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El Monstruo is a defense of place and the history of that place. In El Monstruo, Ross now does. And Ross, a vestigial Wobbly. Bravo to John Ross! John Ross knows where the bodies are buried. Hand Jr. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Books published by Nation Books are available at special discounts for bulk purchases in the United States by corporations, institutions, and other organizations.
It is an essential process of our lives and our history. The city is us and where we come from. To take back the space of the city is to recover for all of us a territory that transcribes our lives. I have considered buying an electric heater, but given the state of the wiring, even a small appliance could short-circuit this old hotel, so I make do with sweaters and long johns until the sun grows stronger and spring is upon us again.
Room has grown considerably smaller since I moved in here a quarter of a century ago. Actually, the last big earthquake 6. Books, another hurdle, occupy the northwest corner of my cave, but in no particular order. There is no room for new lovers now. In addition to the ropero, I share the space with a bureau of equal antiquity, a pair of writing desks strewn with the tools of my trade, and a dressing table where Irma Guadarrama used to sit to prepare for the day.
I still see her lovely face in the large circular mirror. Also living here are four tattered armchairs upholstered in brocade with carved, sturdy armrests that groan with age when one sits back on their arthritic springs, their legs as tottery as my own. Indeed, over the years, I have become another piece of hotel furniture. I do not know who lived in this room before me. When I checked in a week after the great earthquake of , the hotel was deserted and there were no clues, a business card or a forgotten article of clothing or an empty pill bottle, to inform me who the last tenant had been.
One reason Room is so drafty is the large French windows that open onto a cracked balcony. It was a lively period in the life of this neighborhood, here in the heart of the old city and the country that bears its name. The shooting had died down and adventurous tourists took up residence in the cheap, elegant hotels on the surrounding blocks. While in residence at the Monte Carlo, Lawrence is said to have complained much about the plumbing.