El Rumbo Perdido

by Desaparecido

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Me dicen el desaparecido
Que cuando llega ya sea ido
Volando vengo Volando voy
deprisa deprisa a rumbo perdido

-Manu Chao


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...to Spain

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I could write adventure, working crew on an exploration vessel, mapping uncharted coastline and discovering strange unknown. I could write discovery, the Mediterranean and forbidding coasts of northern Africa. I could, but that’s not what happened.

Maybe if I’d left earlier when I got the email from Tomas the Italian, ‘london palma won way,’ it said, ‘trast ur tendmate.’ But that was him setting sail on the exploration vessel days before I arrived.

Instead I took a cheap room in a flat just outside the city center. My window looked at three cement walls that gave the sky sharp angles. Sometimes I couldn’t sleep so I didn’t. Then I would walk around the next day in that insomniac drunk, taking photos and watching people and feeling utterly useless.

I gave some private English lessons to not quite support myself.

There was dinner with a girl that laughed a lot and spoke excellent English. She told me she was a lesbian when her friend arrived. ‘I love being me, I can eat whatever I want and not get fat,’ he said. Later at a gay club I learned the other meaning of a dark room.

One day I woke up in a field to the sound of carnival music. My last memory: crawling into the back seat of a car because I was too drunk to make it home. Whoever found me was kind enough to wrap me in a fleece jacket and wool blanket before relieving me of my wallet and depositing me at Plaza Espana.

Another friend took me to Pueblo Espana for the evening. Before we got on the bus she told me not to say we met on couchsurfing. She said to say I lived with a friend of hers. She said, “I don’t want them to think I sleep on couches. People talk, you know?”

Weeks later I thumb through my notebooks hoping to find some ‘pearls of wisdom’, any sign of productivity out of loneliness and debauchery. Instead I find conceited and verbose musings on the human condition, scribbles of self-absorption and loathing, like this one: ‘my biggest disappointment in life is that I will never escape the pettiness of my humanity.’

People talk, you know?

And when I left London, that call mid sprint from what was becoming too real.

“How are you?” she asked.
“I’m fine.”
“I thought we could have lunch today.”
“I can’t.”
“Why not?”
“I’m leaving.”
“Leaving?”
“…to Spain.”
“When?”
“In an hour.”

And then perfunctory goodbyes. That is the last time we spoke.

I don’t need anyone’s permission to go a little crazy. This is me doing something, anything, so long as it’s not nothing.
24th Aug 2009, 17:45  

Dhamaka says:

another moving set of words and pictures

24th Aug 2009, 20:43

Desaparecido says:

Thank you for the confidence reinforcement. another post coming soon.

17th Sep 2009, 13:18

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