I can’t sleep. It’s one of those moments in my life that whenever I go to bed I just toss and turn hopelessly. I stare at the white ceiling, remembering the star stickers I used to have many years ago, how I look at their luminescence waiting for the sleep to come. Whenever I felt distressed or worried about something, I just stare at the stars, until I finally fell asleep.
Once I visited a town, a northern town, where old brick houses could tell many horror stories of desperation.
One of them caught my eye. By the window I saw a figure through the white curtains. She was staring out, completely frozen, her gaze fixed on the children playing with a football in the street. I stopped looking for a fragment of a second as the football almost hit me, and when I stared back, the window was empty, just the white curtains retaining the smallest of movement as the figure left.
My job kept me occupied most of the time, but I tried to visit that window a few times a week, then everyday, and as I grew obsessed with the figure I couldn’t help to scape work to visit The Window. I was supposed to stay in that northern city for a couple of weeks, but I kept postponing my return, I just wanted to see the figure, the mysterious woman I saw everyday, always staring out The Window, inexpressive, through the curtains, hoping she would look at me at last.
Finally she looked back. She looked back!!! Her dark eyes focused on me as a smile run through her face, I felt a shiver as she smiled more and more, her pale hand touching the glass of The Window, her gaze upon me kept me frozen at the other side of the street. I even remember hearing an eerie piano music coming out of that brick house before it turned into a whistle, a high pitch that finally made me collapsed.
The next thing I remember is the bright light of what seemed a hospital, and me asking as from the most remote of places where was the woman I saw. “No one has lived there in the last century” I heard. But I knew I saw her, I saw her by The Window.
El Rastro is the most famous flea market of Madrid, where you can find the most common things among the most incredible and curious.
Besides the promise of great photographs, the history of the market is quite interesting: its name, rastro, came from the old days where in here there were the tanneries, so the trace (rastro) of the blood came down the street. The main street is Ribera de Curtidores (lit. Tanners bank) but the adjacent streets are reserved for specific objects: art, books, stickers… It’s the perfect place to spend a Sunday morning, and after all the looking, the haggling and the curiosities, what a better plan to go La Latina to have a cold beer (or two)
Una, dos y tres. Una, dos y tres. Lo que usted no quiera, para El Rastro es.