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Vertical Prose


March 31st, 2006

31. 3. Friday. time to get out of the city. Madrid to Málaga. Calle Fresca. @ 11:17 pm

time enough.



i gave Antonio my number in an email last night
i thought he didn't really speak english
but he called me sometime around nine
nine something am
i was surprised
my alarm going off?
is it 10 already?
it seemed so early
well
i didn't put myself to bed til 4
and then there was a lot of adjusting to do before i actually slept
-- the phone just rang, my not understanding it was a ring.. i let it go --
but he called again just before 10
i missed it
but got out of bed
and called him back
only then knowing
and was very relieved to have him answer the phone in english.

Yes. i am coming today.
ok.

i lay in bed another moment
filled with life
moved a bit
pulsed
stretched

ok
alive
wake up!

the room.
the computer...

i looked
answered
oh, yeah Radiohead
i looked
yeah
1 ticket
still available?
yes yes yes
ok
sent to billing address
no
oh
no no
actual tickets?
doesn't the UK do will-call?
fuck..

oh
england
and wouldn't it be nice to go with someone...
Lesley?

Lesley:
this girl i loved when i lived in england
oh
back in '95
oh
we were such children then
no
i was gay
i mean
i was checking it out then
no
we were never lovers like that
she was older than i
but i really liked her

she's an Artist.

she...
came to visit me
we had New York together.

it's been years.

we saw radiohead together in chicago
did we?
i don't even know if i remember that...
did we?

wow.

ok

we saw radiohead together in chicago
with Trevis

i have her number?
i have her number
so i skyped her
and there she was

good morning

want to go with me?
let me use your credit card?
wow
ok
let's do it.

so we bought four tickets
still available?

damn system
had to restart it about four times
but i got it!
got it
ok

four tickets to go see radiohead in Edinburgh in August. 22nd.
i leave for the USA on the 6th.
damn.
how will i fit that into my plans..
and there was some hope i might return to the USA sooner, right?

[ jump ahead: i've been sitting on the train... that's where i am now, speeding through the rolling green to Malaga...
i've been listening to Sunday in the Park with George..
i wanted to hear them say
"you and me pal: we're the loonies... did you know that? bet you didn't know that!"
but then i just let it play
and i got sucked up in it
and the tears were rolling down my face

i tasted some
and wondered how they looked in my beard
and now do i have track marks?

in those songs
i remembered about artists
what i always wish people knew about me
me
just a dot
gone after some Luis
something sensual and tasty and not so difficult

the sensualists...

i forgot my friend
with his far-off eyes
always looking
in some other world
not complete in himself
needs a dog
needs a friend
gave up on the street girls.. i mean the bruin buddies
got a dog
and hangs out with his friends still
doesn't have a Friend
how could i be his Friend?
i could let him watch TV
i could study, practice
let him stare at the wall
become good at letting him stare at the wall
let him hear his own breath
let his fingers move slowly on their own
let him finish his Hats
pulling him up twice a day to go for a shit and piss with me?
i don't know
i would need to re-kindle that in myself
not needy of him
but needy of myself
attentive with myself
i would need to stare at the screen
i would need to write and write
while he drew and drew
and cobbled and smeared and knit

we would have to live in a work shop

not to succeed
but to live

not so much hopeful television internety

more life
More Life.

anyway, that's what i was thinking: i can only learn that with him... not just thinking about it.
doing it.
-----------------------------------------------------]

yeah
so i got tickets for Radiohead
i've not seen them since i was in NYC in '97
yeah
that time with Lesley
but she couldn't get a ticket for the show
and all these famous fucking people were there
it was right before or right after OK Computer came out
so it was when Radiohead went from being a
not-really-indie kinda-sell-out one-hit-wonder
to the greatest fucking rock band ever
or whatever happened to them

it was a great show

did i see them before
or later in chicago?
did i see them at a festival?
did i see them in indiana
was he drunk?

i don't remember.

i saw them in london.
when they lived in london

last night
in my dream
i was working somewhere
Radiohead came to play there
of course
it was a performance
so we had to alter the whole space for them
and it was some big deal
like a ritual of some sort

when they performed
i really wished someone had recorded it
that night
we hung around talking
me and Thom
just friend

(see where obsession leads)

in the morning
during the show/ritual

the demons came out
they came to destroy
to reclaim
to take care of the mess
the bones
the burning flesh
the monsters
they moved around
under the bed
thom and i hid
with X
why was X there?
he's friends with radiohead?
he's famous too, you know, he's working in the field
there he was
really tall
so it was hard for him to be under the bed with us
but we weren't scared
(i dropped something)

the demons were out there
but they didn't want us.
we were ok.

