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Vertical Prose


April 5th, 2006

5.4 Wednesday. Granada. Alahambra. @ 11:23 pm




i have all good intentions of getting out early today
head up to Alahambra young in the day

but i also want to sleep
so i roll around and around in bed.
i guess i got out of bed at 8 to use the toilet
stayed back in bed til 10
then wrote a bit
mostly messed with the ipod. organizing things
and wondering
again
what i was doing today:
rent the room another night?
or leave my lap top with the front desk, go see Alahambra, and leave afterwards?

i weigh
worrying about my stuff getting stolen
or carrying it around
or going back and laying in the sun
or sleeping with Antonio again
or sleeping alone and getting more rest
and going to the sauna and seeing some of these beautiful men playing
i weigh
and slide around
an hour passes

Antonio sends me an SMS asking me not to come back before 5
so i won't go to the beach today anyway
and
that leaves me wandering somewhere somewhen...
and
yet again
i feel betrayed by him
which doesn't make any sense
it's my confusing emotions

i think i'm really angry with him because of my own actions
but everything is so muddled, i cannot tell
but how quickly love turns to hate
i get hard on my self
believe i am just a fucked up box
that will never love anyone
then remember my sermon to the priest
and give it to myself
bull shit!
love and light and love and light and love and stuff...
ugh.

so i flip a coin
go to the desk
give them another 20 for the night.

Ok.

i need to exchange some more money
get a bite to eat
some water
and up the hill!

i go out walking
and immediately feel drawn into a bakery
beautiful cream horn type things
then there's the chocolate donut thing
i get two things... and a small thing.

which, aren't really all that good, really
but i walk
looking for a place to exchange money...
there are banks on every corner
so i walk into the Rural bank
stand in line a while
and when i get to the counter
the woman doesn't know how to do Cambio
so there's waiting for help and
fussing around
and i don't have my passport
so she can't do it anyway

fine.

i walk around back up towards the hotelto get the passport
concerned with time now
on the way
i stop and get a pollo swarma

very good.

back in the room
grab my documents
then go back out to another bank
big signs "we don't accept $100 bills"
hmmmm
lines too long
i walk back to the first bank i went to
the woman is busy
so i go to a man
he says
"Sorry, we don't accept $100 bills"
which is all i have... because they are smaller and pack more
so that's my currency

ok.

i go to another bank
same thing.

ok.

she directs me to an exchange office across the road
which is fine
no commission
but i lose €10 in the exchange because of their rate.

OK
fine

i go and jump on a bus to take me up to Alahambra
all pretty smooth
go to buy my ticket
"you are not allowed in until 14:00"
ok.
two hours away..

so i walk around
and see a road i don't know
so follow it
follow it down

it takes me a while to figure out
but this is going around the Other side of Alahambra

i walk around in it for a while... on the road...
which is all cobbled as opposed to the dirt road on the other side...
waterfalls...
Quote from Lorca on the wall...

eventually
i decide to follow it down..
i'll go back to the room to write..
or eat
or something
siesta
(all plans shift)

on the walk down
i see a courtyard thing..
interesting back door into the complex?

at the bottom of the road
i turn left
to see if i can get into it..

all fenced off...
but there is a gate... open

i walk through it
and see it leads to a weedy river side area
the courtyard area still fenced off...
but
someone has pulled the fence up at an area...
so i climb in
walk around
stand at the water falls for a while...
imagine being an 11 year old
and
in swimming trunks
climb up it..
into some secret depths...


i walk up to the beautiful door...
take a picture
other plaques...
worn away
in spanish...
what did they say?

1887?



i walk back out
noticing cleavers everywhere..
eat the cleavers... eat the dandelion greens...

walk along the river...
through all the weeds
the trees
so green
the wild flowers..
bright yellow
and a beautiful purple... iris, i think.

there's a dog barking at me
a boy reading
i play with the dog
who pretends he's attacking me..
but he really wants to play..
i'm not scared.
i'm not worried at all.


i walk out of that area
and follow a path down to the riverside

rather
down to the river
which isn't a river
more of a creek...

must it flood?

the banks are three or four meters high...
five at points, maybe six?
still trying to get used to imagining the size in meters...

high walls
much higher than me
but the creek is about one... one to two meters across
not wide
not deep
maybe it was once larger...
before being dammed up a million times, i'm sure...
the water is greyish...
not clean...
but not floating shit... it's alright
there are worn paths
so i go walking..
beautiful...
these huge walls are... buildings?
one of them is..
the field i was just walking in, the riverside up there
under it there are ... windows..
with weeds growing out of them...
something old
forgotten
once used...

