Chapter 5: Bagatelas

“But Andrew, do you really think we can do anything about it. I think we are fucked.”

During an exercise to get the students to workshop vocabulary concerning climate change and the environment we have left, Huckleberry got all sorts of interesting fatalistic comments. More so from the adults than the youth of the classes, but the already defeated so what choice do we have kinda opinion gets thrown out with alarming frequency.

“Well, with an attitude like that, you´re absolutely right” Huckleberry reacted hoping not to sound preachy to the grown man stage right. Huck was only here to offer linguistic help, not presume authority he did not have.

“What would you do to make it better?” Cornered him from the corner, a girl studying education at the local university. “Hypothetically, or personally, as in what would do?” He quizzed back.

“Jyes. What would you do? If you were the government?” She sincered to him, with that uncommon look gracing the sad eyes of the few who actually, really care about the state of things in this luckywearetohaveit world. This time, Huckleberry had no choice but to share his opinion, in fact he owed it to her. Hopefully it was worthwile to hear.

Most of the time, entering the realm of bagatelles was tricky business in the classroom, but outside of those bounds Huck had no problem pickin´ those ripe, low hangin apples from the orchard of engagements that extend for months on end.  Like a good acupuncture bringing toxins out of the body, friendly bagatelles.

“and, you know where you´re going next year? Germany? France?” Max tossed into the air a lofty set.

Hucklberry had to kneel to bump the ball back, “Not quite, those two countries require a B2 level in their language to do this type of program, and there was no way to conquer that anthill in time for the application. And you? How goes planning for school´s end?”

The volleyball skimmed net´s top before zooming towards the couch where optimistic Max was chilling.

Popping the ball back into a float, “I´ve got the idea of teaching geography, mathematics, or kids with disabilities in german primary schools. Still not certain what will come first, the market for those jobs isn´t necessarily good or bad, so – we´ll see.” Max´s body language didn´t contain any certainty, but neither was there any anxiety. Having essentially already finished his education degree in Germany, he was enjoying himself by taking classes of sports and athletics there at the univeristy in Cáceres through a study abroad program. “Andrés,” changing themes,”you know, this girl, every time the appropriate time arrives to talk about things – she hides away and shuts up. Then, when I get home, I find a bajillion stormy mixed text messages waiting for me.

From one blond haired blue eyed 25 young man to another, Huckleberry completely understood Max´s predicament. And so the imaginary volleyball of the convo drifted to the floor as Huckleberry realized a response was ´coming up.´

Max didn´t need any time, “I wish she knew that she didn´t have to weigh her words. She doesn´t have to make life difficult: a simple yes or no, I have no interest in putting her in a tough spot or making her life complicated.” This was the marvellous Max, the kinda guy who can wake up with wrenching hangover and a smile on his face as well as a laugh in his eyes saying, “no, no I don´t want any pills. I did this, I can take responsibility for it.” Like an old man bringing a boat back from the sea, swordfish mangled but beloved. It would be his chosen hangover. (Who were we to impose bad spirits on him anyway? Kid was positive about everything, accepting what came for better or not so bad really.) As such, he was feeling a little sick and exhausted from the melodrama thown onto his shoulders, but had his chin up as always.

Huckleberry was reminded then of his conversation with Jamie, getting a woman´s perspective on things (actually, on womanizers) outside on the terrace of a downtown watering hole where you can get all the patatera and morcilla you want with your caña, café or cup of what have you. A sunny day on the Cánovas strip. “Its like a strung kite,” She related. “They get your confidence up, string you around and you think you´re flying. Once they get a girl up there they´ll cut the string whenever they feel like it.”

“And the kite falls to the ground?” anticipated Huckleberry.

“No. Not all of them. Some plummet head first, some drift in strange patterns, others capriciously tease the nature of gravity, and others stay up there.”

Huckleberry imagined CutStringKites transforming into birds.

Then a gypsy came along trying to sell red and blue bic pens. Huck and Jamie politely declined and attempted to pick up conversation. After a solid uncomfortable moment of his uncharming salesman worthy persistence, Huck decided to reflect to the man just how ugly his socially abusive intrusion was with a polite, “Get lost”

“Get lost? You get lost! Back to your country!” and so he left.

“Agreed” Huck agreed. Unfortunately, the pen pusher would just have to sit tight until June came round for that desire to be met.

Picking up from no where and on to a new topic, “I am suddenly and viscerally reminded of an intrusiveness similar to jealous eyes peering into your bedroom; which reminds me – I´ve been looking around town for Tarot cards, but I haven´t had any luck yet.”

“ya don´t say? Well, I know where a few hippy-like shops are. I can show you if you´d like,” offered Huck. Perhaps, they only thing he could assume authority over was the knowledge of hippy shops in every town he lived in. It wasn´t too hard a thing to master, really. All you need is a keen nose.

The smell of grass is a funny thing.

More so, for Huckleberry, it was the smell of dirt and grass and leaves and strange bizzarro wares of garbage strewn about the hill near the fenced in horses on The Mountain of Cáceres. It came on the wind. It laid him down, and suddenly

there he was-

looking up into the white wisps beyond the blue.

He heard Cindy pause, ”          ” and then, “Where are you going?”

“Not sure exactly,” he fared, “it´s kind of a pilgrimage. Spain´s not the ultimate destination, nor is anywhere per se. However, it was the first step. <“The first step sometimes starts with a thousand miles” he mused> And you? Where are you going?” he strummed.

“not sure.”

“ideally”

“Entonces I´d like to work for the Red Cross, or some organization like that but you know they have really difficult nursing requirements to meet and you gotta know lots´a languages.” She sounded enthusiastic, her heart was smiling. What a delightful sound makes a smiling heart. She paused, ”       “, “Do you think you´re gonna die soon?”

“No.”

”   ”

“but one time, my brother told me he saw a movie, and there was this idealist teenager as the principal character who, after finally becoming exhausted with the stupifyingly (seemingly) unaware society around, decides to venture out and live in the wilderness of Alaska. He dies in the end. Brian said that the character reminded him of me.”

“That´s understandable. You know, sometimes I feel shame and intense embarrassment for being a human – considering all of the horrible things we doandorare. Its unforgiveable, and incomprehensible”

“yeah, i get that. but you know what? despite la puta mierda that we are – deep down i´ve got nothing but love for them all.”

“You´re weird, you know that?”

The sky paused, and the earth exhaled anticipating nightfall.

The humid smell woke him from his bagatellic memories and called to attention the garbanzo beans and potatoes Huck was cooking in a cazuela. Preparing a little-something-nothing to cap off the evening. Perhaps he´d grab a glass of wine, and practice writing.

CHAPTER 6, click here

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