um
back to Time
yeah
i said good-bye to Les
finished a few things
and closed the fucking computer
then looked at the room:
ok
i've got less than an hour to be ready to go
so i started packing
packed
gathered all the scattered stuff
took a shit
a shower
it was already past when i wanted to leave
but OK
it got it all together
slung it on my back
it's not really heavy
i have a sexy belly
and a nice ass
yeah
i'm on my way
down the stairs
thanks
Check out
walk down the street
not that heavy
nice day
never used the Metro here
but down i went
waiting in line
mother fucker
the ticket machine is broke
the other
the people are stupid
and the girl in front of me talking to the teller
they don't understand eachother
is all of our Spanish that different?
damn
it seems to go on many minutes longer than it needs to
i say nothing
put down a euro coin
she's trying to call back to the girl, understanding after she's walked away
i wave her to stop
give me the fucking ticket.

i walk to the platform
as the train has just pulled away
motherfucker!goddamnit!
i have patience
so i just sit
and enjoy myself in the tunnel
the trains going by
mine comes
and there are no seats for me
but it's only
5 stops to Atocha Renfe
no problem
i count them down
look at my watch

it takes 7 minutes on the train to get there
and i walk out
up and down escalators
goddamnit

to the ticket window
where i wait
and move to another
which is much nicer
coz the fat guy has such a cute round face with expressive facial hair
and a pissed off tired look
i take his picture with my phone
and when it's my turn to talk to him
he mutters something and points off in another direction

i walk there
another place to buy tickets?

i have to get a number?

my number is nearly a hundred away from the current number being served?
what the fuck?
i have 20 minutes to catch the fucking train!

i walk to the service counter
wait two people
and no
she doesn't speak english
but she explains to me that i am in the wrong building

Oh.

so i go
i go where she says
kinda
i follow other signs
not that train station
but the Puerta de Atocha
of course.

into that ticket room
three windows for Salida Hoy
the lines are against the wall
one bends, bends around
i ask a girl
she points up at window 5
" you mean this fucking line? the train leaves in 10 mintues! "
she nods.

not OK

i look at the other lines
gauge the shortest
stand in it
but this still won't work

but what's that window say?
Talgo 200 to Malaga.
motherfucker
i go over there
wait for two people
impossiblylong
and get my reservation
€10 for a window seat
fine.
fine fine fine
up the moving walk ways
this place is like an airport
weird
they take my ticket, rip it
and send me down the platform

coach 5
but all the luggage space is filled
not the car
i'm sitting across from a pretty blond bird ( meant to type "girl", my fingers got ahead of me)
she looks distainful of me
how could she not be
her pants look so uncomfortably tight

another girl is on her computer already
she looks like a visual artist
and we're rolling out of the city

i go in the hall to eat a chorizo and some more of that tit cheese
cut off the mold with my knife
knick my finger!
a little blood
a little blood on everything
i can lick it up, right?
it's not dangerous to me
is it?
is it dangerous?

i go back to my seat
wiping the fat off my face
holding my thumb to let the blood clot
and as i'm listening to "Sunday in the Park with George"
it's amazing
these hills
bolts of green
splashed with swaths of yellow and purple
brown holes that even look beautiful
and over there
the little town with 45 degree streets, up hill

i stare at that window
as it continues to show me the green rolling hills
mechanically dotted with trees of some sort
in the off-centre of it
a rectangle of white
which is the window behind me
also showing what's over there
super imposed

how could anyone make visual art?
play with their cell phone?
play station?
type in their journal?

i stare out the window
manny patinkin barking like a dog

the conductor looks at me for a moment
i notice him pause
the way his eyes size me up
then he looks at where i'm looking
looks out the window
and though he's in a rush
and it all happens fast
he takes a moment to see.


-------------


meanwhile

the men in spain are beautiful
have i mentioned that?
the ones going down south
what are they?
pensioners?
artists?

don't know
but big fucking hot old men
their wrinkly faces
round noses
big hands
how high they wear their belts...

and that big tall guy with the black pants and the green shirt

can't i know all of you?
can't we all be lovers?

beefy beef-cake boy with the skinny girl friend
we could be friends too!

i wonder if i still have tears on my face?

-----------------------------------------------------/


so i arrived in Málaga
and everything changed

i mean
i shouldered my bag
and headed out of the train

approaching the end of the plat form
i saw two men...
that could be Antonio.. if he grew a mustache..
that doesn't really look like him... but it could be

then a third
Ah, that's him
he waves.

we shake hands: Hola.

he explains we'll be getting a taxi
no problem

well
minor
there is some system to the taxis
neither he nor i understand it
but i default to letting him get the car
coz he speaks spanish
but all the cars go with other people
give him some excuse
' are all these people tourists? '
i ask
he says
"no, i think they all live here... there aren't so many tourists here"
and while he's trying to talk to yet another driver
i make eye contact
point at his car; at me
and he nods

so i load myself in the trunk
then call out to Antonio
and he comes
we get in
he tells the driver
and i sit back

i'm quite tired
he touches my knee and he smiles at me

today is a different day

we drive through town
i'm cautious
not wanting to speak too much
because he doesn't speak english well, he says
nor do i speak spanish well, i say
so just a bit
and watching

we get to his apartment
take the elevator up
i drop my stuff in the guest room
and we're kissing on eachother, yes.
immediately

it's good
he's little, shorter than me
i'm not sure how old he is
probably in his sixties
he's very vivacious
we're all over eachother
it's good.

