Finally sixty-five. Nogueira dreamt all his life of his sixty-fifth birthday because he would finally be able to enjoy his rightful retirement. Fifty years of work, always a blacksmith, surrounded by weld and iron dusts, he knew the grinder and the welding machine like no one. They were his little ones but he wanted some rest and letting them rest too, fed up with working. Too many years making gates. Now he could finally care of himself, he was happy for his last working day, which meant going to the factory and leaving the overalls and the locker key.
Nogueira felt relieved. He felt he had fulfilled his duty and now, still healthy and in fit shape, he would concentrate one hundred per cent on Zulmira, on his grandchildren, his yard, his garden and could even go to the café and play cards. He knew that they would be preparing some surprise at the factory. It were so many years of conviviality and furthermost his birthday.
He stepped into the factory and everything was as usual. He addressed the foreman and told him it was his last day and everything was settled with the office clerk. He told him to wait.
As he waited he kept looking at his co-workers, many of whom he had taught the craft. He was proud, leaving a good legacy. He knew that he would be remembered forever. After half an hour Mr Monteiro arrived. He followed him to his office and he signed some retirement papers.
Very well Nogueira… congratulations. You leave the locker key to Manuel and see you around, the boss said.
He arrived home almost at noon. He lunched and went to bed for a little. He woke up in mid-afternoon and Zulmira asked him to pick his grandchildren from school. He went.
He left the grandchildren at home with granny and he went to the yard. The time to dinner arrived.
All the bastards were there with a cake and sang happy birthday.
Last day… from the project A STATE OF MIND
Photo: Sérgio Moreira
Text: Adão Baptista