The circumstances of living underground, in a cellar (former garage and former salon), make it inevitable that you hear those who pass by on the street, whether they be screaming or whispering, announcing of some service or product.  At around 9 AM two young women, who are traveling salespeople, pass by with two aluminum jars, hangers, towels, shining products, brooms, and other products that make up their merchandise.

Towards 11 pm a strong and musical voice interrupts: Don’t tell me you didn’t see me, don’t tell me you didn’t hear me…Tamalero! Mattress repair, progressive lens glasses, grinder, cleaning gas kitchens, cutting crystals, gluing furniture.  There is also one who cries out about cement tanks to store water, though I’ve never seen him carrying any.  Now that I mention carrying, I’ve seen some guys pass by in a under doors or hand them to you.  They also pass by selling hangers, some delightful dried leaves used in interior designs, and right now I don’t remember what else, and notice that I have not mentioned food because those sellers don’t shout out, they mime instead, or whisper from a sidewalk or knock on doors and discretely offer what they have.

The most curious of those travelers was one who offered me a vault straight from the cemetery.  Since his merchandise did not interest me and he seemed to be a swindler, I sent him on his way.  The guy was very kind and explained to me everything I asked.  He even showed me his ID card so I could compare him to the owner of the vaults.  That could still be falsified even if he insists that 2,000.00 USD was a deal.  When it was time for him to say goodbye, his smile dazzled me.  In the bright summer 6 o’clock sun his golden teeth were hypnotic.  Noticing my fascination he assured me, “You know, aunt?  It’s because they can’t take them from me in customs”.

Translated by Raul G.


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