On a ship, whose name I don't want to remember, we crossed the Atlantic from Spain heading to Baton Rouge, in Louisiana. A lot of monotonous and busy days. There was no television and the radios only clearly tuned stations with Arabic music. The only distraction was playing chess with my friend “the canary”, who always beat me. Little by little I was studying his way of attacking and one day I beat him. It probably made him feel pretty bad because he never wanted to play with me again.

We entered the Mississippi River, leaving New Orleans behind. Along the way I observed some huge barges heading to the sea. Intrigued, I asked the pilot about it and he told me that they transported "strategic" food and that when it expired they disposed of it in the sea. These same barges would then be filled with food and parked in safe places. Strategic for what? For a war? For bad harvests? It didn't seem like a bad idea at all. However, it was food that was still in good condition and did not serve to remedy the hunger of many who died for having nothing. Paradoxes.

We docked in Baton Rouge at a port on the right bank. It was a small neighborhood with industrial warehouses, factories and one of those stores where you can find anything. The real city was on the opposite bank.

The next day my friend the canary and I wanted to go to the other side for dinner and we took a small ferry that looked like something out of a museum: a boiler and an alternative machine that pushed huge "wooden" connecting rods powered huge lateral paddle wheels that propelled her This machinery was in the center and was surrounded by a bench in the shape of a horseshoe where we sat. All the passengers were black except for the two "whites" who were my friend and I. More than twenty pairs of eyes looked at us curiously. I felt intimidated and realized what they felt when the opposite happened. We toured Baton Rouge, had dinner, and headed back to the ship.

The next day we would leave at ten and a little before that I went to buy something in the small store. When I came back, I met the pilot who was also going to the ship. About ten meters before arriving, a lady I hadn't noticed before stopped me and said to me with her American accent: Is Antonio here? I was puzzled because I didn't know any Antonio. And this lady hugged me, leaned her head on my shoulder, murmured something I couldn't understand, and kissed me on the lips. The pilot had remained by our side without flinching and so I asked him in my poor English if he knew her. He answered yes in his passable Spanish, that it was about a woman who had had a Spanish "good friend" named Antonio and who apparently hadn't forgotten him yet.

The following days, heading to Spain, I thought that I, a young man in my early twenties, had been confused, or not, by a woman who could have been my mother but who kissed me as if she were kissing Antonio. What would be the mental state of that woman? Obsessed? Disappointed? His look said it all, but I still haven't been able to find out what was going through his head or where Antonio, the love of his life, was.

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