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Four Lilies

The Music I Like Best

Fernando Sorrentino
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A few days ago I left the house and turned onto Calle Olazábal. I walked a few blocks and before I got to Calle Cuba I saw a little old lady with a nice, cheerful face. Then an envelope fell out of her purse but she didn’t notice. I hurried on, picked up the envelope without being noticed and found a wad of bills inside.

I went back home and hid the money in my math book. With that money I’d be able to get myself several CDs of the kind I like—real crazy, man—, and while I was thinking about it, I turned on the boom box full blast to help me think straight.

Next day I realized I shouldn’t be thinking that way. I’d make a sacrifice and get my Mom a thing for grinding meat, or maybe an electric carver.

I headed for Avenida Cabildo to find how much a meat grinder or an electric knife was going to cost. I went there via Calle Mendoza but came back on Olazábal and there was the little old lady still. She was walking from Arcos to Cuba and back from Cuba to Arcos with her eyes fixed on the sidewalk as if she were looking for who knows what.

I heard the doorman in an apartment building telling a woman:

“She lost the envelope with her social security, you know. She’s been looking for it all night.”

I set off home at full speed and got the money I’d hidden in my math book. I chucked the envelope into the trash and put the bills into my pants pocket. I ran, ran, ran faster than a flying bullet to Cabildo and bought those CDs—real crazy, man.

Translation: Alita Kelley
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Copyright ©Fernando Sorrentino, 1984
By the same author RSS
Date of publicationNovember 2004
Collection RSSThe Fictile Word
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