Blurred Snapshot of Woman with Moon
by Solange Rodríguez Pappe
Translated by Miriam Tobin
Every now and then a guy comes along. He’s not special and you know it, not the kind of guy to stick around. He sits next to you and starts talking. You put up with the spirals of smoke his empty mouth exhales and the contrived intimacy, because it’s better than being out on the street. You always attract ordinary, insipid types like this one who is now asking you something over the trembling wall of music, and you tell him the truth as you always do: ‘I’m alone’.
You watch the ritual unfold and you endure it patiently: the generosity, the exchanging of glances, the proximity of your knees. When all the lights go out you walk outside and at this early hour the moon is baring its two white tips. He asks, you evade, he asks again. You tell him you’re not looking for a partner, that your isolation feeds on itself, that maybe if someone wanted to try, to have a go for real, you’d accept. And he offers himself like they all do. And ever the romantic, you believe him, and bite him greedily on the Adam’s apple with all the tenderness you’re capable of, like a virgin. And he runs away screaming towards the light of a streetlamp, confirming your monstrous loneliness.
As always on nights like these, when a guy comes along, you become something else: a wolf, a tarantula, a snake. Everything. Anything…except the hungry shadow of a woman.
Miriam Tobin translates from Spanish into English. She spent a few years working as an English teacher in Barcelona, before returning to London to work at a literary agency. She has recently completed her MA in Literary Translation at UEA.