For those of you who don't connect with my microblog via Twitter, I barely made it out of Cafe Mediterraneum with one page last night. And the text was squirrely. Okay, here it is. I'll include a paragraph before and one after to show where the text fits.//
In a drawer he had found a gigantic pair of chrome scissors and a thin paperback in a box. It had been the only book in the cabinets in English. "From Sun to Sound". The box contained bits of wire, several diodes, a small black plate, and a twisted wire earphone the color of artificial limbs. The book contained a course in the concept of electricity. It hadn't required a soldering gun, though he wished it had. And after he read the instruction book it took only an hour to finish the kit. It was much later that he heard the sounds of the sun.
The Boy had never had a grandfather, but el Patroncito was not his grandfather.
"If I were, you wouldn't be in this situation."
He had no one. El Patroncito was the only human who had treated him kindly since that day. When he arrived at the house, el Patron had patted his shoulder.
"You've been through a lot. Put your bags away and we'll eat something that Rosalia has cooked us. It won't be good, but I don't think you'll care. In your state."
Rosalia had hurried him up the iron railed staircase, past the cabinet of books, to his dark room then returned to her tasks. He opened the heavy door to his room to find split logs crackling white in the small fireplace. The wooden bed shifted with his weight. He left his bags on the flat blanket. How badly he had wanted to sleep or cry. El Patroncito yelled to him loudly from the front of the house. Why had he not come back immediately? Why had he not listened? Newness and fear overtook his loneliness.
From that first day forward, he felt that el Patroncito wanted to be rid of him. Had he ruined everything from the start by not listening? But he had been tired! Surely the old man hadn't expected him to run back down the stairs? He would never know. When he arrived at the thick wooden table, el Patroncito's eyes had not met his. Rosalia laughed in her cocina. They ate stringy pork and the cold tortillas in silence, except for the old man's knife cutting into his wooden plate. They didn't speak again until late next day.
During the next months, the Boy felt that he had been wrong and that el Patroncito had begun to enjoy his company. The old man seemed to like teaching him. They went on walks, short walks around the square, by the sleeping Indians and their textiles and wrapped wood dolls. He told the Boy what the city used to look like when he was young. He told the Boy about how los indios used to have respect for ladinos who owned land like him.
"Where is your land, Patroncito?"
"Not so far in an automobile."
"Why don't you live there, Patroncito?"
"Don't call me that. Not in front of los indios."
The Indians gave their 'buenas tardes' to the old man, but they kept their black eyes on the Boy. He couldn't tell if they were smiling or if they hated him. Maybe in this place, no one could tell the difference.
When they got in the car at the house in San Cristobál, they both pretended that they were just going for another ride. Rosalia pretended too as she quietly packed his things and put them into the car's gaping trunk and just as quietly closed the trunk. All three of them pretended that they were going to see each other in the morning like always. They would be at the table in the morning. But then Rosalia lied. She said tomorrow she would make him enchiladas with mole rojo and a fried egg on top. She said he would have chocolate and el Patroncito would drink his jugo de toronja perfectado. Tasajo, Rosalia would grill tasajo on the charcoal of the comal. She knew he loved meat that tasted like bacon. Rosalia smiled weakly at el Patroncito who laughed at her womanly weaknesses as he pulled away.
As they passed things in the old car he listened to the names el Patroncito gave them. Milpas were little backyard cornfields where people could get food. He could see them through the thinning jungle as the old man wound around the dizzy roads. Altares, though it sounded like the name of a star, were roadside collections of things with crosses and dolls. A regalito was the word for a thing. It was a general word. The old man called anything he gave to the Boy un regalito. It meant he could keep it. Everything was either a regalito or a mio, and after a short time living with the old man he could tell one from the other without asking or being told.