Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Jean Rhys in Mexico

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Jean Rhys in Mexico

Article excerpt

He'd been working out at La Estetica Gymnasia on Lopez Mateos. Once he crossed the border next fall he would have no problems blending in, with his American-style pecs, triceps and a heel-to-toe stride that added swagger to his grace. So when he strolled through the outdoor cafe on Pedro Moreno and the American woman raised her head, he slowed down, glanced back. Even though she wore sunglasses, he could tell she observed him. There would be a melancholy, nostalgic look in her eyes. She studied his shoulders, his faded Levi 501s, the worn Benetton T-shirt. Perhaps she admired his muscles. Perhaps she was tired of the same conversations with waiters and taxi drivers. He sat down on one of the plaza benches and waited for her to finish her beer. It was a Bohemia; strong for American women. Maybe strong enough to make her walk by his bench and then he could ask her what time it was. He watched her. She was looking down, observing the traveler's custom, but of course with the small shudder of her profiled face that signified a blinking back of tears. Another triste senora. He knew them well. They avoided the shade, even on days like this, and turned their faces to the sun. In their oversized handbags they carried brochures of the Ballet Folklorico and guidebook lists of the markets where the curanderas might be found. Even from twenty yards away, he recognized the twisted shape of this one's earrings. …

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