A 250-word narrative
by Alfonso (Y5B, 2007-08)
There were about twelve people in the room and one hundred and eighty-eight empty seats. All but two were pensioners very interested in the lecture and perhaps in keeping themselves away from home for a while.
Only the introduction of the event lasted more than fifteen minutes, because it included introducing the panel of speakers and all the people involved in the publication process. The first snore was heard.
A.T. looked at the empty seats sadly. We all could read in his face that he was thinking it was all a big mistake: it would had been much more ethical and cheaper if the organisers had given us a copy of his novel to every one of us, instead of paying him 900€ for that absurd lecture. Particularly, that young couple, what were they doing there in an April afternoon? Did they not understand that life was outside, in the street?
No sooner had he begun his speech than one old lady's mobile phone started to ring. The trouble was she was not able to turn it off easily. A.T fell silent and smiled benevolently, and when the hum was over, he kept reading his lecture as quickly as he could. In fact, he was so quick that he finished 30 minutes before the time scheduled to finish the act in a respectable way.
After that hint of culture we left the hall slowly and in silence, avoiding to look at each other's eyes, avoiding to read our shame and sorrow.