Going with my mother to the Plaza del Mercado de San Isidro, in the Mataderos neighborhood, at the beginning of Carabanchel Bajo, in Madrid, the Madrid of the black market, very pretty and beautiful, because the truck drivers and the shopkeepers of the stalls of the Mercado, which made me smile, she was telling me what had happened to her “poor” friend Magdalena, who had a daughter, Magdalenita, who wanted me as a boyfriend when she grew up.

Yesterday, when she was returning home from the Market, very close to ours, a well-dressed rogue and robber followed her and, approaching her, halfway, said:

“Madam, I bring your purchase to your house, because I see you’re a little tired and, also, take care of you, because you carry your hanging bag open from it, do not steal its money.”

“Ah, son, how nice you are, take my two bags and accompany me to the door of the building 68 of General Ricardo’s and, as for the money, I take it safely here under my left bra cup.”

They reached the building and entered the portal. There, the soulless man, closing the door, left the bags at Magdalena’s feet, put a knife to her neck, telling her that he would stab her three times if she did not give him the money she had on her tit under her bra.

Poor Magdalena had no choice but to give it to him and, when she climbed the stairs to her third floor, she almost fell due to the trembling and fear she felt in her body.

“Mother, you don’t trust anyone.”

“Yes, son, in this world there are many thieves, murderers, and criminals, who will always hurt those who never did wrong.

“Look, son, the other day, before the feast of San Isidro, I was going to pay the fruit vendor with a hundred pesetas bill and, seen and not seen, a thief appeared out of nowhere, snatched the ticket from me, and disappeared running towards Colonia Tercio de Terol, so I couldn’t buy the fruit. Luckily the fruit vendor, from whom I always buy fruit, left it to me.”

Today we were not going to buy fruit, and my mother, passing by the greengrocer, greeted the fruit seller from afar:

“Good morning, Miguel, today we are going to the fish shop.”

“You have a good guardian today, Mrs. Daniela.”

“Yes, Miguel; this is my kid, very nice!”

My mother’s response made me smile and praise my mother.

We are in front of the fish shop. Everything looks freshly caught. How all the fish shines between pieces of crushed ice! Except for the mussels, periwinkles, and barnacles.

My mother ordered Japuta (Platusa) (flounder), roosters, and a hake, which the fishmonger said was hooked. Afterwards, she hesitated to buy sea bream, and I said to her:

“No, Mother, no, bream, no.”

“And that, son?”

“Mother, in the encyclopedia I have read and studied that, before the Second World War and after it, there were bream rulers, thieves, criminals, and murderers who made a lot of money and money by stealing and murdering the citizens of their respective towns who they did not follow.

“The German sea bream had ships of the sea and submarines, high-sphere planes, wanting to conquer Africa, Europe, and England. Also, he had many tanks, as many as the communist tsar of all Russia; these two standing out above the sea breams of Spain and Italy, which followed them as Jumento follows Jumenta (ass follows she-ass). All of them thieves, criminals, and murderers, as I say, Mother; what the encyclopedia says, which I follow and believe.”

“Shut up and watch your language, son; there are very perverse people who listen and do not allow people to speak ill of those who govern.

“I don’t know which encyclopedia that is, son.”

“It was given to me by Don Baldomero the Republican, a teacher from the town of the Serranía de Cuenca, Mother, whom the Nationals had his father slaughtered on a dark night, taking him away and making him disappear into a gutter; to then cut the hair of his wife, her daughter and the maiden, who is believed to have been raped by covering her mouth with a mask, brushing with her like wild dogs.”

“Let’s go home, son; your father, at 2:30 sharp, goes upstairs and demands to eat.”

“Yes, Mother; you are the most beautiful.”

“Come on, son, how nice you are!”