Ready to sit in a cafe, pull up a chair at a delicate metal table, the one with round seats on the chairs, constructed for European ladies to idle time. Walk with me down the stone streets, carefully placed to keep the wheel, or the boot, from sinking into a puddle of mud. You’re shirt is stained; don’t worry.
I’ll walk with you the whole time and maybe I’ll pay for you if I have the money in my pocket; if not, you pay and I’ll pay the next time. There may be one or two who will stare at you— you’re too rich, you’re too poor. They can tell from your shoe, from the texture of your sweater, the print on your shirt.
I speak of revolution. After all, what would we have done without Che and Fidel? What would we have done without Zapata, la Pasionaria?
Oh, it goes too far, that’s true. They know that now.
But what would we have done? Without the revolutions?
I had no answer.
Some family would never know the salty taste of sweat on the upper lip. Who would be the mother of invention? Something new, something repeated.
That man, in the corner of the plaza...Would I rather him bow? Bring an obligation?
Who won? The Egyptians or the Jews? Who had the revolution? We should ask the figure in the Olmecan statue sitting, poised, eyes closed, vision transported...but cannot because then there were the Mayas, the Aztecs, the Spaniards. There is no blood in that figure.
Who’s next? I don’t watch for that, I watch for my double, my devil. Someone surely, is thinking almost precisely what I am, has a wife by the same name.
What would I do if I saw him? I may speak, may mime, may buy an umbrella and walk away in the rain.
It could be that his ancestors knew my ancestors, and then, if we were to encounter each other, it would be by accident. A woman gone mad, a holy grave disturbed, an oasis discovered.
It would happen when life seemed to be slow. It would occur in laziness, in an instant when I look up instead of down. It would be worse than a mirror image. Like in a war, seeing an enemy in mutual surprise.
Who would take the blame? Blame there would surely be.
Ruth E. Dominguez is a published author of non-fiction, short fiction, and poetry. She has worked and traveled in numerous cities in South America, North America, and Europe. She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Performance and a M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology. She presently works in education, and continues to write.