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La Paloma Amarilla

In Plenary, Presentation on November 17, 2014 at 11:08 am

La Paloma Amarilla

Like all drunks, we wake up laughing.

Then we lie there for a long time, not moving.

“I don’t want to move,” says K. “I’ll find out how drunk I still am.”

The day presents us with its first demand. It requires a decision of us – breakfast in or out. Out will mean more movement and negotiation of human affairs than can currently be imagined. In will involve twenty-four quid.

“It can’t possibly be twelve per person,” I say. “For bloody breakfast. Have you checked?”

We’re both looking at the ceiling. It isn’t interesting but it’s reassuringly plain and white and motionless. Anything else I look at has a tendency to slip and slide in an alarming way.

“Yes, I’ve checked,” says K. “It’s twelve per person.”

“Ridiculous. We’ll go out for a tostada.”

We don’t, of course. Preparing to haul myself out of bed, I lean over to kiss her but she turns away.

“It’s not you,” she says. “It’s my own stench. I can still taste the papas alioli.” More

El Fuero Interno

In Plenary, Production, Uncategorized on August 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm

El Fuero InternoIt’s bright and on the inside of my sunglasses, the lenses are dappled with droplets of sweat. I am running away from the island I have shared with you, on the straight causeway that connects it to the coast: a brilliant, broiling Atlantic void on my left and the great, grand Strait on my right – that tuna-stuffed Styx, the dazzling blue Rubicon that made this, to the ancients, the ultimate dividing line: the edge of the world, the coast of everything.

Tarifa wobbles in the drops – little playa chica and its No Shitting sign, the tuna sculpture,  the ludicrous but likeable outline of Santa Catalina, a derelict mansion.  I flick my head to dislodge the drops and get a better view. It’s all still here, in all its glare and glory – the ocean, the hills behind the town, the pink dome of the St Mateo church. The castle and the modern port with its rotating ferries, the tumbling roofs of the old town, the schools and the fish factory and the holiday lets further up the beach. The cargo ships that clutter up the sea lanes and the huge dune at Valdevaqueros where the kite surfers congregate.

I’ve done a couple of kilometres and I’ll give it another couple. Then I’ll go home. I’m running so that I might stay alive a little longer and live a little better while I’m at it. Keep the blood pumping and the pump strong. I’m running so that I can write, running to get endorphins flowing and synapses firing. More

Las Instantáneas

In Presentation, Uncategorized on June 2, 2014 at 8:42 am

Las Instantáneas

“The man is out there again”.

She means the man who walks his dogs behind our house each day, in the morning or early afternoon. She has told me about him on a number of occasions but for whatever reason I only saw him myself for the first time a few days ago. I stand on the patio bench and peer through the grille of the upper wall. Two leads for two small dogs who trot along peaceably, pausing here and there, as dogs do, to sniff or mark a pole, and always, alongside them or just behind and keeping them company all the way with perfect, leash-free discipline, a tabby cat.

                                                                           *

A white horse in the long grass that backs the beach. It would take a master to paint the scene above it; the hazy veil of a dirt grey horizon thins low in the sky, revealing a creamy ripple of higher cloud that expands as it arches overhead – little tufts pulled apart like the fibres of a cotton wool roll, white as the animal grazing. When I pass by again, some minutes later, the scene is gone, the clouds stage left as if dragged there by jaded stage hands. The show is over. It rains heavily the following morning and afterwards the horse isn’t even a horse, but a white yacht gleaming in a spot of sunlight against a charcoal waterline. More

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