Monday February 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
I smoke a Marlboro, though I don’t smoke, and order a daiquiri, though I don’t drink, and the morning reeks of baking tarmac, a hot funk rising in lines from the concrete stratosphere of lopsided and chipped sidewalks and the jumbled, parched avenues that giddily converge here, dusted with exhaust fumes and rinsed with the dry, dark sickly resin of spilt alcohol sparkling in the gutters. Alcohol by the way that lines the gutters everywhere from where I am sitting now, in the parasol-lined strip of tourist joints and super-bars on the waterfront, all the way as far as Avenida Butragaeno, where the A-Line trams arrive spent and wary and bustle in front of the cathedral, their blue and tangled symmetries frozen in the thick chlorine heat and a tangle of cables, and in whose shadow, at pavement cafes tourists recline awkwardly under limp umbrellas, sipping watered-down pina-coladas.
Somewhere near, but out of sight, the engine of a powerboat snorks and spottles against the clamped surface of the harbour water, while at a café opposite, two local women stand drinking Espresso along the high counter, matching black business-wear, vertiginous heels, unmoved by the lurid heat.
But the fabric of the day, itself like baking tarmac, feels cracked and veined, and the low-hanging clouds are disturbing my equilibrium, like shuttered cobwebs I can’t shake free of.
A garbage truck and its attendants emerge from the closed shadow of a sidestreet.