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Vertical Prose


April 10th, 2006

10.4. Monday. The Book of Cadiz. @ 11:23 pm


1. ...And the Hippies Found Me.

i arrived in cadiz last night around 23:30
late
what the fuck do i do?

i wander down one of the little streets, of course
always little streets
look for hostal signs hanging off windows

none to be seen
but a hippy sees me
asks me in spanish
how i am
then
in english
what are you looking for?
a room?
i am staying at a hostal down the street
everything is pretty full
but we can probably work something out

yes.

a hippy house Hostal.

he brings me in
the boy working the desk speaks only spanish
yet it seems the hippy is talking with him fine
it is explained that i need a room
and is there one?
No...
but still
there is flipping through books:

there is room on the roof.

on the roof?

there are Hammocks and stuff

Oh, ok
no problem
how much is that?
€10
oh
great
ok. let's do it.

he takes me upstairs

a beautiful night
beautiful sky
some clouds
not much
"it probably won't rain"

and a bunch of hammocks strung up:

i can do this, no problem.

and the desk boy who only speaks spanish
asks me if i have any drugs

of course
i say
i always have drugs
one should always have drugs
even if you don't use them
it's good for making a connection

i learned this when i was 17 in england
everyone always asking me for a cigarette
so i would buy packs of them to give away to strangers who asked for them
- small conversations are worth the menial price

so i explode my bags
pull out my herbs
explode my herb bag
and start rolling a joint with some of the hash i bought for Joshua in Amsterdam
mix it with catnip from the bronx school garden
mugwort, mullen, bear berry, damiana

roll it in my fancy linen papers

and as i'm preparing this and doing it
the hippies congregate to the roof

no one told them
but a joint has a gravity to it, you know?
especially for those astral bodies

by the time the joint is ready to smoke
there are
6 more kids on the roof
the australian one, Pete, rolled the filter for me

the joint goes around
and everyone comments on how good it is
and after the smoke
every is very happy with the effects

"muy tranquillo"

si.

Mike is from texas
he says something
i ask him to sing a song
he defers to
Farrha
who is from the czech republic
by this time a friend has joined her
and they sing two songs in czech
then he sings a song with the guitar that Seth brought up
about where he grew up in texas
the brazzos or something... lots of quicksand

then he fiddles around with the guitar
i ask him if he knows any dylan songs
if he knows Boots of Spanish Leather
which he doesn't
so...
i sing for them acappella

they like it
so i sing
the pyramid song to them too

and that's nice
and he starts playing "road" by Nick Drake
and all is well

as the joint's perfume clears the air
the hippies disperse
and the Semana Santa procession approaches

you can't see it from this roof
seth says
so i jump over the roof to the next roof

no one follows me

this tiny street
Sopranis
is packed with hooded acolytes
and a huge float of the Last Supper
they've crashed for a moment
the men who are carrying it are all sitting down at the base of it
resting
the band is playing
playing loudly
the drums bounce around everything
everything shakes.

i'm fucking exhausted

the desk boy tells me
two people have a reservation
but haven't showed up yet
so i can have a bed if i want one
€6 more

ok
i'll take that

we go down stairs to check the books
then walk out onto the street to watch the procession

the men have lifted the float again
and it sways
almost as big as the street
it almost hits the walls
i think they're swaying it on purpose
it's got less than a foot between it and the buildings
but it sways
and they process
up up and away...


back inside
he shows me where the bed is

so i leave my big bag on the roof
but take my lap top and smaller bag into the room

then i go back to the roof
and lay in a hammock
then i remember i'm hungry
i fucking forgot to eat dinner again...
so i eat a greens+ bar (thanks mom)
and drink water
and stare at the moon

and sway.

i need sleep

i look at my phone to turn it off
yeah
it's 1:33
no wonder i'm tired

and the procession has moved down the street now
so the thump of the drum is a gentler pulse

i can sleep now.

the bed has about the same curve as the hammock
but it'll do just fine, thanks

\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

i sleep til noon
i really needed that.

