D.FÁBULA Two Nations
Short story by Teresa de Miguel Escribano
Photographs by Paulina Campos Hierro
My name is Nayeli and I’m a B-girl. Last Friday I was with my girlfriends at the “Dos Naciones” bar, like every Friday, like most days really, when a man with no eyelashes and no eyebrows with black eyes and no pupils, came up to me and Tania.
He had a lost gaze as if he had fallen in the depths of his huge black eyes.
He paid for a dance and we got on the old, lifted, crisp wooden stage, but didn’t trip because Tania and I know each and every whole of that old wooden floor perfectly and our high heels know how to prevent us from falling in them.
It was one of those busy nights when all the tables are full of lost men and women like me. The walls were sweating, soaking the port of Veracruz and Giralda de Sevilla with humanity painted on them.
The band was playing with its usual slackness, Carlos hitting the drum and looking at me from the corner of his eye with resentment, because everybody knows that he got hooked on me from that night I gave him a dance.
The black-eyed man didn’t look at us as he spun each one in one hand. The truth is I comforted by having Tania close, because I was scared to fall in the man’s infinitely lost gaze.
I like working in “Dos Naciones” because, at a specific hour of the night, they turn on the screens that hang on the sides to play porn movies and men get very turned on and start asking you for more dances.
But this guy wasn’t interested in porn and he kept paying dance after dance after dance, until my legs couldn’t hold it any more and threw me to the floor.
I must have lost conscience because what I remember next is being under the dance floor, seeing the lost man’s feet over my head through the slots of the old platform with the dim light of the bar, the faraway sound of Carlos playing the drum.
I was able to see the white in the lost man’s eye from down there, shining in the darkness, as if he was looking for me, and I started running in the opposite direction through the tunnels that hide under all the wooden floors of Mexico City.
Exhausted, I thought I’d never get out of that underworld, when at last I found a parquet that was missing a piece.
When I finally got out through the wooden hole, I found myself in a dark apartment. The dark eyes of a cat with no eyelashes or eyebrows scared me, like the man’s, and I stormed out, running through the Juárez neighborhood, running through Chapultepec, running until I felt safe.
Since then, I’ve never gone back to “Dos Naciones.”