Roberto Carlos Garcia


Roberto Carlos Garcia's second poetry collection, black / Maybe, is available from Willow Books. His first collection, Melancolía, is available from Červená Barva Press. His poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry, The Root, Those People, Rigorous, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, The New Engagement, Public Pool, Stillwater Review, Gawker, Barrelhouse, Tuesday; An Art Project, The Acentos Review, Lunch Ticket, and many others. 

He is founder of the cooperative press Get Fresh Books, LLC.

A native New Yorker, Roberto holds an MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

His website is

Social Media Handle:

Twitter: @thespokenmind 

Instagram: @will_i_dream


 Whatever You May Dream 

The loan officer studied the application gravely. Guillermo Rosa worried it revealed deep secrets about him, secrets Guillermo didn’t realize about himself. He could hear a little voice whispering from the white sheets of paper, “Tsk tsk. No. No.” Guillermo Rosa felt he was having an out of body experience. As if he were watching all of this from the ceiling. The loan officer’s right hand slid forward along the desk and his left skipped down the loan application, and rested at the bottom corner of the vital document.  The loan officer stretched his neck to the right, put his left hand to his face as he centered his head, index finger to his temple, thumb to his chin and smiled as he eased back in his plush rolling leather desk chair. The desk was a thick cherry wood; the kind that inhabit old American schools, schools that are also expensive.  Guillermo knew that to sit across from the people who dwell behind these desks was to be his lot in life.  He hated to think about “his lot in life.”  It made him feel defeated.  But the smell of that wood and of the leather chair also comforted him somehow, in a way that made him feel like less of a man.  Today’s appointment is the culmination of a lifetime of piggyback dreaming. That is to say, watching others fulfill their dreams and then trying to create your own out of that experience. 

“Well, Mr. Rosa you’ve completed the application to the letter.” The loan officer said with a cautiously hidden smirk. As if he was an expert at suppressing his laugh, as if he could hear the funniest of jokes and restrain his laughter. 

Guillermo Rosa had a trained eye. He knew people’s reactions, their facial tics and their emotional responses.  In fact, had anyone walked up to Guillermo and asked him, “Excuse me sir, but can you tell what I’m feeling?”  He would have said “Yes, absolutely.”  Guillermo fancied himself empathic; that is to say, someone who can read emotions.

“I am a man extremely concerned with details.” Guillermo replied. “I believe that details keep businesses afloat when sales are shaky.” Guillermo concentrated hard to keep eye contact.

Something he learned when he first started in sales. Customers who had money to spend always sought eye contact. They wanted affirmation from the seller. 

“Tell me Mr. Rosa, what is your impetus for pursuing this enterprise?” 

The question dripped of “no.”  No, we the bank do not trust your application.  No, I the loan officer, entrusted by we the bank, don’t believe in your application or your motivation, or your empathic ability.

“As I have explained, Mr. Waldman…” Guillermo started, reading over the nameplate for the hundredth time. 

It was a chestnut color with gold inlay and the gold plate said Andrew Waldman on it, and four tiny screws held the plate to the wood.  The wood for the nameplate didn’t match the wood of the desk. ‘Look at me, I am Andrew Waldman,’ the nameplate said.  I am successful, the fabric of my suit is thin, comfortable, and breathable and it shines like a beacon of countless no’s uttered to countless Guillermo Rosa’s since time immemorial. 

“I helped my father in his tortilleria business for years.  I watched, I learned and I mastered the business so that one day I could run my own business.  This is my life Mr. Waldman, as you can imagine.”  Somehow, Guillermo knew this wasn’t good.

To make matters worse his own tie whispered up to him, a bright red tie with a confused royal blue swirl: “A man wearing a tie that beautiful will never loan large sums of money to a man wearing a tie that looks like me.” Guillermo’s left shoe was trying to say something. Luckily, he’d glued shut the mouth that formed when the sole split from the welt.

The loan officer measured Guillermo Rosa.

“It’s precisely on that point that your application hinges Mr. Rosa.  Your life hasn’t been spent carrying on or even furthering your knowledge in your father’s business.  I mean you’ve been managing a shoe store for the last six years. Your work history before the shoe store is inconsistent and doesn’t reflect the stability we’re looking for.”  He clasped his hands together on the cherry wood desk.

“True, but I also have the benefit of my education.  I’ve recently completed an MBA.  That along with my management experience and the collateral I have should be enough to satisfy the bank.” 

Guillermo’s voice was rising.  He smoothed his immaculately trimmed mustache with his fingers in an act of composure. His tie gasped and grew tighter around his neck.

