Barcelona

cgi catalan lizard

Tonight I finally met Raúl, and he’s amazing. Has these crazy wide-set eyes in something like topaz that he blinks probably one-third as often as most humans blink their eyes, like some kind of beautiful CGI Catalan lizard. I want to put a long-stemmed rose between his teeth every second that there isn’t one. He took me to a great dinner somewhere fancy near University Square, and when I saw another table’s hoopla and made as if to tell the waiter that it was my companion’s birthday, too, Raúl, unsmiling, unblinking, rose from his chair and got down on one knee beside mine to make an even bigger false scene. God I love being outsmarted. He has a whole plan about emigrating to the United States, a plan that involves marrying an Argentine flight attendant. After dinner we went outside to his motorcycle and he produced a helmet for me, which I put on backward, not even trying to be funny, just being a fucking idiot, and he laughed and laughed. Then I put it on correctly and we rode away and it was my turn to laugh but with the pleasure of the motion through the hot, still night. Later, we went to meet his visiting Polish manfriend in a gay bar with a redhead theme. The manfriend had a ladyfriend with him, also Polish, also gay, and he — the one of the two who spoke English — talked about her being on the prowl for shes, and we didn’t correct him because why would anyone ever put a stop to that? Since Raúl had treated me to dinner, I treated him to a toro rojo sin azucar. The bored gay boi Barcelona bartender (not a redhead, btw) was not interested in my Spanish and was like, Okay do you want a lime?

Proof of life?

He said, Proof of life? and I sent him a photo of some Spanish booze and said, I took this for you ~a week ago, then decided that it wasnʼt really rich enough in esoterica to actually send.
Also there is a hot hot cab strike here.
So I am playing ukulele for some Pakistanis who, like me, don’t have anything to do.

baby in a g-string

I said,

Today on the beach I saw a baby in a g-string

When I interrupted to point it out, the guy from San Francisco whom I’d met because someone had to watch my stuff while I went swimming with the bandaids, whoʼd been telling me about abandoning the golden shackles in programming or whatever he was funneled from Stanford to do got culturally excited, too, which felt validating.

I guess it’s not the same as validation from a guy from, I dunno, Rio, but I’ll take it.

It was a little distance away but Iʼm pretty sure that what the baby was digging in the sand near was two strollers, not one, and I really really wanted to see the other baby so we could know if thatʼs just how those people dress their kids or if the g-string was that one babyʼs choice, an expression of its personal style.

Barcelona is trying

I said,

I like it here.

Barcelona is trying.

but not too hard.

I talked with a local — actually a native of Venezuela but I guess she’s been here for a while — who said very vehemently otherwise.

said it with clarity, and texture, and substance.

but still.

I just watched a street sweeper spend several minutes going after a leaf.

I think it might be hotter than what you favor.

but I also think you’d like the way the food and drink are good without making a Thing about it.

there’s a G&T obsession — did you know this already? — and pretty much every dive offers vermut de la casa…which I guess means house-made vermouth.

I had such terrible coffee all throughout France, and it took me getting to Spain to even realize, consider my perspective legitimate, give it voice.

I said this to la patrona at the Basque B&B where I worked for a while

and she was like, “Well, yeah.”

“French coffee sucks.”

“Everyone knows that.”

(except she said it in Spanish.)

here, I’ve figured out how to order what I want, and it’s so consistently excellent and so cheap, and then I sit and watch the old hombres have wine and snails for breakfast.

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