Daniel and Fermín are able to gain entrance to the hospice thanks to a confused nun who mistakes them for undertakers. Once they’re left alone, they roam the corridors, asking inmates if they know Jacinta, but most are too senile and senseless to answer.
It’s interesting that Daniel and Fermín are looking for information about the past in a place where almost no one can remember anything. The inmates’ forgetfulness mirrors Spanish society’s general refusal to remember or confront its troubled past.
At last, Daniel finds a relatively alert but bizarre old man who promises to lead him to Jacinta if Daniel will procure him a prostitute for one last romp before he dies. Bemused, Daniel agrees to do so in the future.
The old man associates sex (even purchased sex) with being alive and strong, suggesting a concept of male identity deeply linked to possessing women.