I look for the little white sandwich sign in front of the Merced church that tells me it is open.
When I see that sign, I pay thirty Cordova’s to climb a narrow circular staircase to the highest points in the Tower and snap photos of Granada from the church’s upper windows.
The stairs are steep but there are wrought iron bars to hold to as I wind my way up.This morning there is only one person in the Tower, besides me. When he comes down I find a nook, still on my way up, and let him barrel past..
At the top of the spire the city opens up as far as I can see and below me are red tiled roofs, spires of other churches, grids of streets leading to and from the District of the Tourists. As you move away from the Historical District, Granada becomes a different city. In the Tourist districts, you find an emphasis on food, entertainment, places to sight see, museums, education, history. Outside the Tourist District, the residents are all about commerce and community.
This morning church bells are quiet and Esmerelda is asleep in her small room, her hunchback gone to the local market to pick her a bouquet of flowers.
At the bottom of this staircase, mounted on a wall, is a sign that says ” Do Not Ring the Bell. ”
There is a room of torture buried deep in this complex, because, as most of us know, bells are always rung, at least once, by those who can’t read and don’t follow directions.
A sign, without consequences, is not worth the paper it is printed on.