under the arches...

all the tourists who notice me stare
smile, if i make eye contact

take pictures


i pock up a fallen branch
straight
good for walking
i have to cross the river
stepping stones
jumping.

splashing
thankful for these shoes again
pretty water proof...


i feel so excited all of a sudden
on a little adventure
i could get in trouble
i could get stuck
i'm setting a vagabond example
PHEW
i thought i was getting boring for a while there...

and it's peaceful
there are no tourists down here..
sure
many if i look up
at the old buildings
churches and stuff
huge walls, though
way up there
i needn't worry...


but i do have to keep jumping back and forth across the river...

getting my shoes wet
and there are ducks
who aren't too thrilled by my presence
but they are civil
hide among their plants while i pass

the geese aren't so civil
they yap and screech and all run around
panic

there
across the river
old arches of Alahambra
a broken bridge
someone cutting the grass
i can smell it
how willy...
to cut the grass...


walking long enough
i come to the end..
oddly enough
there is a huge tunnel
it disappears into darkness...

though there are paths along the side of each..
there is a slight rotten stench coming out of there
and
stepping inside slightly
i can see my breath in clouds...

i'm confused by this
where the fuck am i?

i look at the map
there is a small river, yes... comes in from the north
that's where i am...
but then it gets eaten by the city
doesn't show it comes out at all...
probably it fuses with that river over there
but that's very far away..

i weigh it
but don't feel like walking under the city with no oxygen
only this small red LED on the fisher-man's watch my dad gave me
no, i don't need to go in there
ok...

end of the river walk
now how do i get back up?

i remember seeing a high bank going up to nearly the top of the wall...


where?

i start heading back..

now the geese are really pissed off...
one is chasing me
i use my stick to fend him off
confidence is the best defense.


crossing back again
an old woman and her husband watch me
i look at the rocks
judge the distance
look up at her
she smiles
wondering how i'll make it..

i jump

miss

get a bit wet, but just my shoes.

along along the water

see a tall fig tree
so go over to it
and start climbing up...
high enough over the wall
(father and children watching)

i look
but it's the back yard of someone's house...

i could... probably just get out through their gate..
but
don't want to invade...

ok ok
back down
going going

a few more splashes
as two boys sitting on a bridge watch me

and there's where i can get back up

i jump over the wall
and straighten my clothes a bit.



i walk around back up top again
things manicured
people in nice clothes
i feel out of place

i breathe...

go get some water
a fancy plastic bottle with a clip
i attach it to my belt

nice.


i sit on the wall and drink.


across the bridge there
a big sign for
Buros Taxi
where do they go?
"rural y turistica"
yeah?
where could we go?
off the roads
away from everything..
is there a place off the roads anymore
is there a place away from everything?


i go get a kebap
cordero..
ground meat?
hmmm

i take it from him without tipping him
and go eat it on the wall again...
watching the water from up here..
that empty building embankment thing...

hmmm

it's pretty good
so i go back and tip him
then take some pictures of where i've been..

then walk back across the river to where i started this trip
found a peaceful spot in the weedy area, among the trees
a piece of cardboard some pagans were using for ritual
has a pentagram in a circle on it

i thank it and dismiss it
and lay down to rest.

rest.
listening to the playlist i put together for Leo...
rest
close my eyes
devendra singing to me
somewhere in music land...

i lay there til a little after 14:00...
it was only about 20 minutes
siesta enough, i guess
then i head back to the road
and hike back up
use my ticket
go in
and go first to the Generalife..

i walk my own path
a small dirt path through the forest
along an even smaller stream...
to a larger path
many people on it
heading away from where i'm going

so i go against the flow
fine.


the tunnel of trees
the wisteria
i walk against the flow
into the palace area
the stairs with fountains at every landing
canals in the hand rails
beautiful..

but back there
a woman stops me from going back down the strais
there are turn styles..
to prevent folk i like me
i guess..
trying to explain to her
but
why would she accept my anti-establishement views?

i walk back out
with the flow
herded...

back around the front..
and in again
with a large group of loud kids
yeah
into the main garden
almost like a hedge labyrinth..
but not really.


i sit in that garden for a while
in the shade

breathing in the green...
little fountains everywhere..
british kids running around playing tag
working them selves into a frenzy about being found
about being caught...
seems so funny..
but i remember being a kid like that
remember playing games
it's annoying to other people...
people not in the game..
but it's fun to remember the fantasy you work yourself into believing... for the thrill...



