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?

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