esta buena

and it's short work of getting naked
he feels the sweat on my shirt
and says i should take a shower
we both need to take a shower
and we're in the water
and all over eachother
it's good

then into bed
and it's short work of him getting my cum out of me
i mean
if that's your focus
it's pretty easy
but i prefer that not being the focus
but because i'm enjoying him so much, i don't mind
and we hold eachother a while.

he's gotta have dinner with the family (nephews, he's never been married)
at 8
dinner at eight
that is great

so he wants to walk me into town before

i'm very tired
but i go into town with him

we take the elevator down
five floors
turn right out the door
then right at the first street
which is a between buildings
with a street cutting through it
everything is wedge shaped
nothing is square here

but we're on a main street pretty quickly
he notices me gazing into a pastry shop
and despite my saying it's not necessary
he stops in and gets two Locas
sweet glazed cookie/pastry things
with one of those fake cherry things on top
but it's good
we munch
as we walk down the sidewalks with stairs and ramps
odd
not flat
constantly going up and down
past all sorts of shops and churches
as we walk down the street
the neighborhoods looks less like a cross between Florida (high rises) and Mexico (peeling paint, molding walls) and more like an ancient souther town

we cross a river
but it's like an Arizona river
that is
there is no water in it
it's more like a park or something
on one side of the bridge it's all cement
the other
grass
channels
fountains (not on)
strange.
was this river diverted?
i don't know

we cross into the Old Town.

down steps
through the Puerta Nuevo
and the angles twist
the buildings are close
people everywhere
beautiful colours
decorations mixed
spanish
arabian
into a public square
big risers for Semana Santa (holy week) next week
to watch the processions

there's something so strange
this is a different day..

instead of being lost in a new place
as i've been for the last month
trying to navigate, comprehend, plan and enjoy all at the same time
now i am being led
explained
guided

and for the first time
i realize i'm not a tourist right now
i mean, like i've been
i'm here to visit a friend
not in the same way i've been an alien tourist with Leo for the last month
now i get to just lay back into my own stride and experience things

i am grateful
as Antonio turns me down a very small street
buildings so close no sun is in there
"Calle Fresca" he says
because it's cool in there
on a hot day
one would turn down a Calle Fresca to cool off...
get refreshed.

old cathedral
huge

many old churches
he walks me in there
but unlike with Leo
he isn't a devote
he doesn't share the faith
just enjoys the beautiful

he doesn't tell me about the architecture or the saints
we just look at things
... and listen to people praying.

there are tarot readers on the street
many of them

winding streets
we just drift through the city

he shows me where Picasso was born.. did you know Picasso was born here?
no no...
he shows me a Roman Theater
still in good shape
being restored so it can be used for people to watch plays now!
we sit and have a drink
i get a yogurt and banana drink
that is actually made from bananas...
wow
(laughs)
he has a coffee
i look at the colours against the old buildings
and try to explain to him how beautiful it is
which he'll never really understand
because he's always lived here
he knows it's great, he loves it
but he's never lived in Indiana
he's never seen terrible shit architecture with no heart or soul
endlessly repeated across a country 20 times bigger than his
20 times bigger with so much less difference
fuck, probably 50 times bigger, what am i thinking?

i cannot explain
i sit in rapture
enjoying the setting sun.

he must get back to the house
he hasn't given me keys yet
and i did not bring my mobile
so i walk back with him

i see a book store and think of something
so i mention to him that i feel like i should have a phrase book so i can teach myself some spanish
he says " not here, i will take you to the right store for that "
on the way back
he takes me to a book store to buy one
only €6
so not expensive
i get one by "the rough guide"

it makes me feel good go know he is a reader and knows the best book store to get what
when he picked me up at the train station
he had a very thick book with him
so thick
i thought it was a spanish Harry Potter
but better: it wasn't.

he picks me up some bread on the way back as well
and a slice of empanada...
different than the ones i've been eating
this one has a flaky crust

when he leaves to have dinner with his family
i eat that
and more tit cheese and butter
and a wonderful sausage from this area
that smells like cinema popcorn
and has whole pepper corns in it

this sausage
and the chorizo earlier today
i am enjoying biting into it
and seeing the threads of flesh surrounded by fat
ripping it with my teeth

my belly full
i retire to the guest room to sit at the computer and write for a while...
and rip a CD he played for me when i first arrived
some Flamenco
i want to be able to hear the difference between Flamenco and Tango
i want to listen to Spanish music to help my pronunciations

by the time i've typed in the names of the songs
i only write for about 10 minutes before Antonio returns

we lay in bed for a while
which quickly leads to sex
and we're spent pretty quickly
take another shower
and fall into sleep

he's good to cuddle with...

 
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