“Juan Martín said, ‘Your cousin is irresponsible, bringing us all the way out here where no cars ever pass, without even making sure this wreck ran well.’
“’How do you know she hasn’t had the car serviced?’ I asked him, furious, and it occurred to me that it would be easy to kill him right there; I could get a screwdriver from the trunk and stab it into his neck. I knew that he didn’t want to kill me—he just wanted to treat me badly and break me so that I’d hate my life and wouldn’t even have the guts to change it. He started to turn on the radio, and I almost stopped him because we had to conserve the battery, but then I let him do it. I was enjoying his ignorance; how I was going to relish it when the tow truck came and he had to explain that he’d used up the battery looking for who knows what on the radio around there at night? Chamamé and more chamamé, and some lonely people who called in and cried, remembering their children who had died in the Malvinas.
“The rescue mechanics arrived an hour later. As I’d predicted, they chastened Juan Martín for having the radio on. He sputtered excuses. The mechanics got to work, and Juan Martín acted like he was supervising them. I got out and took Natalia’s hand.”