I will not pretend that the old folk always eye me kindly. I in turn wonder about their pasts, about what they did in the Franco years. El Maestrat was heavy with his supporters, and I have been told it still is. It is also heavy with those who bear the scars and losses of this terrible era of Spanish history.
Stories are whispered to me as the old folk creep up and down the streets. Frail men are pointed out – that one was an informer, and that other one a murderer. The old lady who still scrubs her clothes in the bath house water, despite having her own washing machine, and who took arms in the resistance at the age of 17. Don’t mention Franco, I have been told more than once, don’t say I told you this.
The picture below was taken before the man became too aware of me and hid his vulnerability. His posture suggest heavy resignment and the animals around him only compound the feeling. It is if he has been abandoned by all but the cats and dogs.
The old building with its sagging roof in the background, the pile of sand in the foreground waiting for a building project long forgotten and now serving as catty litter, and the rich deep sky further strengthen this vista.