Widows dressed in black

I look inside myself and see my heart is black

No colors anymore, I want them to turn black

Maybe then I’ll fade away, and not have to face the facts

It’s not easy facing up, when your whole world is black

Song by The Rolling Stones


Vistas de la ciudad París, Francia
City views
Paris, France

“The truth is that Mary Louise, dressed in black. I am not referring to her manner of dressing (though she indeed wore black clothes), I’m speaking more broadly, in the context of the world that revolved around her person and myself, if only in a modest secondary role, both of which she covered in the darkest colors of black.”

“With respect to her taste in dressing in black, she used to say that she was still in mourning for the death of her husband. This happened, according to her, somewhere in the colonies, during a revolt against the Crown. Further still, she held that this occurred when she was still quite young. This leads me to suspect that if in fact this wedding actually took place, then that poor devil of a husband of hers, assuredly fled to the colonies to fight off rebellious plots against the Crown, rather than face a dreary, insufferable life with his wife!”

Desde La Concordia París, Francia
Seen from La Concordia
Paris, France

“You see, sometime after having moved to live with my grandparents, I began to go to school. I must admit that I was a peculiar little boy, for I was overjoyed by the prospect of leaving the house to visit the world outside its walls. I really did not care where. In my case, if that where consisted in going to school; well, so be it! I was more than happy to go to school.”

“Anyhow, one day when I was precisely at school, we had a lecture on the arthropods. Did you know that the arachnids, more commonly known as spiders, belonged to this type of animals? In particular, on that day they mentioned a type of a spider called the black widow, you the one that is notorious for killing her mate… Well, you can imagine the nickname that I came up with for my dear tutor. Who could know for sure? Maybe she did kill her young husband, and he never made to fight in those distant colonies of her imagination.”

En el museo París, Francia
At the museum
Paris, France

Observing the astonished face of his visitor, he went on:

“They say that life is full of surprises, and you know what how wild the imagination of child can run…”

“I fear that you overstated yourself. Perhaps, just a little bit, Sir John?”

“Quite the opposite, my lady. I believe the description of my jail and of its warden, fell quite short of its all too vivid reality” he answered in a thoughtful tone of voice.

Entre bruma París, FranciaqEntre bruma París, Francia
Misty mornings
Paris, France

 

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In the care of a Governess

In his dream, he found that his deepest intimacy, lay far beyond the borders of his solitude


Vista del Río Siena París, Francia
View of the Seine 
Paris, France

“Assuredly, you must believe I have lost my wits, at least momentarily!” he remarked excitedly, as he recovered his breath. “I assure you that it is quite the contrary! Perhaps you would find my enthusiasm easier to understand, if I briefly describe the charming conditions in which I grew up in during my childhood days.”

La vitrina París, Francia
The display
Paris, France

“During the initial years of my life, my father dedicated himself to rummaging and poking around, among the tombs of the long dead Pharaohs, searching for treasures and whatnot of historical interest or at for his own. As I mentioned before, at the time I was placed in the care (may I rather mention, the scrutiny and custody) of a Governess.”

“Custody is too kind a word to use while describing the attentions of Mrs. Mary Louise. The aforesaid madam must have surely seen better times before the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.”

La margen del río París, Francia
The riverfront
Paris, France

“Not to tell a lie, I never knew her true age. It was an unfathomable mystery, even for my vivid childhood imagination and absolutely without any apparent solution. The fact is that in those my most tender years, my stock of numbers to count things only included numbers up to one hundred. So, if for some reason, I had been able to uncover her age, surely the number of years found would have exceeded my capacity for expressing them!”

Upon listening to these pungently sarcastic comments, Alicia could barely hold back a smile.

Calles del barrio París, Francia
The neighborhood streets
Paris, France

 

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A brand new day

Chapter 3… The Chinandegan magpies


Fisherman's camp Las Peñitas, Leon. Nicaragua
Fisherman’s camp
Las Peñitas, Leon. Nicaragua

 Sometimes Grandfather and I would talk about his childhood in Chinandega. He always remembered those days as happy moments of his life. There, he had studied most of his grammar school. In between the week, besides going to school, those warm and sunny mornings, he’d help out at the farm during the long afternoon hours, where he worked, side by side, with his father and uncles. The weekends (when his mom was busiest at the restaurant), he’d go to Corinto and help at the restaurant. On Saturdays and Sundays, before the break of dawn, he was up and about and out on his bike, enjoying the ride to the port. He would arrive to buy the fresh fish and fresh seafood from the fishermen. After he had swapped a few jokes, enquired about the weather, satisfied himself with the conditions of their health, of their families, and had a good time, he was ready to rush to the restaurant and help his mother with the chores.

“When I was a child, I learned an important lesson, and I believe it’s helpful still. I discovered that we all need our own personal space, to be alone with our thoughts, our feelings, and with ourselves. The bicycle ride, to the port, in the mornings was my personal space. It was a moment for reflection, I could go through the things in my mind, look back at all that was happening and sort them out. When I arrived to the wharfs, I had found my balance and my inner peace. By then the fishermen were returning from the sea and the day’s catch. The waves gently tossing the boats to and fro, those crazy seagulls flying around, excited and filling the air with their calls and shouting, and we would catch sight of each other. They would be out in their boats, tired and hungry; and I sitting on my bike and standing on the pier. Our lives were so different, yet there we were, all together, present and accounted for, ready to talk, to laugh, to joke, and to smile a big, warm smile, at the beginning of a brand new day…”

 


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