The Bus (“El colectivo”): A small town in the Argentinean provinces. A bar, where an unknown couple are waiting for the bus. As are Marta and Antonio Ponce, whose sister wants to depart. Clouds are drawing close in the sky, without bringing rain, as always. But something peculiar happens: The barriers of the railway crossing, abandoned long ago, are lowered and the bus roars past the bar without stopping. No one can leave the little town.
The Ponces have lived here for 32 years – as a wealthy lawyer, Antonio, seemingly on the wrong side of the rails, in the poor quarter. At the time, Marta became pregnant and Ponce felt obliged to ask for her hand in marriage. When she lost the child, it seemed too late to him to cancel the wedding. But she hadn’t even wanted to marry him and confessed she had only given in to him that night out of pity. This he never forgave her. He sought revenge by forcing her to a monotonous life at his side.
The accelerating bus turns into a spectacle, drawing in larger crowds every night. Confusion prevails, only the lovers make their way on foot along the rails. In the meantime, at the small police station, incidents follow in quick succession. Orders are now given by the military and at dead of night it comes to a shootout on the railway tracks. The next morning, the barriers are lifted; the Ponces are once more on their way to the bar, for once again, the bus stops for the passengers. At last it rains. The newspapers report the death of two dissidents. Who could ever be able to recognise the couple from the bar on the blurry photograph?
In sober prose, the author draws on her diffuse childhood memories of the dictatorship, to tell of internal and external suppression and its fatal consequences.