The high stone wall guarding Gabriel García Márquez’s vacation house in the hills of Cuernavaca, Mexico was a foot thick and topped with broken glass. Bougainvillea spilled over the top and formed a magenta canopy over the wall’s wooden door.
All posts tagged: Mexico
By JUAN RULFO
Translated by ILAN STAVANS and HAROLD AUGENBRAUM
I’m sitting by the sewer waiting for the frogs to come out. Last night, while we were having dinner, they started kicking up a huge ruckus and didn’t stop singing until dawn. That’s what my godmother says, too: that the frogs’ shouting scared her sleep away. And she’d like to sleep now. That’s why she told me to sit here, near the sewer, waiting with a board in my hand so that I can smash to smithereens any frog that hops out … Frogs are green all over, except for their bellies. Toads are black. My godmother’s eyes are black, too. Frogs are good to eat. You shouldn’t eat toads; but I’ve eaten them, too, though you’re not supposed to, and they taste the same as frogs.
In a long, low building with a tin roof, people from this village turn clamshells into buttons. Beyond the broken windows lie middens of clamshells, punctuated with precise and uniform holes. The gravel mixes with broken shells and thick, pale unfinished buttons.