|I'm in Barcelona, sharing a small room with a one legged American with
literary pretensions. Still --even two legged people need crutches of one
sort or another to hold themselves up to people .
I forgive him which is big of me I'll admit.
He confided that when travelling and overhearing an American accent, he
cringes,- afraid of the potential crassness of his countrymen.
I mentioned an American two doors down, who was reading Hemingway- to try to reassure him,-- but he pooh poohed- both the writer and the reader by implication as lightweight. I told him he was full of insecure, elitist bullshit and he's been face down on his bed ever since.
Barcelona's a tough city, every day you can find tear- streaked tourists numbly trying to comprehend that they've just been shown a knife and robbed of their wallets, or their bag stolen from beside them at the Railway station, or , less seriously , been sold hashish that is in fact---Junkie turd.
Theres this buxom princess that approaches unsuspecting marks and grabs their hands and pushes them onto her breasts and while her mark is in shock-- she pick-pockets him and hands the goods to a guy who, passes behind her while she does it.
It's a beautiful move, with just the right amount of heartbreak. To walk the streets with all the money in the world sitting in your back pocket can be scary , but I , more than most have an occupation that is a sort of insurance.
I'm a clown-you see- and when robbed-as I have been. I have only to go out onto the street, gather a crowd, entertain them briefly and have funds at the end of it to continue my haphazard existence. Obviously harder some days than others.
To be more precise I am a clown on stilts, removed from the ordinary man by a meter... I Totter...I dance...I make mischief. I am, in sort, professionally unhappy, which is maybe why I snapped at the one legged chaps dismissal of Hemingway as lightweight. I ask you----Really... as if there is a point as if intellegence is related to happiness. I don't want to sound cynical, I admit life is pointless, but so is death--and while life may be temporarily pointless, I have a suspicion that death is permanent.
But it contains a range of experience for intelligent and dull alike that you cannot hope not to enjoy . I aspire to be a fool eventually ...but that means leaving you all blind.
© MARTIN EWEN 1998