“I suppose then that the bank will view this as rather whimsical.  You do realize that eighty percent of restaurants fail within the first year?  Perhaps if you were opening up a shoe store it wouldn’t seem so, eccentric.”  Waldman glanced subtly at his watch.  “I’m sorry Mr. Rosa but I’m quite positive this loan application will be turned down.” 

He began to push his chair back as if to leave. Guillermo Rosa’s left shoe was absolutely livid and grumbled incessantly.

“Are you telling me that you’re not even going to submit it for review?”

Guillermo’s eyes swelled exaggeratedly and his expression was loud like his voice.  People stopped chattering and stared in their direction.  The security guard in the bank put his hands on his belt and rocked forward and backward looking at them as well.

“No, unfortunately I cannot recommend your loan to the bank.  You’ll receive some more detailed information in the mail.  I’m sorry but that is my final decision and I must be going.  I have several appointments to keep. I suppose you could try Lending Tree.”  He rose and extended his hand.  

Guillermo looked at it and looked past it and past Waldman at the customers staring at them.  He wished more than anything that he could get up and leave Waldman standing there with his hand extended. But he couldn’t so he grabbed Waldman’s hand and shook it violently.  Guillermo’s left shoe finally freed itself of the glue and duct tape and shouted, “Thank you for your time, desgraciado!”  Guillermo gathered himself and walked purposefully out the door. Once outside he couldn’t move past the fire hydrant a few yards from the bank.  He stood there for twenty minutes, watching people hurry about, his tie and his shoe consoling him.  When he felt that he might finally move he saw the profile of a man driving away in a Mercedes Benz.  It was Waldman and his license plate had a frame around it that read Wharton School of Business.


During the subway ride home and the three-block walk to his apartment, Guillermo sought the beauty in life, and with every fiber of his being he ignored his tie and his left shoe. They complained over and over.

“You should have taken me to be resoled, pendejo.” The shoe said.

“Honestly, I’m not a power tie, but I deserve better than to be paired with a pale gray suit.” The tie said. “It’s the little things.”

‘Just something small,’ Guillermo thought. ‘Some small beautiful thing to remind me that today is only today.’

He thought of Don Quixote, his favorite book and tried to imagine trees as windmills and the windmills as beasts.  He tried but was stuck in the world of “no.”  Guillermo Rosa climbed the seven flights of stairs to his apartment.  The elevator seemed an undeserved luxury.  ‘And now,’ he thought, ‘Luz Alva.’

“So, how did it go?”  His wife asked. 

“It didn’t.”  Guillermo replied, he shut the door and moved past her to his make shift study.  “They wouldn’t even move my application along.  I’m a failure, an old man who knows more about shoes and books than his business.”  He continued muttering self-deprecations as he walked into the tiny study, an old water closet he’d remodeled.

Luz Alva waited until the door to the study clicked shut and hurried to the bathroom. She closed the door and doubled over in laughter. After a few minutes she pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and called her daughter.

“Yes, darling, the old fool. He applied at one bank and he’s defeated. My goodness, let’s not be mean.”


In the study, Guillermo sank into his cloth recliner. He rubbed his forehead, chin and face.  He looked at the books on the tiny circular wooden table illuminated by a cheap lamp.  Five books, each with a bookmark and each halfway read through.  The walls in the room had been knocked out and filled in with bookshelves and books. Almost all of the books had bookmarks in different chapters—like tombstones of varying height.  The little study resembled a crowded elevator.

Don Quixote hung precariously on a ledge. The book began shaking violently and fell open to the floor. Two paper figures emerged from the pages, one was Don Quixote and the other was Sancho Panza.

“Here you are!” Don Quixote exclaimed. 

“Go away. I am in no mood.” Guillermo replied.

“Oh!” Sancho Panza retorted. “It went badly then? I thought it would.”

Guillermo Rosa lurched from his small cloth recliner, his face red as he stomped towards the book and the little paper men.

“Please, Señor! Behave like a gentleman!” Don Quixote cried as Guillermo Rosa scooped up the book.

“Be realistic. You are more of the sit and read type than you are the stand and cook type.”  Sancho Panza said.

“I am educated in business!” Guillermo Rosa exclaimed.

“You manage a shoe store—and dream of opening a falafel restaurant!” The left shoe snapped.

“It sounds quite delicious every time you describe it though.” Sancho Panza added. They all nodded in agreement.

