Chapter Three: Soulstice, part two (eat, drink, and be merry for tonight we dine)

This would be the first Christmas Huckleberry would have to cook up, but before all that suave jazz hit the oven a new tradition had to be added to santa’s big list of to do’s. In some parts of Spain, including Extremadura, the local culture presented itself with a fancy dress he ain’t seen nor heard’f before: ‘let’s all drink with friends from 1-6pm before Christmas Eve Dinner!’.  And there you have it, all tinsled up, ornate, looking beautiful, and out to Eat, Drink and Be Merry for Tonight We Dine! – with family. Their reasons will remain classified.

Meeting up at an overflowing bar, Orense, with Laura and Miguel and their friends, are several happy spirits being lifted to merry mouths having entrusted their money to the Group Fund. Wittgenstein wrote in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicussis, “5.12 If you don’t leave consciousness of your money behind you (here referring to the Group Fund), it’s better not to drink at all.” Indeed, if you keep your money on you, you may worry about how much you are spending on drinking therefore leading you into a trap of drinking more, now that you’ve got more worries on your plate to wash down and away. So, 15 euros each, and share rations/tapas while drinking beer until that fund runs out. Then, leave responsibly without thinking twice.

After a solid four to five hours of traditional holiday cleansing, the trusty Group Fund ran its course and it was time for Huckleberry to head home to stuff a chicken and soup a fish. All through the night, not a prep went undone, and cooking went under way like the soft night being gently retreived by the sun to be cast like a net at day’s end.

Then, as the chicken cooked in his miniature toaster oven thingamajig, the midday cheer transformed into The Waking Hangover. Sleep, my friends, should always precede a hangover. Don’t let anyone cheat you out of that buffer experience.

Thus, a hungover Huck delivered food unto his friends with a pit in his belly, unable to truly eat the pineapple, lemon, walnut stuffing or the fantastic apple pie. Nor was he able to touch a drop of Bailey’s to round off the night.

Despite his ill grievances, and almost killing one of the guests with piping hot soup, the company was charming and cheerful. His roomate Jennifer, Anna from the Netherlands, Elodie from France, and Tomás from Badajoz all made for splendid company that made this Christmas much more rich than it certainly could have been seven time zones from home.

The next day, having slept profoundly, he dined on the leftovers like a Henry V.

The following few days were consumed by reading through several books and practicing William Walton’s Five Bagatelles for classical guitar. No one has seen those days, since.

After the great consumption, Huck parted ways from Cacerays to check out the living labyrinth of Toledo and living lunacy of Madrid with his friends Jamie and Jennifer.

If you consult the farmer’s almanac, it will tell you that every year, all the time, Toledo is one of the most beautiful old world cities around. Granted, it’s not painted with gold, but it’s full of intricately gold woven everything that ever made Midas itch ta’touch. The tradition of artisan gold work has been strung out through the threads of master craft workers since the now syrians arrived in the 700’s. Every corner of every street there are swords and gold on display, but the city is quite beautiful itself. It’s charm is also imbued via ultra labyrintine alleys and streets that change directions on you lest you either know the proper passcode ooorrrr, are guided by a magic device such as the scepter they picked up at Starbucks. Letting the scepter guide his way, Huck ran into a little stout peasant in a green coat who asked him where Huck found such a little spoon. Meanwhile, a veritable hobo in steel rags ruffled through a book relating a most cervantian menage a quatre. Every page he would circle the letters d,e,a,i,n,l,u, and c and use charcol to obliterate all other blasphemous letters. The first man, meanwhile, with his pouchy panza kept insisting on the whereabouts of little spoons. Huckleberry, in want of advancing in the maze, looked daftly at the poor man, ‘had he never before seen a path iluminating scepter?’ A strange case, indeed.

After much paseo in Toledo, and marzapan trofies won by virtue of Jamie’s shiny new dagger, the group carabused to Madrid in NewYear’s Eve anticipation.

The following day, Huck saw a sign in a cafe explicitly iluminating the sickness of the poor fellow. Indeed, his desire for love must hold him blind to all before him, questioning if it is not actually a little spoon after all that he beholds. There, in Madrid, a sign reads, “As long as there is a Little Spoon, there is Love.” Or perhaps, the little man is so potbelly full of love, that by corollary he can only assume that all before him must necessarily be defined as Little Spoon.

Moving on to the net of La Noche Vieja in Madrid, a mass of people are in La Puerta del Sol waiting grapes in hand for midnight to arrive. Jamie, Jennifer, Huck and a host of international couch surfers are among the throng.

Gong. Grape.

Gong.

Grape.

gong, grape, gong, grape, gong, grape, gong, grape, gong, grape, gong, grape, gong, gong, grape, gong, grape, gong, grape.

Midnight hits and the sounds of guns and bombs light off into the night as the herd of people celebrate 12 months of good luck, or at least, not choking to death whilst inhaling grapes for said good luck.

It is now, some time later, the new year.

Right now last year, Huck was in the works to find himself here right now this year. And he’s starting to get an idea of where he’d like to go right now, next year.

Meanwhile, the loopty loop of time fractals out like a good Javanese gamelan piece that it is, and Huckleberry finds himself back in Cáceres with all sorts of new things on his time –  among them the image of a spoon.

To read the next page, Intermezzo, click here

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