i go down stairs
and there's a new group of hippies
not the same ones i knew last night
i ask where to buy fruit
and am told
by an american girl, Hallie
from delaware
she's showing around some new guests, giving them the low down

so i go out walking
per her directions
which i do wrong at first
then find the plaza
supermarket, butcher, fruit vender

get four oranges and four bananas.
less than a euro.

to the supermarket
a bottle of water and a bark of dark chocolate with almonds
4 euros.

walk around a little
see the square
nice
old alleys
tight street
nice town
i look forward to walking around.

but i go back

Hallie asks me if i am staying tonight

no no, i'm staying with a friend...
but Luis hasn't called me or answered my message yet
hmmm

are you sure?
we only have one bed left...

yes, i'm sure
i tell her
and in a few minutes
it's taken by some people who come in off the street.

ok.

then Luis calls

and it's much more difficult communicating with him on the phone
he knows NO english at all.

through the staggering of language
i realize he does not live in Cadiz
oh no!
he lives in Jerez
which
with the accent down here
sounds almost identical to my foreign ear.

fuck.

it's only about a half hour away
but...
and he works until 11 tonight
hmmm

and i don't understand
i just don't get it
whatever he says after that
we agree to stop talking on the phone
ciao

umm
ok
now what?

a little part of me is worried
but the main part of me knows everything's fine:
i just have to get to Jerez tonight

no problem.

i go up to the roof to eat my fruit.
there are german boys who have just arrived
frankfurt. hamburg. and a sleepy belgian girl
i offer them fruit
i eat three of the oranges
they want none of that
but the girl and the hamburg

we talk about america
and places to travel in the world
reasons for traveling...

the girl is kinda scared of America
everything she hears sounds insane
and it´s constantly validated
how can people live like that?

and in the immortal words of Morrissey
" i can´t answer "

i go out into the sun
take off my shirt
and start brushing my hair

every once in a while
my hair gets too tangled
maybe it just needs some straightening out now
and everything will feel better...

the sun feels good
but it is noon now
i don´t want to go to the beach now...

i pack my stuff up
and take it down in two shifts
being gentle on my stuff

put my big back in the hollow under the public computer
and then set up my lap top on the table to write for a while

the dog is barking at me
growling
it always makes me feel bad when dogs bark at me
makes me feel like an intruder
this poor dog
he barks at everyone
(they say)
some insecure dog
living in a hippy house
a million smelly people coming in and out all the time
poor little bugger
last night he barked his head off and Pete kept kicking him
even i
at one point
had to hit the little fuck
coz he bit me when i was walking to the kitchen
i turned around and hit his nose with my water bottle
saying
"don´t fucking bite me"
he growled.. his teeth large
"listen mother fucker: NO"
i smacked him again
he gnashed his teeth

what the fuck ever
i went up stairs
but now i want to write...

a bright orange-haired girl grabs him
and has a talk with him
i can tell
i try not to watch
give the dog it´s space
(the dog is named Ché)
and
whatever she tells him works
he´s still scared of me
it´s obvious
but he´s no longer barking and growling

so i as i start to write
and get distracted by trying to find the nude beach
(coz the beach the hippies are going to isn't nude)
the girl starts playing Amélie
on her acrodian...
fills the room.

eventually
she comes over to talk with me
and i tell her i have the sound track on my ipod
she only learned how to play that from hearing it watching the movie
soi tell her i will burn her a CD
and suddenly i have all these cabels and shit all over the table and discs
and we´re going through my music collection
and i´m networking the computers
and giving them the sound track
and taking a louden wainwright album
and it´s hours later.

i get a call from a guy i talked with on line
no english, of course
he says he´ll pick me up and take me to the beach

so i burn the disc
pack my stuff
meet him in the street shortly after 4.

