Then his usual friends started arriving. He led them to the basement, where his cellar was. Three spotless rustic tables and benches were all the furniture of the room, which had a very pleasant ambiance thanks to the Spanish bodegón decor.
Soon the three tables were taken. On the tables were various kinds of tapas, full of ham slices, cuts of Galician chorizo, anchovies, eel al ajillo, and delicious Spanish tortilla. All of these were paired to the excellent wines.
Cachita, a regular at the place, possessed maybe by the spirit of a Spanish dancer, left the bench and started dancing and applauding between the tables. Soon everyone was singing in unison. As the bottles emptied, the heat went up. Everyone laughed, singed, and partied, expressing all the joy that a Rioja wine can give. Suddenly, two police vehicles arrived, called maybe, by a resentful neighbour who wasn’t invited. When the police officers opened the vehicles’ doors to push the cheerful guests in, Julito, shaking his head and leaping off the sofa, woke up: Everything had been a dream.
“Only in dreams,” he told me. “How could I have a small business at home, even if I were authorized? Where was I going to get the hams, the wines, and everything else ? Maybe I could have the tortilla, but sometimes you can walk the whole city and not find potatoes. If they liberalized private businesses for real, I could import the wines and the charcuterie. But they will never do that, at least not during this regency. Anyway, for as long as I dreamt, I had fun. Dreaming doesn’t cost a thing!”
Translated by: Xavier Noguer
October 28, 2010