miércoles, 13 de octubre de 2010

A grandpa in Lyric Square.

If you have good friends who speaks English so much better than you, and if he has some free time, jajajaj, you are getting your personal "google traslate". Jorge, quillo, thank you very, very, very much. I appreciate it big time.

Lyric Square, Mr. Grandpa has just got out of M&S after buying some crackers to go with the old extra mature cheddar that remains in the fridge, some cherry tomatoes and Minestrone soup. Enough to spend another evening in the solitude of his chair and doze with the background noise of Dickinson's Real Deal on ITV. He has also gone out to buy some batteries, but as usual he will get them in a 24 hours shop where they they are about fifteen pence cheaper. He needs them to feed the radio he always carries with him. Mr. Grandpa can not live without the radio, was born on September the 2nd, in 1939, a day before Britain declared war on Germany and his mother always remembered the way his tears broke the silence that had taken possession of that great room when the last words of the First Chamberlain radiated speech called upon all subjects of the Crown encouraging them in the fight against Nazism. His crying was installed in the heart of all present, as a dire premonition of what they might expect in the coming years.

Mr. grandpa following the inevitable course of life, was then a kid and broke his wrist a couple of times emulating Ted Ditchburn, his idol, the goalkeeper with whom the Lilywhites won their first league title in 1951, later a young man who tried to go to college to study chemistry for which he worked as a kitchenporter in an Italian restaurant, Bertorelli, in Covent Garden, or as a cleaner sweeping the stalls of the Queen's Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, but it never was enough and finally he accepted, through one of his brothers in law, a job at Tesco in Leicester which in 1961 entered the Guinness Book of Records for being the world's largest supermarket. Mr. Grandpa worked 43 years for Tesco. That's why he always buys in M&S. He also got married, he could almost say that he loved his wife, with her he had three children to whom, by ten years of tight belt, he was able to pay them the university. None of them was a chemist. He has six grandchildren, had two dogs, three cars and a watch. An Omega Seamaster bequeathed to him by his father, who received it from his grandfather, who traded it for ten ounces of tobacco in some forgotten trench of northern France during the First World War. Michel was the name of that young soldier from Marseille. Mr. Grandpa received that watch the day he returned from military service and took it off just once, when a doctor three times younger than him made him get into a TAC to fight his prostate cancer. The cancer was defeated, but left him tied to a crutch, for each new path he wanted to undertake in his life.

Mr. Grandpa is widowed, he manages to survive on a pension and his stories are no longer fascinating for his grandchildren. He's basically alone.

And his watch has just stopped.

For the first time in 53 years. Just when he was buying a croissant at the Brera coffee shop, owned by Fabio, the son of a lifelong friend, he met when he used to wash the dishes at Bertorelli in Covent Garden. Fabio's father never got over his cancer.

Stunned, Mr. Grandpa has taken a chair and, perhaps by mistake or blunder, has dragged it into the middle of the square. And there he stayed for ten minutes. Staring at the Omega Seamaster.

In Lyric Square a policeman is fining another crazy old man, an old man clinging to a dull watch, and bored he listens to him repeating again and again and again the same sentence.

"My name is Michel Woodman, I wanted to be a chemist, and I have to buy some batteries."

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