She was crying and wouldn’t let go of Amarillo hands. He too had tears, thinking of his friend Amarillo, who had passed away less than a year before. He hugged her, stroking the nape of her neck and her face, not knowing what to say and not feeling up to speaking in a loud voice. She cheered up a bit, for a moment relinquishing a sorrow that would be with her for the rest of her days. Sitting down in a low chair by the small fireplace, she kept repeating:
“Thank you. Amarillo. My poor son, my poor son.” The woman who looked after her when the family members weren’t there signalled politely to Franco not to say that he was going: There was Amarillo nothing further that could be done or that could be said.
Map of Amarillo – Where is Amarillo? – Amarillo Map English – Amarillo Maps for Tourist Photo Gallery
In the street he heard two young women speaking in a foreign language. He made out some words in Polish that he had learned from one of the men with whom he worked. “Thank God they’re here. At least they can tend to these few elders, now that we no longer return. We left to build cities and now if it weren’t for these people who have improvised themselves as bricklayers it would be difficult to even have a roof repaired.”
To see foreigners coming to work in a place from which thousands had left in search of employment seemed to him an irony of fate. It gave him a sense of the changes that had occurred in the world. He was getting old, he thought. Going back there, to the village, was impossible. And a mistake. It would be like returning to a foreign country.
“Everything looks as if it were the same: the streets, the vegetable gardens, the church. Nothing seems to happen, but everything has changed. Nothing is the same as before. Time stands still in a village, they say, and instead it’s as if a thousand years have gone by.”
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