Fool’s Odyssey 17

Fool's Odyssey

To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.

Chapter Five: My Life of Radical Idealism in Barcelona (Continued)

Previously: The Fool arrived in Barcelona in search of the meaning of life. Or a girl.

The next day I had lunch with Caterína,

the pretty girl I may or may not have come to Barcelona for,

and her family who’d drunk champagne

the night that Franco died.


They had a lovely, dark, rambling fifth-storey apartment

with the skins of walnuts and olives in its walls

(you could see the Palau Nacional from there),

while the flat I was staying in was so flimsy I kept expecting

a hand to reach in and fish around for a prize.


Now Caterína was a communísta,

so that evening she took me down the alleyway

past the markéta

and the crumbling cathedrál

to a tiny cafetería.


There could have been a sign there that said,

“There is no future, there is no past,

there is only the present,”

for that’s how it seemed to me.

Oh, God!

I began to grow excited again.

It seemed I had found a reason to hope.

“Only the present…”

I wanted to open my present,

to reach in and fish around for a prize.


What was it like, that little café de las comunístas

with its scaly walls full of sickles and hammers

and the words to Catalan marching songs?

It was like church:

There were holey sweaters and holey caps,

and cigarette censers

and holy manifestos of liberación from which to recite,

and everyone’s eyes flashed like shorts in a wall socket,

and everyone laughed and passed around the pourón,

a glass pitcher with a long, holey stem,

from which we extracted streams of holy wine

to pourón our palates.


What was it like?

It was like an anthill of anarchy,

a singing, jolly mess of Marxism!

To read Fool’s Odyssey 18, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Fool's Odyssey, Humor, Memoir, Poetry, Story Power and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fool’s Odyssey 17

  1. Pingback: Fool’s Odyssey 16 | Mitch Teemley

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