September 1, 2005

Ahora, Sort of.

This was a shot taken last night, a couple of hours past midnight.

Coming back from my travels, I arrived home to be a little bewildered as to how to proceed, there is so much to do, a lot of details. I needed to absorb what had happened, what is about to happen. One last painting is set to go, our house has to be sealed up, things put away, a few repairs have to be made, various services have to be taken care of, banking and telephone/DSL for example. Which things should I take back with me? Boioks, for example, or records such as my painting files, and how much of my studio tools do I leave behind? Winter clothes have to packed for sure. Dinners and goodbyes and special toasts between friends have to happen. I want to take fotos of everyone I know and want to remember.

I was flexing my fingers, gelling an idea of how to tell the story of the past week. And then the door bell rang. It was Kiko. Did I want to go get a drink and talk about life and stuff? Sure, Kiko.

So off we went to a bar that Kiko built fifteen years ago. Nacho. Leslie, Jordi (who I had met at San Grau festival last year) and a couple of vacationing Italian guys who own a hotel in Costa Rica. Nacho was telling the story of a night dive that he and Kiko had made when I was traveling. Nacho bought three "torpedos", submersible handheld scooters. Nacho's life is built around motorcycles, so this kind of thing is a natural for him. Kiko and I used the scooters in a night dive several weeks ago and therefore I can vouch for the dexterity needed to juggle this array. It was freaky fun to be be out dangling in the darkness of a vast sea. I swung my light around a lot, swimming in more of a mental model of what I remember of the underwater rocks, constantly verifying features with the flashlight. Fish were abundant and dreamy, sluggish, terribly vulnerable. But then we felt terribly vulnerable too.

After that night swim, Kiko was keen to do it again and harpoon the sleeping fishes below the rocks. "Pobrecitos" he lamented, still keen to fill a bag full of them. "Delicioso" chimed Nacho as he detailed the manner in which he had cooked the catch: cut them into fillets and slice potatoes arranged in a baking dish with slices of lemon and spices and after a half an hour in the oven, the meat falls from the bones in big steaming chunks. He talked as if it was hard to keep the anticipatory saliva from spilling over his chin, hands pinching invisible savory bits in the air. Jordi was smiling but he was winding up.

Jordi lit into Kiko: "I castigate you!" (my rough translation here) standing out of his chair, finger wagging. "You take advantage of sleeping fishes, you have no shame! What kind of sportsman are you? You sneak up on them as they sleep peaceably in the depths and then you surprise and bewilder them with a flashlight and spear them in the gut! You disgust me!" Jordi was having a field day. Smiles hid behind a shield of mock disgust.

Kiko would have none of this. "You! You are the one who fished one hundred and fourteen squid from the sea... illegally, out of season!" You fished more than you can eat! You lured them up to the surface with lights, what skill does that take? We had to manage a torpedo, a harpoon and a flashlight in cold water and to catch a fish, you have to dive deeply and pin a fish up against a rock, CLACK!" Catalans I've met like to use "clack" and "pim, pam,poom!" as the sounds of making-things-happen. They also like to use "Ostea"they way we use "Sh-t" or Damn" (referring to the Catholic host, symbol of Jesus' body, very bad apparently. They use "Joder", which is F-ck" and "Puta de Madre" which sounds vile but is used to describe good and great things or events. Try it yourself. Say "Ho-dare"(phonetic) with your eyes a little bugged out. As for the latter term, I've even heard eighty year old Catalan grannies use it, so it can't be as terrible as what it directly transliterates to.

At this point, Kiko is pantomiming the spearing of the fish. "Only the big ones, eh?" But Jordi is running game and he taunted Kiko all night long. Such was the evening.




Where was I?
(This is one of my favorite blogpost titles.)

Oh yea, I was about to tell you all about last week. A good week it was.

Posted by Dennis at September 1, 2005 6:33 PM

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