Monday, 9 August 2004

Evening Drink

Sultry night spent in the Old Town. Streets with ornate buildings, balconies & shutters, sometimes painted seaside town colours, sometimes cracked and falling down netting on the outside to catch debris, wrought ironwork. Narrow streets linking churches and squares. Bathed the orange streetlight glow.

Sitting outside the bar there is a light babble of a foreign tongue trilling off the tongues of groups of people enjoying leisurely drinks. It rained this evening but it hasn´t cleared the air. I´m sitting still and am still beaded with sweat.

The waiter knows more English than we do Spanish. He has hair slightly longer than chin length centre parted, thick eyebrows, gentle seeming open expression. Two middle aged women are drinking some kind of orange cocktail from wide-mouthed cocktail glasses. Two stories up a couple sit facing each other on their balcony. He isn´t wearing a shirt. They have dry-land plants growing from pots and a string of CDs hanging off their awning to scare the birds. Two beardy men sit down next to us, black hair, glasses, beards. One is drinking coca cola (universal fizzy pop), the other something medium brown in a wine glass with ice - he´s wearing a communist teeshirt and is smoking slowly, the smoke escaping form his nostrils and mouth as he speaks in a deep resonant voice.

There is only noise, no conversations because of my lack of understanding. I interest myself in visual things - what people look like, how buildings and streets look, writing. Having started to read without understanding I keep asking Bails pronunciation questions and grammatical questions about word differences (like a child with a million whys) but she doesn´t have the answers yet.

A young man walks he baby past in a perambulator, not shirt on, baby playing with the rattly thing strung across. A couple on a scooter, she´s wearing a red and white printed shirt with a string bag over her shoulder, the shirt billows in the back draft.

Four gay men sit down. They are smoking and laughing. Out of the corner of my eye I see the one with his back to us pull his lime green teeshirt low and slip his trousers off and quickly pull some shorts on. He was either not wearing any pants or has a g-string on but in the flash the quick change took its hard to be sure. I´m drawn back to our conversation. Then he changes his shirt. One of his companions sees my wide-eyed glance and says with broken English, "he´s hot".

And finally at the end of the evening we are chased from our bar by the man HS had been watching for weirdness who suddenly lowered the newspaper he was holding at an odd angle to reveal his willy that he had been rubbing while watching her watch him.

No comments: