December 1, 2006


This is Feld. You may have seen him. Feld has been living at Madrid's Barajas Airport, Terminal 1, for three years, after having failed to catch his flight to Los Angeles. He speaks six languages, signs his name "Feld Charles I",and nobody's sure who he is: and he ain't telling. He may be an African diplomat who lost his job; he may be an Indian rajah, though he's probably Ethiopian. (The police aren't sure, so they can't send him back home anywhere.) Sometimes the social services people come to try and make him lead a more normal life, but Feld isn't interested: his mission is to turn Terminal 1 into a mysterious "People's Palace". If you see him don't give him money, because he won't accept it. "What," a recent El País article about him ends, "does Feld feel is missing from his life? At this question, his eyes fill with tears; he remains silent a few seconds, covering his mouth with his hand. When he takes his hand away, it is only to say in English: “This conversation is over”.


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