Or maybe not………
Found on Calle D’Avinyó yesterday.
Golden blue on the horizon
Golden blue on my eyes
Sublime sunrise on the beach
lights on swimmers and bums alike
Young and shiny and blonde
Old and grimy and grey
Sleep misted, rolling smokes
Share a bench and papers
Past the enticing bakery
sidestepping the gesticulating grocer
Too late to spot the dropped calamari
I land squidgily on my ass.
An afternoon spent on a salvaged chair up on the rooftops of Barcelona. Music jarring out through hopelessly inadequate speakers. Last dregs of the vodka washed down with a dubious yellow coloured fruit juice and stolen ice cubes.
Before me, the sun furls and unfurls itself across this blue sky. After the grey concrete framed window of my internal bedroom, this expanse of sky seems obscene in it’s flagrant undulating beauty. As I watch, the quality of light changes from forceful afternoon fire, beaming out in a sanctifying halo from behind pure white clouds, to the the orange, edgy, defiant predecessor of the dark. A dying spirit but a strong one. A fitting one to herald the night in a city like this.
Over the rooftops of unfinished concrete sheds and half-hearted renovations, the love-children of so many heedless cowboy builders, the strains of Madonna’s thrusting music reaches me. Somewhere, a party is created. Maybe even a legendary one. Meanwhile on stranded terraces around, silent, solitary figures move about their business. Tidying. Tending. Furtive members of a private club I’ve discovered too late on the second last day of September. Teetering on the brink of a winter I thought I welcomed, I suddenly rediscover passion for my old lover the sun.
I remember with nostalgia.
Skin, ripened and warm and smelling of sunlight. Sand clinging in tolerated intimacy. Hair stiff with memories of the sea. Muffled chatter and the ocean roaring under a soft evening light. The unthinking way in which I loved and forgot. Recklessly sure of its constant presence. Mistakenly sure. A faint hint of charred meat on the wind.
Endless days are numbered too.
This is the last perfect afternoon of the summer.
If Peter Pan’s Neverland really exists, Barcelona is definitely it.
Step outside your door and you don’t have to look far to find the Lost Boys, the mermaids, the fairies and the pirates. Nowhere is it easier to run around frolicking with magical creatures and having grand adventures. No where is it easier to never grow up.
Sadly, our bodies still obstinately insist on this ageing business.
According to research conducted at New York University, our brain patterns change when we think of our current self and when we think of our older self. We think of our older selves with the same brain patterns as we think of strangers. The smaller the difference in these patterns, the more kinship you feel with your future self. The larger the difference, the more likely you are to live only for today and not give a crap about that old fool waiting for you up the road.
How do you think of your older self? Is she (or he) a stranger to you?
So in the interest of morbid curiosity and with a healthy appetite for art-house horror, I decided to find out what old me is going to look like.
I downloaded AgingBooth, a mobile app for Android and took a picture of my morning face (I’m a hard core horror fan). The app then pushed the clock forward thirty years to 2043.
Those with weak stomachs or faint hearts, look away now.
Life of a stranger who stole my phone is a rather funny tumblr site which came about because a thief who stole a phone in Ibiza didn’t realise he had to switch off the automatic document upload function.
So all the photographs he has taken since stealing the phone have been uploaded to the original owner’s dropbox and then put up online.
The site is alright but the comic potential swiftly exhausted. The phone owner produces the occasional funny title, and then the occasional boring comic description.
Don’t stop though! Scroll down to the comments at the bottom of the page and that’s when it really gets funny. Now creepy Habib, the thief who stole a phone from a skinny dipping girl who was too drunk to realise that the person lying under the deck chair wasn’t her friend (these are her words I swear!) has decided he can make friends with her.
He’s left a comment on the tumblr page offering to return her phone. The people who responded to him had me in stitches.
As part of the neighborhood festival Poble Sec is hosting an artisan beer festival which started at 11:00 today.
The festival is in front of the Molino club, just outside the Parallel metro stop on the green line.
There’s a discounted hour between 4 and 5 pm. I’m not sure what this means exactly, but it can only mean good things methinks.
The beers being featured :
- As Cerveses, Montornés del vallès
- La Font del Diable,Vilanova i la Geltrú
- Les Clandestines,Montferri
- Cervesa Marina, Blanes
- Cervesa Popaire, Blanes
- Cervesa Nomada, Sabadell
There are going to be talks about about artisan beers, tasting sessions, a slow food co-op stall, beer making equipment on sale, live DJs, and a Brazilian percussion band at the end of night.
Much beery fun to be had!
