Tuesday, August 3, 2021

the last book I ever read (The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories, excerpt one)

from The Dangers of Smoking in Bed: Stories by Mariana Enriquez (Translated by Megan McDowell):

Someone, probably Juancho, himself, moved the cart to Tuyutí’s corner and left it parked in front of the house Doña Rita had left empty when she died the year before. After a few days, no one payed it any attention. At first they did, because they expected the villero—what else could he be but a slum-dweller?—to come back for it. But he never turned up, and no one knew what to do with his things. So there they stayed, and one day they got wet in the rain, and the damp cardboard disintegrated and gave off a smell. Something else stank amid all the junk, probably rotting food, but disgust kept people from cleaning. It was enough to give the cart a wide berth, walk real close to the houses and not look at it. There were always gross smells in the neighborhood, coming from the greenish muck that flowed along the gutters, or from the Riachuelo when a certain breeze blew, especially at dusk.

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