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

2. Lying in the Sun

Donato drives a Mercedes
once again
i am shocked to see such a big shiny car
in such an old tight street
driving on cobble stones!

he flashes his lights
and i get in

fancy

we talk
he tries to explain things to me
we´re communicating enough

i feel confused:
he´s not even going to the beach with me
that is
he can´t stay
he has a... dentist appointment?
but he´ll take me there
and it´s farther than i imagined

he drives me out
and we leave the town behind...

Cadiz is kinda like a small P-town
not in it´s gay ness
but the fact that it´s on a peninsula
all the way at the end
a big bay enclosed

a little wider than ptown..
more like san francisco
but not as big or hilly
what to say?

it´s one of those end-of-the-world places.

so now we're driving down the arm
and it´s apparent.

he pulls over in one of those dirt alcoves

i realize i am wearing my boots instead of my sandals, oh well
all i´ve got is my pants and shirt
bottle of water and mobile phone
down to one bar.

he walks with me through the dunes
explaining to me that it´s not a nude beach
you can be nude in the dunes
but not to the water
... unless no one is around.

he says
after that gypsy camp up there
there are penty of men
now and even more later
people are here all night
sex

so this isn´t a swimming beach
not a social beach
just a fucking beach

oh, ok

he says he doesn´t come here
except in october
... i don´t really understand why

i see a large guy in a blue shirt
and point him out
Donato says
"ah, te gusta gordos?"
and tells me he was fat two years ago
takes out his driver's liscence and shows me his fat face
si...

he pulls out his cigarettes and asks me if i want one?
telling me i don´t want one
starts smoking
and says he´ll go
walk back to his car
have fun!
good bye...

Ok.

so i walk up to the fat boy in the blue shirt and pants

he´s very shy
frosted hair
pretty face
i don´t understand what his deal is
he says he´s leaving
are you sure you don´t want to play?
no
have to go

ok

so i start walking futher in
and he follows..

i don´t get it
but i don´t need to
i see another man
short
not as fat
but a nice round belly
much older than the boy
nice brown beard with grey streaks
pretty immediately we hug and walk back to his bike
he pulls out his towel
and we lay down together
and cuddle
and play
just sucking
nice
then we just wrap around eachother
and nap

we nap for over an hour

while laying there
i think of the PJ Harvey song
" i´m lying in the sun
i´m lying with my love..."

he´s not really my love
but i´ve never lay with a lover in the sun before..

i romanticise this for a while
now nice it is to feel his body blocking the sun
and the heat on the parts that it´s not

we´re tangled together
on a single towel.

then i begin to remember Jerry in Oregon
all the nude beaches we went to..
but maybe it was hotter?
here there is a strong cool wind blowing...
we´re in a hollow now
but it pulls the heat away
we´re warm
but not too hot

with Jerry it was always too hot to be curled up like this
lying in the sun

it´s not like england
where lying in the sun probably wouldn´t make you hot anyway..

and what about Leo
i remember once lying in the sun with him california
it was when i told him he was not allowed to touch my lips
dick
cock or asshole
until he had kissed the entirety of the rest of my body

this went on for three days
on that third day
we were lying in the sun together
naked
out in the yard

Leo´s skin is like milk
no
not as soft as milk
more like a plucked chicken from a supermarket
very white and rough
so i told him he needed some sun

i was trying to teach him about how good the sun can be for skin
to clear up the fungus in the nether reigons
to nourish the body is so many ways
so we lay with our butts up in the air
we lay on our backs
we weren´t cuddling
it was too hot
we were laying in the sun together
but seperate..

until he started kissing my whole body all over

then i was his again..

but this guy
this guy here
on la Playa el Chato in Cadiz
i don´t know him

his name is Monolo
but he´s not a Lover
he´s not My Love
he´s just a guy

this is nice
in some random context

the sea is blue here
the sea is so blue
a bright turquoise looking blue
it´s very nice
i´d like to swim in it
but i´m afraid of the cold air
i´m afraid of people yelling at me for running naked to the water..

i lay with the guy
he´s very nice
we cuddle
we play again
we nap again
this is very nice

but i jump up now
and run to the water
it´s late enough
i jump in the water
it´s not that cold, really
not as clear as i expected it to be...
but not that cold
it´s nice.