Guillermo picked up Don Quixote, swept the two little men off the page to the floor and began reading chapter nine “In which the stupendous battle with the gallant Basque and the valiant Manchegan is concluded and comes to an end.” Guillermo wept quietly and decided to ignore everyone, and read the book all the way through.  Luz Alva called him to dinner but he refused her.  Instead he moved on to Antonio Machado’s collected works.  He spoke into the pages of the book: “I am trying to make the path by walking my friend but the wilderness will not suffer me.”  And soon he was asleep in his chair.


The left shoe, the tie, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza began a heated conference. The noise attracted others; among them, mostly characters from Guillermo’s many books, was a small comb that had fallen behind the desk.

“We must help him regain his confidence.” Don Quixote demanded.

“There wasn’t much to begin with.” Sancho Panza replied.

“Too many miles have worn down his dreams.” The left shoe proclaimed philosophically.

The tie, coiled up like a snake where Guillermo Rosa had dropped it, yawned unapologetically.

 “He just doesn’t look the part.” The tie said.

“Please, please,” pleaded the small comb “he must get his teeth dirty. Really get in there and scrape against the scalp.”

The little congress fell silent and looked quizzically at the comb. After a brief pause they continued their deliberation.

“Someone must speak to the wife.” Teodelina Villar declared. Everyone nodded thoughtfully, and hummed an audible “hmm.”  

The following day Guillermo did not go to work.  He ate by himself in the kitchen and retreated to the study.  When Luz Alva came home Guillermo heard her footsteps by the door of the study.

“Yes, I’m alive.”  He yelled.

She gave him a scolding exhale through the crack of the door and slapped it with her hand, but he simply continued to read. The left shoe, the tie, and all the others slept lazily at his feet. They woke now and then to see if Guillermo had taken any action.

He did not go to work the next day or the day after; in fact, he took the whole week off. But on Friday he could avoid Luz Alva no longer. She entered the study with a cup of coffee and a small plate of toast in her hand.  Guillermo didn’t look up from his book, Pio Baroja’s El Arbol de La Ciencia.

“Are you expecting that book to provide you with a paycheck when you get fired?”  She snapped. 

“Ah, no one is going to get fired.”  He grabbed the cup of coffee and drank in gulps. 

Luz Alva was relieved that he at least wanted the coffee. 

“Your boss has been good to you and this staying home is not the way to repay him, especially over such a silly thing.”  She pretended to be dusting around his recliner.

“My boss and I have a marriage of convenience. He understands.” He let out an

exasperated exhale and shook his book.

“Hmm, didn’t he accommodate your homework assignments while you were in school?  And give you run of the shop for those same business classes?  Hmm?”

Luz Alva kept a measured tone and stood behind the recliner as she spoke, tilting her head closer and closer to his ear. 

“I am trying to read Luz Alva.”  He cleared his throat.

“Are you?  Or are you hiding in here?” She walked around and stood in front of

him.  “You do realize that there are other banks. Online banks too.”

“Oh sure, I will walk right into another bank to be humiliated.”  He slammed his book down.

“Oh Guillermo, how you love to exaggerate.”  She smiled in an effort to comfort him.  “Your friends all respect you, your accomplishments.  The whole building knows you are very bright and very well read.”

“No, Luz Alva I don’t exaggerate. This man with his fancy suit and measured tones scoffed at my education, my experience, and my dream.”

“But” She started.

“No, no more. All of these types are the same with their degrees from fancy schools.  They will continue to look down on me. Is it too much to ask to fulfill a dream?” He looked into his wife’s eyes.

“All I want is to be the only Latino falafel maker in New York City!” Guillermo beat his fist into the arm of the recliner. “I can be great at this! I would make falafels with chick pea, black beans and rice, pernil, pollo guisado!”

Luz Alva put her face in her hands and was shaking. Guillermo put a hand to her shoulder. 

“Don’t cry my dear. One sad Rosa in the family is enough. I am going to shower. Thank you for the café, mi amor.”

When Luz Alva was sure he had gone she removed her hands and laughed.

“Oh my God forgive this foolish man, so trapped by his dreams he can’t see them clearly.” She laughed.

Luz Alva grabbed her cell phone and stepped out onto the fire escape.  She dialed her daughter’s cell phone.

“Call him mija. Call him right away. Ok, goodbye.” She said hurriedly. 

Afterwards while Guillermo was showering Luz Alva put out a plate of arroz con gandules for lunch. Knowing their daughter’s impeccable timing she placed the bright red cordless phone right next to Guillermo’s plate. Luz Alva looked at her watch and left for work.


He was three-forkfuls into his lunch when the phone rang. ‘Why would Luz Alva leave the damned phone here on the table?’ He thought. ‘Can’t I eat in peace?’

“Hello?”  He shouted into the phone.

“Papá. Why are you shouting?” His daughter replied.

“Forgive me, mijita. I am eating. I thought you were one of those damned telemarketers.”

“Oh. Don’t forget we’re going to the museum tomorrow morning.”

“I don’t remember this. Are you sure? Did your mother put you up to this?”

“Papá! This is so important I can’t believe you would forget about me like this!”

Guillermo couldn’t be sure whether he’d forgotten or not. He’d been miserable all week and in reality, it was possible he’d forgotten. He hated letting his daughter down. She was a good daughter and earned excellent grades. Every fall she’d go off to the boarding school upstate, return only once during the school year, at Christmas, and come home for the summer. Occasionally, the students were assigned special projects that required them to leave the school. ‘This must be one of those times,’ Guillermo thought to himself.

“Of course, the museum. For your project, si?” Guillermo decided to play along.

“Yes, yes. Ok, Papá. I will see you tomorrow morning.”

He finished his lunch in silence, worried that his daughter should see him in such a state. Normally, he was the one who encouraged her to continue, his lovely Lady. Guillermo Rosa hoped that someday she’d be the big shot from the Ivy League school.

Guillermo shuffled from the kitchen to his bedroom and approached his bed mechanically. First he sat. Then he raised his left leg onto the bed and after some thought grabbed the toe of his left foot with his left hand. He tried to stretch. After a few moments he slid his hip over a bit and raised his right leg onto the bed and touched his toes with his hands.

“Ha, I can still touch my toes.”  He said this out loud to an empty apartment.  “I love when the apartment is empty. When a man is troubled he must be alone. Always people want to cheer him up and say things he doesn’t want to hear.” 

He rolled over on his side and with the smell of his wife’s shampoo lingering on the pillow next to him he dozed off mumbling philosophies. After a couple of hours he felt something bothering his nose. It was Don Quixote, poking it with his lance. As Guillermo Rosa opened his eyes wider he saw everyone standing there on his bed, even, disgustingly, his left shoe.

“It is time to behave like a proper man!” Cried Don Quixote.

“Yes, this is not a good look.” Added the red tie with the blue swirl. “I should know.”

“Besides, eating and going right to sleep makes you fat.” Sancho Panza said, pulling up his pants.

“We know what you should do. Write a book!” Exclaimed the left shoe. The little group nodded their approval.

“Not just any book,” Began Teodelina Villar, “but a business book. Eh?” They all began applauding, very pleased with themselves. “This way you can demonstrate your talents, your gifts!”

“A man can only hide from his destiny for so long. He must seize it and mold it into what he knows is for him, and for him alone!” Exclaimed Don Quixote.

Guillermo Rosa grabbed the little troop in his arms, ignoring their protestations and complaints, dropped them in the little water closet he’d converted into a study, and locked the door. He heard them yelling after him: “The nerve…Loser…No man with a tie like me will get anywhere in this life…you are dead to me!” Guillermo Rosa texted his daughter to determine which museum they’d be going to the following day. She responded quickly, THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. THE SPACE SHOW.

After calling his boss and assuring him that he’d return to work on Monday, Guillermo Rosa floated through the rest of the day. Luz Alva came home, they ate dinner together, watched La Fiera, a new telenovela made in Mexico. Luz Alva felt the protagonist, a young woman with a lazy eye, was too young for such a dramatic role. Guillermo Rosa was fascinated by the sets. He was mesmerized by the lavishness of the homes, the varnished wood furniture, the bookcases and handrails. Afterward, they went to bed. To Luz Alva’s surprise, Guillermo wanted to cuddle, so they did. Luz Alva knew that spending time with their daughter would put him in a better mood. She looked forward to hearing about their day together when he returned home tomorrow evening. She slept as she always slept, well.

 That night Guillermo had strange dreams. He was looking up at the night sky and the stars were moving and making noises. He was standing in Central Park operating a falafel cart and wearing his boyhood soccer uniform, next to him was a large telescope. His soccer uniform was so tight it was cutting into his armpits, the back of his thighs and the spot where his belly met his chest. The falafel cart was loaded with different ingredients, toppings and condiments, and the smells were delicious. On a small shelf stood Guillermo’s left shoe and the rest of his little troop cheering him on, Sancho Panza eating an overstuffed falafel. There was a long line of people waiting to order, but Guillermo was compelled to look through the telescope to see what was wrong with the stars. When he looked through it he saw that the stars were really Andrew Waldman, multiplied in the heavens, adjusting their ties and saying altogether in one voice, “No, Mr. Rosa.” He woke, repeating, “Yes, damn you! Yes!” 


