‘Women and Salt’ by Gabriella Garcia: An Excerpt


“Gentlemen of the workshop,” he said, “we begin today with a letter of great import from respected editors La Aurora. These people of letters express a warm love for the workers who have such knowledge — science, literature, and moral principles — fueled Cuban progress. “

Maria Isabel ran her tongue under the gummy of another leaf, the bitterness of the soil still familiar with a taste as if it had been borne by her. He placed the soft leaf on the folds, which were ahead of him, long veins in a pile next to it. The rollers allowed as many cigars as they liked, hit matches and took fat puffs in their hands with flames. The air became thick. Maria Isabel had breathed a lot of tobacco by the time she regularly developed nasal perforations, but the foreman did not allow workers to open the window slats, which was more than a sliver – The cigar was dried by the sun. So he hid his cough. She was the only woman in the workshop. She did not want to look weak.

The factory was not large by Cuban standards: only a hundred or so workers were sufficient to carry a plantation a mile away. A wooden silo in the center placed its sun-dried leaves, dark, crusted rollers would take them to their stations. Next to the silo, a ladder waved the chair where Antonio, Lecter, was sitting.

He cleared his throat as soon as he picked up the newspaper. “La Aurora, Friday, June 1, 1866, “he began. “‘The order and good ethics observed by our cigar makers in workshops, and enthusiasm for learning – are these not clear proofs that we are moving forward?” “

Maria Isabel picked through a pile of leaves, which are of low quality for the filler.

“I. . . Just go to a workshop that employs two hundred, and you will be surprised to follow the utmost command, you see that everyone is encouraged by a common goal: to fulfill their obligations. . . ”

Already, Maria Isabel had a prickling heat spread across her shoulders. As the hours passed, the pain would subside, as she could barely lift her head until the work day. To fulfill its obligations, to fulfill its obligations. His hands moved on their own. The bell rang and he would see a pile of cigars, like clay, in surprise he rolled them all. He imagined brown layers descending endlessly into each other — walls forming, eyes forming, and hands moving in succession until everything happened and all part of the same bodily poem It is the same song made of sweat. lunch time. She was tired.

[ Return to the review of “Of Women and Salt.” ]

*

A dirt road in the city led to the factory gate and continued to the Chinese Plantation for a mile down, both owned by a Creole family, the Portenas. Maria Isabel drove home on this path, one that went through the shadows and came back in no time from the sun decorating her. He thought of Antonio’s words: Study has become a habit among them; Today they leave the cockfight behind to read a newspaper or book; Now they scolded the bull; Today it is the theater, library and center of good association where they are seen in constant presence.



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