I was walking home from work at 9:30 p.m today. It’s a hot summer night in Barcelona, and the streets are teeming with the usual mix of tourists and crazies.
A young man in a grey hoodie passes me on Calle Ferran, cooing lovingly to the shifty looking grey pigeon perched on his arm. Clueless tourists trundle by with suitcases the size of small cars, ‘this town must have a night life, right?’
I cross La Ramblas, over into the Raval, and I’m walking up my street hardly two minutes from my front door. A car on the street slows down, a head pops out and an unmistakably Indian voice, in unmistakably ghati grammar, yells out ‘Hey baby wanna sex with me?!!!’
Suddenly I’m transported back fifteen years. I’m fifteen years old, and having men in cars slow down to yell inane words or try to grab me is normal, and the relentless daily sexual harassment of women, girls, children, octogenarians (you name it) is all sweetly labelled ‘eve-teasing’. I’ve traveled fifteen years, two continents and three countries to be annoyed in the street by another half-wit Indian man.
Still, they never wait to hear my answer.
No I still don’t wanna sex with you.
I wanna high-five you darling.
In the face.
With a hammer.
Down at the beach today, I found out that not everyone has heard the lesbian seagull song. This cannot be.
You cannot live your life without knowing the true romance of a love song for a seagull. Who likes girls.
I don’t mind, I swear I don’t.
I don’t mind stepping around the abandoned beer cans in the stairway on my way to work in the morning.
I don’t mind that weird lingering smell in the vestibule.
I don’t mind the drunk girl who runs about her flat in high heels at 5 a.m, bleating like a spring lamb. I think her childlike joy is sweet. I really do.
I don’t mind that you think siesta hour is the ideal time for a flamenco party. Sleep is overrated anyway.
I don’t mind that most of you stare at me silently with vacant saucer eyes when we pass in the stairway. Unable to crack a smile or muster up the customary two syllable ‘hola’ or even ‘hello’ in reply to my greeting. You were obviously raised by wolves back home.
No, I’m sorry, that was uncalled for.
Wolves actually have excellent social skills.
I don’t mind that the father of the family squatting upstairs is most probably a pickpocket. At least when he heads out to work wearing a different British football T-shirt every evening, we smile and ask each other how the day went.
The one thing I do mind. The one thing I can’t stand anymore, are her cries. I’ve lived with her howls of rage and frustration for three days now. I’ve never heard such plaintive pain in a voice and it haunts me day and night.
So please, dear neighbour, for the love of god, if there is any decency in you.
When this cycle is over, neuter your horny little cat.
Georgia, bent almost horizontal at the waist, one hand clutching plastic bags, and the other held behind her back for balance, makes her shaky arthritic way to my table at the Chippy entrance and plonks herself down.
She flashes me a toothy smile.
I’m thinking to myself, I’m losing my job in two weeks so there is no way in hell I’m buying you anything.
I first got her a drink over a year ago, and since then she checks in with the regularity and persistence of a dog.
An old dog.
A dog which doesn’t reckon it’s about to start wagging it’s tail for food now. Not after a lifetime of not giving a crap. She rejects free food if she doesn’t like it, asks for better chips if her chips are over done, gives money back if it isn’t enough, and never learned ‘por favor’ in her many years here. A thoroughly unlikable and annoying old lady.
After scolding me in Russian for about five minutes and getting scolded back in English for a few minutes, she simmers down. She smiles.
She lets out a few coughs and touches her parched throat.
Someone has left a bottle of water on the table. I move it closer to her. She screws her face up, sticks her yellow tongue out and makes dramatic choking sounds.
What was I thinking, offering her life threatening water. Idiota!
She sits silent for a couple of minutes, and then she coughs again.
I point at the water. She does the choking routine and then points at my beer. I burst out laughing and so does she.
I don’t imagine I’ll be too impressed with water when I’m her age either. Destitute or not.
I pour a splash of my beer into a glass for her. Her shaky hand darts out, grabs the glass and downs it in two. She puts the glass down and smacks her faintly moustachioed lips happily.
She pulls out a pair of fake All Star converse shoes. Since this is the first time she has offered me anything other than used bras which look like they’ve been stolen from the laundry line of a brothel, I accept.
I give her another splash of beer. She knocks this one back just as quickly, impervious to my feeble cries of ‘slow, slow!’
We beam at each other in a happy beer haze.
On the pavement outside, a sexy dark skinned skater boy comes clattering along. His board catches on the pavement and he goes flying.
Georgia and I burst into simultaneous drunken cackles.
She gets up, thanks me for the drink and totters off. Another Barcelona evening well spent.