Chapter 22: Part one, The Flowering Cacti

His bedroom was tenacious. Monday afternoon the clouds came to deliver humidity and chill until The Break on Friday afternoon. The walls, the floor, and the thin pane window all held on with fervent clutch to the chill. They needed all they could get before the stench of summer’s blaze paralyzed the better half of the southern countryside.

A girl across the courtyard-parkinglot reached her hand out into the new rain. What a strange turn of events. “This might be the last for a while” is the look on her face, half relieved half torn by the future’s steady gaze. No matter, in the end, she was milking the rain for all it was worth.

<Human’s are a tenacious bunch, too> he thought, opening his own door to feel the foreign rain on his hands, <despite having organized civilization as an institution that requires self-destructive behaviour in order to belong and survive with the group…here’s this girl, soaking it all in with glee. Well, we’re not in Ferngully anymore, Frodo; if you know what I mean. Yet, we some of us still seem to carry bits and pieces of paradise around. Shards blooming in the face of all sorts of strange stimuli.>

Huck left his apartment for a sunny morning medicine down at the entrance to the Main Plaza. The road snaking down into the plaza is thin and framed by classic downtown Old Town architecture. White buildings built adjacently with roofs all in disorder give the Main Plaza a simple charm. The real beauty of it, is to sit up on the little hill between the tall buildings and gaze through the plaza, out and away. The nearness of the tall building roofs point out the deep blue sky above and the distance acheived from this vantage point through the town and into nowhere reaches that blue speckled white sky laid out in a line.

Huck stirred his black juju with his white juju – both of them steaming hot. He scatted some jazzy words and voila! a creamy brown coffee colored concoction was brewed forth. He kept stirring for good measure as the architecturally framed vision became the space between the disappearing blue and the wavy seas of burnt yellow off fetching the horizon. This was one of the best views in the city.

Another good view was the protective range of red roses that start off the Park of The Prince. Their color is so brilliant and in such contrast to the city one comes to think that they’re actually a protective barrier to keep all nature haters out of the park. It very well may leave a good bunch astonished and dumb before the entrance way, but if you look closely you’ll still find broken balloons in the waterway on the central path.

On Friday’s sunny afternoon, a desensitized Huck braved the sensory overload rosebush barrier. Somehow he got through and found himself laying down vantage towards the heavens where trees whispered between their leaves. Nebulous comrades buffed the soft and sleek sky making it the anti-thesis to harsh, midday summer skies.

A chow off in the distance stops walking and- without moving its head or any of its legs- just stands to take a happy piss on the daily sprinkled grass. After it makes its stand it scuffs up the grass to garnish and sanctify the ceremony.

Litter is kind of like that. Atop the mountain are a bunch of Marked Spots. Normally one can find these by spotting: potato chip bags, beer cans, random garbage, empty/opened condom packets. One of these spots is a famliy of cacti in flower. Unnaturally, more than spiderwebs are caught in their prickly embrace. Nevertheless, like that girl these crystalline flower-shards bloomed galant above the polluting clutter and clamour.

<A flutter of white butterflies across the flowering view suddenly drawing the big picture behind into focus: treeless fields, tan and yellow waves plaining out in all directions, small tree covered islands abruptly rising amidst the sea of apparent drought, cloud cast shadows relieving the earth of certain sun itches. Meanwhile, the smell of fresh fennel has overrun the hills ascent. Time to get higher, and catch that fresh pine scent before combing the trails on my way down.>

A small lizard skedattled, and flies flirted with peril. Coming over the backside of the mountain, Huck heard a group of men sing pre-game Pro-Atletico Victory songs in a buzzed cheer. They were going to enjoy themselves well, out there with no one around to hear them cheer. It was a big day for Spain; both of the big teams from Madrid were facing off against each other in the finals of Europe’s Champions League in Lisboa. The town was fairly quite, but here and there a steady drum roll could be heard spreading across town as packs of fans prepared themselves for the the gauntlet of boozing and booing ahead.

<A cold brew does sound good. A cold brew, some european football, and not thinking about this last week of classes before I have to say goodbye to everyone and head home. Three stacked days of classes, the city’s annual fair, some farewell food gatherings and a shitload of packing.>

Walking up here was where he met Jesús, the sheep milker and cheese maker. Hiking these hills was where Paco the Shaman taught him to eat wild plants of the area. Mounting the hill was where that quite solace was, up high in the clean(er) air. It may be a near-desert grassland, and it may looked burnt as all hell to the accustomed eye; but, to a guiri (i.e. tourist, foreigner) like Huckleberryone could see all sorts of colors in the varied plants and their wild flowers cluttering the expressive rocks aging away for all to see. It’s a barren and gritty landscape at times, and a magical countryside at others.

<I’ll keep my eyes on you, Cactus Flower. Just might help me gadge time and stay focused during this last rush of sand through to the bottom chamber.>


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