so i walk up
through the garden
into the palace
around large groups
the beautiful wood work on the ceilings
the fountains
the tile work

yeah
pretty pretty

i get back to where i was stopped last time
and stroll through
out
heading into the main Alahambra...

coming in from the main direction this time
gardens
more ruins on this side

where people lived?
i realize that this whole thing has been restored
what did it look like a hundred years ago?

i make short work walking to the palace
because i saw this yesterday
i just want to go to the ticket-only places now..
first place
it's a garden to the Plaza Nazerines
beautiful gardens
fountains
views of the city
and the Generlife i just came from

beautiful wood worked ceilings in the pavilion
long mirror pool...

there's these american ladies taking people of eachother by the wisteria
which is the door i want to go through
the woman poses and smiles
holds
holds
holds

did you take the picture yet?
the other woman says
sorry
i didn't take the picture, i just turned the camera off

i ( apparently as perceptive as they ) ask them which palace this goes to
the charles the V?
"um,,, i think so"
she says.
ok

no
it's the Nazeries
and i can't get in for another 20 minutes

so i walk back out up to the Alcazaba
beautiful views of the city
and an old neighborhood

you have to stay on the paths here
it's very frustrating form me
and all the tourists...
i'm doing my best to work them into my photographs
and my second battery is almost dead already
damn.

up on the top tower
look at this big city
goes out in all directions
old old things
beautifuls

but i gotta get into that palace before my window closes

and it's pretty amazing
past all the tourists
as the battery is dying
i'm trying too hard to photograph all the intricate decorations on the walls
beautiful arabic
everything ornamented with prayers
prayers on everything
a palace built of prayers

beautiful tiles
wood work
and that strange ceiling work that looks almost like stalagmites...
strange
what was this place before it was appropriated by christianity?
or was it?
now i wish i had bought the audiotour
just now
oh well
i'm a little over blown, really

my body is tired from the adventures i've been having
-- i think i'll catch a cab to the sauna, yeah
that'd be great

so i go out
no taxis there
just missed one
so i walk down
decide to drop off the camera at the hostel..

and realize i've lost my keys.

Fuck.

the cute gay boy lets me in

i'm frustrated
and very glad i clipped Antonio's keys to my lap top and left them in the room before i left..
i thought i heard something drop in the palace
looked around..
was that the keys?
or was it laying down in the trees?
or jumping over the river?

no fucking way to find it
what
will it be €20 to replace them?

fuck.


the kid says a tourist last week lost the other set of keys for this room
and there is only someone at the desk here til 11
so i can't be out late tonight

fuck

but the kid says
don't worry
it's €3 to replace them
and the policy has changed:
there's someone here all night now

oh, ok

he says he'll be right back
and
like always
just leaves me in the room.
waiting and waiting

so i just leave
and look at the map
and decide to walk to the sauna.

it's not that hard
the road to the sauna
i get a bit lost
but find my way
and move towards the Gentil
the big river through the city
... so the map shows
but it's all been dammed
fuck modern culture
it's now a sickly drizzle through a dry bed

people are insane.

but i walk along the banks
admiring the old men sitting close on a park bench
their bodies touching in the sun light
hands flying around them
laughs shaking their bellies
lighting their eyes.

it's off there up the Carretera Sierra Nevada
Nevada... oh, it's a spanish word?
what does it mean?
Sierra?
i always thought this was just a California thing..
but i guess what all in california that isn't "indian" is Spanish
Sierra Nevada..

anyway
it's a longer walk up this road than i suspected
but when i get to the address of the sauna
.. it's not.
it's an apartment building.

i'm sad and freaked out.
i pull out the spartacus page and check
yes
i call the telephone number
some woman pics up and yammers in spanish
it's not the sauna.
ok.

fuck.

i walk further down the street
mad
frustrated
and so fucking ready to be sweating in a sauna..

i don't get that now
i get the ever-increasing cold-wind blowing
and i'm walking up the street

i decide to find an internet place
yes
i will find the new address from there, yes

but i see none..

i decide to take the bus back into town.

at the stop
there are four kids
... i ask them
[spanish] so broken
if they know where an internet cafe is..
they point across the street
in that mall-thing/alley-thing: right there
Oh! (laughs) Thanks!

so i go in
and look it up:
same address.
different telephone number.

grrrr
i check my email
-- my web hosting company has reverted my account from the special deal i signed up for
back to it's regular plan
thus
i am 8GB over my hosting limit
and if i don't delete the data in two days they will suspend my page.

