More Stoned Musings From The Spanish Outdoors

19 Mar

*Taken straight from the notebook

I’ve learnt two new things about myself today. The first is that I enjoy the sensation of exchanging pleasantries with complete strangers. Who knew? I certainly didn’t until a few minutes ago.

Out here I don’t see many other people and can sometimes walk for a couple of hours at least without coming across another human, not when I’m wandering about in the fields anyway, but occasionally I slip away from the fields to cut across the only road for miles around, that connects the city of Elche with the coast, and although the road is more often than not dead, it is still the place of work for prostitutes, who sit by the side of the road on a little chair under an umbrella, reading a book, and when they’re ‘busy’ their book awaits their return on top of their empty seat. There is one of these girls approximately every mile. Eastern European or South American. And these girls know not to take me for a potential customer as I approach them – I haven’t got a car, for a start. Plus I like to think they recognise me as someone who wouldn’t have to pay for sex, ha! he says modestly! More likely they take a quick look at me and come to the conclusion that I couldn’t afford it – I’m just a stoned bloke out for a wander about. And I have to squeeze by these girls at the side of the road, and I always do so in silence and with my eyes averted to the ground. And just the same, these girls completely ignore me. It’s as if we don’t acknowledge each other’s existence. But obviously we do, or at least I do, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. I carry on walking. She carries on reading. Even though we’re the only two people for miles around, seemingly we would rather be the only person singular for miles around. And I passed one of these girls a little while ago, South American woman, and we said nothing, standard, and then I took another path that led me back into the wilderness, and I started thinking about how sad it was for two humans to just blank each other like that out here in the middle of nowhere, and how a simple ‘Hola’ wouldn’t take too much effort at all. And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted desperately to exchange greetings with someone. Just briefly, passing in the day. I don’t want to disturb anyone’s life with idle chit-chat. Just to say hello, to acknowledge someone, to have someone acknowledge me. But it’s not like I could go back to the road now. That’d just be fucking weird. If I walked all the way back to that particular spot of road where that South American woman sat under her umbrella, reading, and I went up to her and simply said ‘Hola.’

She’d just look up at me. ‘Yes? Can I help you? Do you want something?’

‘No, that’s all. Just wanted to say hello. Nothing more.’

‘Oh. Right. Well, would you mind fucking off now please, you’re having a detrimental effect on business.’

‘Ah, yes, of course. Right you are. Bye then.’

And then I just walked back off into the distance. No, man, that’d just be plain wrong! Plus I’m not sure she would express herself as eloquently as I just imagined. Ha! I consider it eloquent to ask someone if they would mind fucking off. I really am a touch of class.

my road.....

my road…..

So I just carried on walking deeper into the fields, until up ahead in a field to my right I spied a goat herder with his black and white dog, herding together a flock of shepherds. Aaaahahaha! A flock of shepherds! What an idiot! I meant a flock of goats! Why did I write a flock of shepherds? Brilliant! I couldn’t remember to call the bloke a shepherd, instead I called him a goat herder, but then I managed to find the word I was looking for earlier but used it to mean something completely different. Idiot! I don’t even know if flock is the correct collective noun for goats. This old farmer was the most sundried man I’ve ever come across. Looked like a raisin on legs. And as I approached this bloke I thought ‘Right, I’m gonna fucking do this,’ and as I got to within earshot I waved my arm high into the air and shouted ‘Hola!’ as enthusiastically as I could. Well if you’re gonna do it you might as well do it properly. And a wonderful thing happened. This bloke, this shepherd, this Spanish raisin, raised his arm and shouted twice as loudly as I had ‘Hola amigo!’ And I thought Yes! Fucking yes! Me and this man are friends. Amigos. He said it himself, didn’t he? And it felt brilliant. So then I thought right, when I pass that woman on the way back across the road  I’m gonna say hello. Or hola. Breaking down barriers! But when I just walked past there a minute ago there was just a book sitting on a chair.

The other thing I learnt about myself earlier is that I am something I always believed I was not. Turns out I’m the type of bloke who involuntarily breaks into song whilst walking along the road. I’ve spent my whole life wanting to punch that bloke, now I have to deal with the realisation that I am that bloke. How do I know? Because I fucking involuntarily broke into song earlier whilst walking along the road. And now it keeps repeating on me like white wine. I was just strolling down the empty road, sun shining, not thinking about anything in particular, and the next thing I know I can hear myself singing. Loudly. And badly. And I’m singing Coming In From The Cold by Bob Marley. How cliché! I would have been more accepting of the fact that I am the type of bloke who involuntarily breaks into song whilst walking along the road if I had found myself involuntarily breaking into a less cliché and more obscure song. Like the version of Baby Can I Hold You Tonight that Tracy Chapman recorded live with Pavarotti. But no. Bloke gets stoned and sings Bob Marley. Not really a story that, is it?

The ridiculous part of all this (because none of this up until now has been ridiculous) is that I should feel happy at the fact that I’m clearly happy, because you only involuntarily break into song on the road if you’re happy, actually no, I suppose it depends what song you involuntarily break into, once I remember I was walking along a street in Eastern Europe and I involuntarily broke into Black by Pearl Jam, I definitely don’t think that was because I was happy, actually I wouldn’t even call what I did that day ‘breaking into song’, I was really just humming, I digress, as I was saying I should feel happy at the fact that I’m happy, but instead I feel a bit annoyed to find out that I’m the sort of bloke who involuntarily breaks into song whilst walking along the road. I kinda wanna punch myself for being that dick. Ah I talk some shiiiiiiit.

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