Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis odie…(I)
The game of cards was over and everybody thought that once they had their coffee, the men would walk towards the town hall balcony that overlooked the main square round the church. In the summer it used to be covered with a thick dust cloud of chaff’ often stirred up in whirls by the unbearable hot wind from the east. The wind, according to the villagers, came from Castuera; it was also said to be not a good town to marry people from that town. At sunset the country labourers, in white sleeveless underwear soaked in stinking sweat and black corduroy trousers, were coming into the dry dusty square from the four lanes at each corner. With their straw woven hats in their hands you could see their brown skinny faces burning in the summer sun rays, from which two tiny stars of eyes sparkled a lively beam of light under two dark lashes covered in ‘chaff’. Most, in canvas sandals, had bleeding feet after a long day scything large patches of wheat crops for twenty five pesetas. With hatred in their eyes they stared at the honourable men in the balcony; none of them made their living sweating from the long hours. Some hoped the civil war could start again for the socialism to settle down and country workers to be free. No-one was sure what to have for dinner or whether they could have anything, but nobody dared to speak up or confess their intimate feelings. The Barechest, so-called according to gossipers in town as he used to walk along with no shirt to show-off in front of the ladies, was aware of the muscular figure he shaped so well in the Russian front during the Second World War. Barechest was very popular not only for his courage during the war in Russia but also for his full dedication at work; many of the country labourers were so jealous of him that they used to nicknamed him “asshole” as he never lost a day job while some others stayed redundant, arms folded. The Fartcracker was also very popular in town for his skill in passing wind noisily whilst walking around, being the laughing-stock to the kids. He was also a brave labourer and was very employable – He was among the others who were going past before the “peers” sitting in the town hall balcony gossiping.