i wash myself off
then go back
lay down again..

we wake again
we play again
with people watching
the sun is gone from our hollow
we move the towel

i get a text message from a number i don´t know
asking me when i will be free in Jerez tonight

who is this?

he responds
when will i be free in Jerez tonight?

who is this and how did he know i´d be in Jerez tonight?
i´m on the beach now
i will head there as soon as i can


another man approaches
it´s clear what he wants
but something better
he explains that he lives in Jerez
and has his car with him
oh
he will be happy to take me back to Cadiz to get my bags
then take me to Jerez
oh great
ah, wonderful
ok.

so Monolo, the nice guy i have spent the day with
he doesn´t use the internet
we say good bye

and i go walking off with this new guy
Paco
he takes me to the bushes
which are nice
but are surronded with stinging nettles
one bites my butt while i´m sucking him off

argh!

stinging nettles are silly
i wish i could make tea out of them
no gloves
no bag
oh well..

we go to his car
and head off

he drives the long way into Cadiz
going around the peninsula
the sun is settling
everying is magical
everything is beautiful
there is a man sitting on a bench
with a thick mustache
he follows me with his face as we past

"dominic, we could be lovers. you should be here with me"
--- sorry dear, i´m on a path to somewhere else right now
"ok, i will always love you"
i will always love you too..

back to the Hostal
i grab my bags
say good bye!
and head on the road to Jerez as the
sun dissapears
and the gloaming consumes the day
leaving us with night as we arrive in Jerez

he pulls into a large dirt parking lot outside of town
telling me they´ve closed off the centre to cars because of the holy week

OK

does he want something more?
i don´t know

he gave me a pen
to write down my number so he could call me tomorrow
then told me i could keep the pen
gave me another of another colour
which is good
i just lost my pen
thanks, angel.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. humans have troubles with nature

while lying in the sun with manolo
one of the times i had my nose buried in his crotch
i saw a crab.

i did my treatments when i first arrived
for a week
then i stopped
my oils..

i´ve been itchy
but finding nothing

well
was it two days ago?
i found one
sitting on my pubic bush.
dead.
dead.
from old age? what?
could i have picked that up from the sauna?
hmmm

seeing this one in his crotch
i assume i gave it to him

laying in the sand with him after
resting
sleeping
i notice all the grass
reeds
plants of all sorts
are covered with snails
little snails
sucking the juices out
like lice in hair: it´s just part of nature
and look
there is a sleeping moth
or maybe he´s munching on the dead grass
come the moon light
he will be flying around

nature is always full of insects

humans are removed from nature
i´m always striving to be closer to nature
is that why i constantly have crabs..
or is it just my exposure ?

i think about this drifting in and out of sleep
reminding myself to start rubbing the oils on my body again...

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

4. Desilusionando

i walk where Paco points
kinda
from the dirt lot
under the bridge
through the traffic circle..
up?

i walk past the eucalyptus trees
where am i?
where am i going?

i don´t know.

damnit.

i don´t have a map
i don´t know this city at all
why did he just have to let me go like that

i´m fine
i´m fine
the bag is heavy
it´s 21:30
and i´m really fucking hungry

i dig through my bag as i walk looking for a food bar
no no no
ginger candy
i stop
pull out my glasses to better look for restaurantes
and find the chocolate with almonds
and i eat a lot of it.
then i eat the ginger candy
then i feel better
and i walk
and walk and walk
seeing signs for the center
i feel better
head up
head over
a restaurant/bar...
but there is only one family in there
and a few old folks at the bar

they look at me like i´m a freak

the next place i come to is a bigger restaurant
two of the staff are smoking outside
i ask them if they are open
Yeah
can i come in with my big bags
of course

ok

so i go in
it´s very fancy
i put my stuff i the corner
and take a table

the only people in here are speaking english (british)
i look at the menu
everything is €20
ah.
this is a tourist theme restaurant
it´s all about matadores..
yeah
thanks
no.

