— Carmen, a lot of things are not the way we want them to be.
She laughed. She was looking at her bottle of Coca-Cola carefully; I think she was counting the bubbles that were rising to the surface. Then she lifted the bottle to her ear.
"Listen: even my Coke says more intelligent things than you do."
"That's even worse."
She covered the opening of the bottle with her thumb and shook it. Then, with poor aim, squirted it, apparently at me. Some women at the next table felt threatened and opted to change tables. The waiter appeared with an angry look and a mop in his hand. Carmen kept laughing.
"Next time I won't miss," she warned me.
"Listen, this is all a lie. My name is Froylan Gomez, I am married, and I have no job."
She shook the bottle again and showered me with Coke. Now she wasn't laughing, she wasn't playing.
"You are Juan," she said firmly, in a holy tone, "you work for a newspaper, the sports section, and you don't need any other woman than me."
I paid the bill.
Carmen insisted on licking the Coke off me as we sped down the road.
—David Toscana, Tula Station
Painting: Francisco Goya