In the morning, Guillermo Rosa moved deliberately around the small apartment. He dressed in a white buttoned down shirt, a navy blazer, and a pair of too trendy dark red slacks his daughter had bought him for Christmas.

“How do I look?” He asked his wife.

“Turn around. Let me see.” She replied.

“Why must I turn around?” He snapped, suddenly self-conscious, pulling the blazer over his rear end.

Luz Alva noticed that he was avoiding going into the study.

“I know you want to wear those tattered shoes.” She said.

“Of course not. I will wear the new ones.” He replied.

“Put them on then.” Luz Alva knew he hated new shoes.

Guillermo Rosa so detested new shoes that only when he could no longer, resole, stitch, tape, or glue his old ones together did he surrender and buy new ones. And he knew that with a little glue, his shoes in the study would carry him well during the long day that awaited him.

“Can’t a man get dressed in peace?” Guillermo Rosa shouted and stormed out of the bedroom and into his study.

As he approached his shoes, the left shoe shouted angrily.

 “I will no longer allow you to trample on my dignity! Put me down!”

Guillermo Rosa opened a small drawer, pulled out a tube of shoe glue, and applied it generously to the angry mouth on the left shoe that cursed him all the while.

“And you?” Guillermo Rosa asked the red tie with the confused royal blue swirl.

“I am merely an accessory.” The red tie with the confused royal blue swirl retorted.

Guillermo folded it into a pocket square. He wanted to avoid Luz Alva’s reprimand over his tattered black shoes so desperately, that he walked out of the apartment without saying goodbye, and without his cellphone. Luz Alva saw it sitting on the nightstand and smiled.

Guillermo Rosa boarded the B train to Manhattan. His daughter would join him at the Fordham Rd stop, after taking the Metro North Railroad, and they would ride on to the museum. When he saw her, the chaotic symphony outside the subway train’s window stood still, he rose and waved out the open subway car doors. She moved as if the train must wait for her, and not as if she must rush for the train. Guillermo wanted to chalk this up to the arrogance of youth but he did not care. For him, Lady Altagracia was a gift and a salvation. Guillermo and Luz Alva had all but given up on having children. At first they didn’t try, but thought it would happen naturally. As the years went on and on and on, they became concerned. Then, their marriage was a mad dash to have a child before it was too late. When they finally succeeded it was Guillermo who felt overcome with concern, guilt, hope, and above all, a sense of the deepest commitment. For the few seconds that she paused before their embrace he realized she was as tall as he was, and met his gaze eye to eye. Lady hugged him so tight he grunted.

“Papá, your belly is bigger!” She exclaimed.

“That is a good sign, mija.” He replied. “It means I’m not dying.”

“At least Mamá does not exaggerate about how much you exaggerate.” She said with a grin.

They sat down and she pulled her phone from her pocket and began typing. To Guillermo it seemed a furious effort. She looked at him almost apologetically.

“My best friend asked me a question and I’m trying to respond as best I can.” She said.

“Oh. Go ahead, mija, don’t worry about me.” Guillermo replied.

Several of the shoes riding with them on the subway commented on Guillermo’s shoes. His left shoe tried hard to be magnanimous, however, because his mouth was glued shut and he could not retort, this attempt was disingenuous. Guillermo Rosa ignored them as best he could. He was watching his daughter’s fingers work quickly at a speed he knew he could never match. She let out a frustrated sigh.

“What is it, mija?” He asked.

“Nothing, Papá. Silly stuff.” She replied. “I’m so excited about the museum!” She

exclaimed. “My project is going to crush everyone else’s!”

“What is it?” He asked, in a tone Lady understood to mean he wasn’t going to let it go.

She hesitated for a moment, gave Guillermo Rosa a doubtful expression, but he peered back at her in that way he had, a look like an endless river of love.

“My friend is graduating this year, Papá. But she is not sure whether she should go to college and major in what she’s good at, or in what she loves. The whole graduating class is involved in this drama.” She paused, looked at her phone, then at Guillermo Rosa. “I don’t know what to tell her. If I’m truly her friend, I should giver her good advice.”

