This is a guest post from my friend Fernando Marti. He sent this to me a few weeks ago, and I shared it with a few friends. We all loved it, so I thought it should have a wider audience and a more accessible home than just a file being passed around. Enjoy!
“They want our bones, y’know,” she said, motioning with her head down the row of tables at the café. There was a single person sitting alone at each of the tables along the wall, each young pale face lit blue by the glowing screens in front of them, the little logos on the laptop covers pulsing with their own life. I looked over to the woman sitting at the table next to me, a little slouched over her coffee, to make sure it was me she was talking to. She was a short thin lady, gray hair tied back in a tight ponytail, black dress made of heavy cloth, looking a bit like an aging Mexican goth rocker. I think maybe I had seen her before at this café, selling handmade sage bundles, but we had never talked before. Now she leaned over towards me, as though she was confiding a secret.
“Y qué?” she said, some kind of question about I don’t know what. “It’s not their jobs we want,” and she motioned with her head again. “Or that they avoid our city buses and get on their own private tinted-window double-deckers like they’re on their way to the airport or something. And it’s not their pink-moustached cars with their drivers’ heads down on their text pads cutting off the old ladies like they’re johns looking for a hookup. Or that they crowd our sidewalks silently scrolling their fancy phones waiting for hand-dripped coffees that take twenty minutes to make, what’s that?” She almost seemed to laugh, looking down at her coffee, but it wasn’t really a laugh. She talked in a run-on, like she had a lot to say and too little time to say it, sometimes low as a whisper, then rising to where I think the other customers were starting to look at us. “It’s not what’s different about them, y’know? That’s not why we hate them, although maybe that would be a good reason. You know what it is? It’s that they want to be like us.” She let it sit there, and I nodded to her, “M-hmmm,” went back to my work.