The sun rays appear through the thin curtain. The neighborhood
had already awakened but he was still sleeping. The sound of an
ambulance siren finally woke him up.
Each morning was the same, the alarm clock would go off, he would
open his heavy eyes with difficulty, his wife already gone to work;
he would continue sleeping, but this time the ambulance noise was
passing by really close to his ears. There was a base of pirate
ambulances only a few blocks away. They were the types of ambulance
that may save your life but at the same time they could take someone
elseís as a result of their carelessness. They wouldnít care about
the consequences of causing an accident by parking on a corner and
blocking all possible visibility. Nobody could take them away in
spite of the accidents, not even a police agent like him.
He got up, looked through the window only to see the same every
day view, the plastic canvases of the vendors over the side walk;
opposite there was the butcher shop and the blacksmiths waiting for
potential clients, the barber reading the yellow newspaper, the
vegetable shop just opening, and the peseros driving by with the
desire to break the boredom, stalking, haunting them all, waiting
for a cold moment of rage over somebody crossing or someone
overtaking them in the narrow, noisy, heated street.
He went into the bathroom for a shower in the hope that it would
wash his memories away, memories of his life crossing the line for
the unknown, but yet so familiar death. This time he was also
thinking that he could accept the offer of having better things even
if he had to break the code prescribed by himself, to look for a
wider path for the sake of his wife, of having children with a
better quality of life which he was not used to.
Today there will be raid to eradicate the evil in people, to do
something for this society, at least a grain of sand in the tiny
dune of crime eradication, to end pedophilia, organized crime; he
remembered that mission of putting an end to a child pornography
network, he felt proud of himself, he felt that he could finish with
all the evil in the city instantly.
He finished and didnít want to shave, nor comb his hair, he
didnít feel like it, he would just put on his clothes, take his gun,
check it. He would drink a bitter hot black coffee and eat a cold
green tamal. After a few slurps, he left the coffee and continued
thinking as he brushed his teeth, struggling to get rid of vile
thinking that seemed to belong to him. He felt as if something was
taken out of his soul each time he used dirty vocabulary to threaten
and harm verbally. He hoped this time would be different.
It was hot inside, he opened the window to freshen up. As the
noise came in, he looked at the people passing by, the butcher
serving, the barber putting the newspaper away, the pesero driver
almost running over an old lady, if it hadnít been for that
He went out and walked towards the police station, facing the
dilemma of the routine, of not receiving bribes, but without knowing
he would overcome, he closed the door with usual uncertainty: "maybe
this time itís my turn," he thought in order to have some peace of
mind, as he touched the last cracked step. After that he lost sight
of himself among the crowd and the puestos.
"I might see him tomorrow," he thought. "I may not, who knows..."
David Camps teaches English as foreign language at the
Tecnolůgico de Monterrey, Mexico City Campus. He holds a PhD in
Linguistics from Lancaster University, Great Britain. His research
interests are related to social aspects of the language: how
students engage in practices to deal with academic demands in
writing, how the students' identity influence their writing, what
sort of writing practices professionals engage in for their careers.
He has shared the findings of his research at different symposia in
Mexico, Brazil and the United States and has published in journals
in the field of language teaching.