Six friends are seated on the sidewalk. It is beginning to get dark. At the door
of a house, across the street, a little old lady with glasses appears, in flip
flops and a blue polka dot dress. The friends each give their opinion about
the little old lady. Six different opinions are given of the same neighbor.
To me, she’s a writer of children’s stories. She has probably already imagined
tons of adventures, fairy tales, kings, giants, dwarfs and pirates, that ended up
becoming books. Her life is as follows: she wakes up right before lunch time, reads
the newspaper, eats something, cleans the house and goes out to pay her late bills.
At night, when the city sleeps, she sits down in front of her typewriter and works
straight through the night. During these hours, anyone who passes her house sees
a little light shining through the top floor window. She is at work writing, crossing
out, throwing out, writing again, erasing and rewriting until the story is ready.
Her husband is the type of guy who has done everything in his life. He’s
been a motorcycle racer, a butterfly catcher, a miner, astrologist, and an amateur
photgrapher. He has sold tableclothes and towels, been a bouncer, stamp collector,
a boxer (ended up with a crooked nose), and now plays piano in a pizza joint. While
she invents stories seated in front of a typewriter, he invents melodies seated on the
piano stool.They both work with their hands; that’s why I think they get along. At the
end of the day, before they go to work, they like to walk around the neighborhood.
They talk, laugh and, sometimes even kiss. At this moment, for example, she is at the
door waiting for her husband. The two of them are going to go for a walk and then
they’ll sit on a bench in the park, to feel the coming of the night.
To me, this little old lady has got something up her sleeve. It always seems
like she is hiding something. Sometimes, at night, I walk by her house and I get
spooked by that little light on in the bathroom. Why would someone leave their
light on all night long? And another thing: once in a while I hear her singing. Just
remembering her voice sends a chill up my spine. What terrible screeches and
howls! They say it’s opera that she sings. Perhaps. I guess opera must not be very
good. The other day I saw the old lady stopped like a statue in the middle of the
street. Three black cats came over the wall, with their fur standing straight up,
walked right over to her and began purring at her feet. I hate to say it, but I think
that she is a witch in disguise. Sheesh! Can you imagine what her house is like
inside? Full of bats, slugs, and frogs jumping around?
The living room is probably stacked full of secret books crawling with black
magic, bottles of poison, flying brooms, spider webs, whining black cats, leftover
food and cigar ash on the floor. And the bedroom? Yikes! Black walls, black
curtains, black floor, black carpet, black bed, black sheets, black pillow and a lit
purple candle on top of the black dresser. That little light turned on in the bathroom
desn’t fool me. It’s not really a bathroom. It is a room of witchcraft, of magic, roots
and voices from beyond. It is where the old lady lights the cauldron, mixes the
spices, dead animals and invents magic potions. Now she is at the door waiting for
someone to leave. With that crooked nose, it must be a vampire that’s living with
her. The two of them go limping through the streets. Why they have to go to the
park every afternoon, I don’t know. But they must be up to no good.