i am thankful for the rest
grab my bags
shoulder them again
and begin my procession

the restaurant is right next to the bull ring, of course..

i head up
up
find a computer store
the window has a shelf
i put mystuff down
and sit

eat some more chocolate
and message Luis to see if he would like to eat with me after work
he says
that´s late for you eat
my phone says the battery is almost dead
of course

so i tell him that
and say
no prblem
eating with a friend is always better

he replies
i've eaten here already
ok.

so i tell him where i am
and move in front of the supermarket
under the light
easy for him to find me.

i sit and i write.

as i write
large groups of people pass
tourists and families
the processions must be over
this town is very commodified
all the kids have little drums
the beat along
until they see me
then their faces lock on me and freeze
as they wander past
enrapt
looking me
one actually runs over to watch me
gets really close
like i´m an exotic animal

i laugh along
the parents
pull their kids away

i decide i have written enough for now
so go across the street and ask the restaurant if they are still serving dinner
Yes yes
so i take an outside table
put my bags down
and message Luis to tell him where i´m eating

i wrote it incorrectly
so i try and tell him again in another message
but my phone dies

he got the first, though
i´m on Calle San Domingo (my own name!)
we´ll be fine.

i order Lamb
i say

Leo, i am eating Cordero without you.

i drink my beer
i cover the patatas frites in garlic olive oil
and salt
so hungry for salt
i eat my fites
i eat my little lamb shanks
munch on the bones
rip them apart with my teeth and fingers
the families walking by
even the parents staring now

nearly finished
a car pulls up
is that Luis?
something looks different
he says something
i am not certain
but i think he says he´s going to park and come back
OK.

i finish eating
and it´s been 15 minutes
oh golly
where is he?

he shows up eventually
and..

he's shaved off his beautiful fluffy white beard.

i´m shocked
and to him it´s apparent
i can´t say it properly
but he can tell i´m astonished
WHY?
he´s still cute
and i´m sure his body is just as beautiful
but now he looks kinda round and doughy
where as before
he just looked the cutest cutest...
ohhhh grrrr

he grabs one of my bags
and leads me through the city
and i can´t stop it
i keep asking him

he says he just needed a change
he shaved it off this morning..

it´s like Leo constantly trimming his beard right before we meet
my catholic roots are showing
and i feel like i´m being punished from getting what i enjoy

every ideal situation pales quickly.

when we get to the house he keeps saying

"le desilusionan"

no no, i try and convince him
but i´m not sure what he´s trying to say
he pulls out a dictionary
and it translates as
"to crumble, to fall apart"

i´m not completely shattered
i am pretty fucking sad though
ok
maybe i am
i feel bad...
i feel bad that he can tell i feel bad.
it´s just surface
i tell him
what he needs is most important
he´s still a sweet guy
and we don´t know eachother at all
i just love beards
obviously
look at me..
ugh.

he tells me his a friend of his knew i was at the beach today and expected me in town for sex
what?

i have no idea who he´s talking about
so we go on his computer
and he opens his bear profiles to show me
and he has a profile
but his pictures aren´t very hot
i mean
he doens´t look sexy in his pix
but he´s so sexy in person..
on his profile
he says he´s versatile, but mostly a bottom
oh yeah?
says he likes hard sex: duro..

we find him
it´s some guy i had talked with on line
who said he was in cadiz
but is actually here in Jerez

oh, it was that guy texting me on the beach
ugh.
whatever
i´m glad to be here
we both take showers
get in bed
and start playing
so i try and give it to him hard
he needs me to lighten up
and when we´ve both cum
i go to toss out the condom
and it´s all bloody

ohhhh
ok
no more bottoming for him for a few days
sorry bud

we cuddle
and while lying in bed
i realize that
"le desilusionan"
means "disillusioned"
oh yes, indeed i was
but that´s a good thing, right
don´t want to live in illusions
wish i´d fucking wake up...
but
instead
we fall asleep.
 
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