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“He was coming towards me, barefoot. I think I recall he already had horns. I liked them, they were multicolored.

He always picked me with his left arm and held me against his chest, so I could listen to the world hanging out his right shoulder, as I wanted to. I held myself by a horn with one hand while with the other I conducted”.


“His colors. My father dragged them behind, like fishermen do with fishes in the net”.

“The colors, not the notes?”

“Each color has a note, and the other way around, Willie Moe, no?”

“But, what about these horns? Did they grow suddenly?”

“Yes, when I was three years old”.

“And then? Did he always have them?”

“Of course, what kind of question is that!”

And coming out of abuelito Serafin's shop, with her right hand's long tapered fingers, she took the spinning top she was holding in the palm of the other hand by its needle. 

“Happy New Year!”

“We are in May, Asturia”.

“It's your birthday, Willie Moe, your new year, and here it is”.

And, pointed the flaming red spinning top on the ground, she held it straight between her hands, and said, inspired:

“Not for the way it turns but for what it carries”.

She gave it a spin and the spinning top spun.

“What do you mean?”

“I invited the Gods”.


“To take a ride in it. They are attracted by the colors” and she pointed at the top twirling on the ground.

I wondered if she too only saw the myriads of colors as the horizontal lines fused one into the other or who know what else that seemed to unravel from the enchanted light in her glance, encompassing so much more than the little cement square foot in which the spinning top swirled around.

But then I was laughing, elated that the sea waves crushed into her voice, the sky bent to corrugate the soft light on her face and the wind lifted the tatting embroidery of her short dress.

Though with that regret that nowhere within I would find notes as beautiful as she, a music that would resonate Asturia back to me. I knew that once the day would fold, her unrepeatable beauty would not be reproduced, forever committed to my imperfect memory.

When the spinning top came to a halt, just before it fell on its side, Asturia took it in her hand, brought it to her lips and blew on it. Then, holding it on her palm as if it were a little bird, she gave it to me.

“Here, don't forget to invite them when you spin it” she whispered.

© Laura Razzano