Guillermo felt a little lump build in the back of his throat. He stared at the lights flashing across the subway window. The red tie with the confused blue swirl was sobbing. “You don’t deserve such a luminous child. She is as kind as she is beautiful. Clearly, she takes after her mother.”

“Papá, how do I explain a dream? The faith that it takes to achieve it, what does it mean to follow a dream?”

Perhaps Guillermo’s expression gave him away. He grimaced, gesticulated, sighed, and brought his hands to his forehead. Lady stared at him awaiting his response. Finally, he exhaled loudly, and the man next to him complained by shifting his elbow and turning away from him as if to say, that bit of exhalation was an invasion of my personal space. Guillermo Rosa ignored all of this and he explained to his daughter what he knew of dreams. All the shoes, ties, various handbags, hats, and books on the subway listened intently. The riders caught bits and pieces as their interest shifted from straphangers standing crotch to seated face, to man-spreaders taking up large chunks of seating, and to the assorted patterns of stains on the floor.

Then the ding of the subway doors and the static-riddled voice, “81st Street. Museum of Natural History.” Lady finished texting her father’s words, and as they stood up she locked arms with him and they stepped off the train. Children jumped in and out of line while impatient parents peered over the heads of those ahead of them to calculate how much longer they’d have to wait. Guillermo and Lady looked at each other, their expressions reflecting the long wait time ahead.

“Tell me about your project.”

“We are learning physics, but I’ve read ahead and am learning about quantum mechanics.” Lady replied. “But what’s even more interesting is quantum theory and gravitational theory!”

De veras?” Guillermo asked.

“Yep! The professor only wants us to detail the discoveries of Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein, and demonstrate how they’re at work in today’s technologies. But I want to add a section on how their work has opened the door to newer theories like dark matter.”

Guillermo Rosa had no idea what his daughter was talking about, but he knew that she knew and that she was passionate about it. He was filled with an enormous sense of pride. They were one person away from the ticket booth and he noticed the group in front of them had Harvard University student and faculty IDs. When it was their turn his daughter presented her ID and the attendant, a red headed boy with freckles, gave her a warm smile. “Watch out for this one.” Snapped the red tie with the confused blue swirl.

“My cousin just graduated from there. He loved it!” The attendant beamed.

“Thank you. It’s a pretty awesome school.” Lady replied, and returned the warm smile.

“You just missed the space show but a new one starts every half hour.”

Guillermo felt a surge of pride run through him, but just to be safe hurried the transaction along. The boy smiled on after them. Once inside the day moved quickly. They decided to see all the other exhibits before going to the space show. All the walking was too much for the glue of the tattered left shoe. Soon Guillermo Rosa was listening to the angry shoe complain about his treatment the day before.

After the space show they headed back to the subway and he could hardly contain the pride he felt for his daughter. The left shoe declared flatly, “Your best bet is to work like a mule and pay for her studies. It is her time to shine. Pave the way for Lady.” The red tie with the confused blue swirl added “She looks the part and knows what she’s talking about. What greater responsibility could there be? Here is your calling, hombre. And it is a good look.” Not to be outdone, the shoe retorted, “You know that your wonderful wife will support you. She supports all the ridiculous ideas you come up with.”

‘I have to admit, they are probably right.’ He thought. ‘What good is it to chase these silly restaurant dreams at my age. I am better off letting go of such childish nonsense. I am an old man.’

At Fordham Rd Lady got up to leave. She gave her father another strong hug.

“I am very happy, and very proud of you, mija. Truly, the world is for the young. I love you.”

“We need old people too. Sometimes.” She replied with a wink and walked away.


When he entered the apartment Luz Alva wasn’t home yet. He was glad. Guillermo Rosa didn’t want her to see that he was still dejected. The ping of his keys on the kitchen table drew a loud grumble from somewhere, and as Guillermo looked more closely he saw his little troop standing around his cell phone. They were weeping.

“It is pure poetry! Señor, you a poet in every sense of the word!” Exclaimed Don Quixote.   

“I knew it all along.” Sancho Panza responded enthusiastically.

“What are you talking about? Let me see.” Guillermo replied.

Guillermo Rosa grabbed his phone and saw a text message from his daughter.


Guillermo Rosa wiped his tears with his palms. He took off his jacket, unbuttoned his shirt, went into the bedroom, and came back out with his laptop. He turned it on, went to the Internet, and looked at the search bar for a long time. Don Quixote and Teodelina Villar clasped their hands as if in prayer and crossed themselves several times in a row. Guillermo Rosa typed “business loans” in the search bar.

© The Acentos Review 2018