(This post is available in Spanish)
Every day I see the same faces and the same looks (they are not the same; face is the shape, look is the form). The lady applying make-up, the office drone in a tie, the guy fed-up with life, the tardy students, the prissy miss in a luxury car, the wife chastising her spouse, the happy cabbie, the silent cabbie. Some are regulars; others never buy anything from me. My name is Dulce and I sell donuts and coffee in a heavily used crossing in Mexico City. I feel like the main character from that song from the noughties that went: “standing in the middle of this chaos, watching everything, I’m a Cyclops”.
Every day I wake up at 3 a.m. With my cousins and brothers, we prepare the thermos with coffee and pastry boxes that we shall take for the sale. We live 40 km from our selling place and 10 km from the nearest transport station. With the exponential growth of traffic in the last decade, those numbers translate to a daily walk of 50 minutes to get to the bus stop, or, in caloric terms, the equivalent of half of the best selling donut: double glazed with chocolate and sprinkles.
I’ve never known who supplies these donuts. Where do they come from? Who makes them? Why are they always the same flavours? I only know that it’s been forever that they arrive to my grandparents’ home and that I was already selling them before even being born. I could almost swear that my mother’s bosom was like the oven that due to the strength of smog, heat and sugar, gave form to the zygote that later would be me.
If it all goes well, I’ll finish my wares in a couple of hours, but with all that health malarkey, sometimes we have stuff unsold. And I don’t blame them. Not even when we have leftover donuts would I dare to bite one. Only watching them makes my teeth rot. I can’t help feeling like a murderer by knowing that I’m raising the diabetes potential for all that people glued to their driving wheel. But that’s how it goes; at least they have freedom of choice.
If I didn’t have to be here every day, I would like to study as a dancer, or maybe acting. I think I’ve got potential for those careers, I know about drama and zigzagging between cars has made me nimble. When I get back home in the afternoon, I like to imagine that I become those people that I see at the crossing. Therefore, I am that CEO woman doing her lashes, the young lad singing in pig English, the cop in a new car, the berated little girl in the back seat, the man who hasn’t slept because of his sick wife, the girlfriend who just broke up after 7 years, the eager teen ready for football practice, the writer that hasn’t finished his book, the mature woman who never married, the doctor that was drunk in surgery, the private school teacher, the shyster banker, the lorry driver transporting fruit from coast to coast…
And then I wake up. I have to do the coffee and pack the donuts for next morning. I will have a cup of coffee, that one I prepare myself…
Words: Homo Rodans