Wednesday, August 25, 2004

i, cerberus

this stretch of sidewalk - at the foot of the reina sofia museum in madrid - grew sunnier and sultrier as the day progressed; prospective customers, spying the swathe of shadow where we were lucky to be sitting, scraped tables and chairs toward the comparative coolness.
at the first sign of this shameless impertinence, the ferocious little waiter lurking in the doorway leapt into action: wagging his finger, waving his yellow cloth and muttering "no! no! no!", he dragged the same tables and chairs right back to where they had been in the first place, and where they stayed, empty, hot to the touch, until the next group strolled by.
the whole pantomime was repeated several times in the course of our ros├ęs and our patatas bravas, and had us whispering, "uh-oh" - and then, "no! no! no!" the moment we saw passers-by debating a bit of furniture-rearranging - and giggling helplessly into our glasses .
we were, of course, touched by the plight of those thwarted and thirsty - they settled under the parasols two doors down - but it was slapstick, and it was summer, and laughter is a splendid thing.


  1. The story makes the photo in this case. You had me wondering: why are these chairs empty? I was seeking for some extra point of interest in this photo. I mean, they are white, partly burnt in, the surroundings aren't attractive. But the story is great. I like the combination of words and pictures. Wonder how long it took you to stage today's contribution.
    Will reply to your mail, for which my thanks, just rather busy now.

  2. i didn't have to stage anything at all, thank heavens.:-) this was the view from our table once the waiter had shooed everyone away!

  3. indeed lynn, what would we do without 'laughter'
    the sun stood pretty high on this very moment
    feel happy for you you kept this funny moments in your memory

  4. ~laughter is the medicine of's the only elixer I need~

  5. The word picture is priceless. What a blessing to have company to share the pantomime.

  6. Little misunderstanding, Lynn.
    When I said "stage" I did not mean stage the content/composition of the photo, I meant the presentation of the whole on your webpage. The whole being the photo plus the text. I mean some thought must have gone into the text. Or are you that kind of special person that combines images and words without second thought?

  7. makes me feel like sipping on a mocha.

  8. I love the dash of yellow in what looks, otherwise, like a sun-baked black and white photo. And of course the story is fabulous and charming. It's one of those stories, like a parable, that's bigger than itself. Great language, "the thwarted and the thirsty." Thank you.