Oh [fuck]

so i spend the next hour
weeding out the big files
the movies
the full size Peru pictures

doubles, even

i get it so i've got about 760MBs free

fuckers.

grrrr

i'm angry
i'm sad
i'm lost.

i walk back down to 37
where the sauna should be
and i wait til someone enters the building..
i follow them in and look around the lobby..
Nope.
nothing.

i go back out
and walk up the street again
an alley: i walk down it
to the back block
no no no
around the next corner, heading back to the main street
a very handsome bear comes out a small metal door
-- he gives me one of those long juicey glances
and even turns to look at me again before turning the corner on the main street
FUCK!

this is it
and if i'd have got here an hour earlier
i would have been able to play with him
FUCK!

so i pay my price
and go in.

in the locker room
a blue collar worker
big fat belly
hot guy
he's getting dressed to go

i try and seduce him with my eyes
but he probably just finished with that bear i saw leaving

i strip
and go in

everything is black.
there are no lights in the sauna
...
well
very few
in the toilets: no lights
i really need to shit
FUCK!
this is so frustrating.

someone walks up and shows me how to turn the light on
in one of them
the other one doesn't have one

so great
i go and use the shower
it's nice
the steam room is terrible
small
you have to crouch..

the sauna is mediocre hot..

i walk around the back
there is an up stairs
but everything is black
and i kick the stairs
ouch.

and there is no one back there

in the bar
there is an upstairs smoking area
there is a fat married guy
he won't even look at me
he's staring at the terrible screen

a cute tall slim furry spanish boy is heavy on me
he follows me around
he wants me

i stop
pet him a while
and
in my best broken way
try and explain to him

yes yes
ok.

but who else in here?

there are some queens

ah, there is a new fat old man
he grabs his crotch
so i follow him upstairs
he wants to kiss and kiss
and i like kissing
but if it is the first thing someone does
without talking
or touching other parts of the body
it turns me off
kissing is more intimate than licking the neck
the nipples
kissing is more intimate than giving head
and i just don't feel it

i'm not really attracted to the guy at all, really
and he wants to be all lovely dovey
and i just suck him off
and head back to the sauna

well
fuck this

i sweat
i stretch
there are guys who want me
but i'm not interested
i'm frustrated and sad
and sore
so i focus on that
and do my best to relax and release

it's good.

i shower
and
notice a very handsome bearded stocky guy come into the locker room

so i follow him around
turn on the bathroom light for him
talk with him a bit

we go into a room
he speaks very little english
from madrid
married guy
here on business

he comes to gay saunas to relax
not really into the sex
though he likes sex with men sometimes
he doesn't usually do it at a sauna

oh, ok
so i give him a massage

it feels good to touch him
feels good to focus my energy
for about 10 minutes
i give him a reiki session

he really likes it
and he's very impressed

the sauna closes at 22
so we leave together
and he offers to have dinner with me
then remembers he has to have dinner with his business partner
or whatever
he gives me €20 and a ride in his fancy car back to the centre of town..

i could have cruised along the banks of the river
it said
after dark

but just more disappointment
why bother?

i would have liked dinner with a person more than 20 bucks
but ok
thanks.

i walk
i wander
i'm lost
i listen to the Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy album again
"daniel is traveling again today
- i can see the red tail lights
heading away to spain"

"on my own
on my own"

kinda lost
but kinda ok

i get to where i'm going without finding anything really enticing to eat at
so i walk into a pizzaria

interesting
they make avocado milkshakes
so i drink one
and ask for a glass of lemon water..

he brings me a glass that he has squeezed An Entire Lemon into
then filled with water
so i order a bottle of fizzy water
and cut it slowly down
then have a lovely lovely lovely pizza

i got medium size
which
was too much

so i leave as soon as i can
let them close
take my bottle of fizzy lemon water
and two slices of pizza with me
wander up to find the bear bar...

which i do
eventually
and there's four guys in there
two on their own
big round guy that won't make eye contact
old queen who's kinda chubby but way too much attitude
and a sexy grand-papa who's just finished playing with a handsome man in the toilets

ok
i have a beer.

the bartender loves his job
DJing
and changing the rotating bear porn on the TV screen
still images
drawings, mostly
some really beautiful stuff...

it's a nice bar
i'm sure i'd love to be here on a weekend

and i really love the Alahambra beer..

but i am tired
so i head home
having lost my bottle of fizzy water
it's just me and my pizza
not too cold

the ipod singing me the way home

-- The guy at the desk tonight
is he a crystal freak?
he's skinny and blond with long hair
in an old Suit...
totally freaked out and dismayed about the lost key
but lets me in without asking to see anything

i lay myself to rest simply...

 
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