Fool’s Odyssey 19

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 fell in with beautiful Caterina and her Marxist friends.

Another night—

I have it in my diary; it was April the thirteenth–

there was a wonderful patriotic rally

in the Plaça de les Cascades

and all over the hill in front of the Palau Nacional.

The communistas and the socialistas were out in league,

the hard-sell and soft-sell together en celebració.

Caterina and I went with her friend Patrithía

(everyone lisps in Catalunya; it’s official).


We scaled the steps of the Palau,

and when we reached the top

we pretended we could see forever.

I thought about that line on the Statue of Liberty,

as we looked down on the masses yearning to breathe free

under a flapping parade of red banners.

And I thought,

“God, if only I could always feel this warm inside

I could be happy,

no matter what the actual truth was,

couldn’t I?”


And I told myself, “Henceforth,

whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,

do it with all thy might; for there is no work,

nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom,

in the grave whither thou goest. 


Is there?


But that night as I walked home alone,

I began to chill.

I could not retain the warmth of the parade away from the parade.

“And the Ramblas is pain,

and the Ramblas needs rain…”


This dream, which had been the slowest to come to life,

was now the hardest and most painful to see die;

perhaps because I knew it would be the last.


Caterína had said,

“The communístas, they have a better plan,

maybe even a perfect one.”

And I wanted to believe it, if for no other reason

than that she was just so damned pretty.

But no, I mean I loved laughing in a low baritone,

and wearing itchy turtle-necks,

and reconstructing society with condiments on table-tops.


But something was wrong.

Spain was so dry that year.

“…and the Ramblas is pain,

and the Ramblas needs rain…”

To read Fool’s Odyssey 20, click here.

About mitchteemley

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

6 Responses to Fool’s Odyssey 19

  1. Pingback: Fool’s Odyssey 18 | Mitch Teemley

  2. You have such a gift for drawing us in to the time and place, feeling exactly what you are feeling. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Ranscht says:

    You fiddle with words, plucking meanings from aires of the past, to tell a story as old as before times about the time we all sat together thinking – not thinking – thinking – not thinking. Waiting for something – nothing – anything – everything. I believe I was on that bus, but it was so long ago I might have been dreaming. Love your words. Do they love you back?

    Liked by 1 person

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