveller awoke before dawn; he put his hat on and walked out of his room. He had been running from the law for a while now and had grown into being cautious in every thing he did. He had developed habits that were destined to keep him safe. The question was not if he was the culprit or not behind this sordid affair. Whatever the truth was, nobody cared. They had pictures of him at the scene. The only thing he could do now was run; get a safe passage into Mexico and stay off the authorities’ radar until then.

As every morning there would be no breakfast, just a fizzy drink from one of the vending machines you could find in motels’ parking lots. This morning it would be a diet one. One needed to stay light if he wanted to travel far and quickly. With his bag over his shoulder, he came down the flight of stairs that brought him directly from his motel room to his parked car below. There were two vending machines against the wall. One was out of order but the other shone bright in the violet light you got from the passage of night into day. It had been the same kind of luminosity when he had arrived last evening just before twilight.

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Fly Matthias, fly!

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Artwork by Enrique Cropper

On Sundays, with fine weather, our family loved to make the half-hour trip out of Bruxelles to Rebecq. The kids were always thrilled to hear the steamy hisses and the clunks of the pistons and see the billowing black smoke from the funnel of the tiny red steam loco, as they took their ride on “Le Petit Train du Bonheur”. The volunteers who had restored the old mining engines, who had re-laid the narrow gauge rails and who now attended to the public, as they queued for their tickets for the trip to Rognon and back, were a friendly bunch. “Nous sommes comme une famillle” repeated the jolly, coal-smudged driver, when he found himself a few minutes alone with the public, and thought he should reveal to them some of the passion for railroads he felt within.

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Ave migratoria

Levanta el vuelo, ave acuática de ciudad, planea sobre los estanques de Ixelles, descansa en piedra de agua, retoma, quebrando el hielo, su ascenso en vertical. Y sube. Sube hasta desaparecer en la borrasca, como un ángel negro, sin mirar atrás. Apuro mi cerveza y dejo un billete de cinco euros debajo del cenicero, pero no es verdad, Pablo se queda en el Café Belga tomándose la última y yo me despido con el regusto a té de menta y tabaco todavía en el paladar. Odio que fume. Odio todo lo que hay en él, y lo que falta también. Llevamos trece meses juntos. Me doy la vuelta antes de tomar el tranvía y, con fingido gesto de fumadora, exhalo mi cálido aliento que se torna en humo. Después sostengo el brazo en el aire, despidiéndome con gesto de falsa enamorada. ¡Qué se joda! Mañana tengo que madrugar, no me apetece que venga a casa. Continue reading

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Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night

“Brussels is not as beautiful as Paris in the autumn” Samuel always says. You need old steel and stone to bring out autumn’s magic with its brown leaves and particular light.

“Samuel always has the perfect words to describe how he feels doesn’t he…” Jane thought. She was walking along one of the Cinquantenaire Park’s alleyways. By her side, her daughter Pauline was trotting as fast as her little legs would allow her. Further ahead, the Great Mosque of Brussels emerged from the trees and the growing sight of it got the child more and more excited with each step they took.

“And he always makes me feel like such a dumb mute when we go out with friends” she concluded silently. Barely paying attention to Pauline‘s incessant babbling, she was mentally going over last evening’s outing. She felt ashamed as always and tired of being constantly conscious of her intellectual limits.

— “Come on Mummy, I can see it from here” Continue reading

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