A monster Magnolia Fig tree some one thousand years old…
On the Job
Writing outside in the open air is like swimming with no clothes. Apart from the exhilaration, there’s an elicit thrill just below the surface of these daring-does; each seems indulgent, brave and experimental.
A child nearby chants something that might be ‘mama look at me’ setting off the apple-green parakeets who begin swooping to the clipped lawns of the plaza and rise again to the canopy of a monster Magnolia Fig tree brought from the New World some 1000 years ago according to custom.
I order from the small cave-like cafe. The cheesecake is sweet and the coffee is bitter. Mid afternoon is the quiet zone of the day, quieter than even the night when everyones out and about talking, shouting, throwing words in conversation at each other until the small hours when the refuse cleaners appear like a Valkyrie. Windows are firmly closed as wheely-bins rumble like thunder on the cobbled streets and an orange light spins, slashing through the window of my room like flashes of lightning. It’s hard to find sleep.
In the plaza suddenly the heavens open and a deluge of heavy wet rain like a monsoon appears from nowhere since the sky remains an unreal bluest of blue. The rain is real and pedestrians scatter for shelter as the patter of raindrops become a chatter of small arms fire on taught parasols
Then it’s gone. Puddles on the terrazzo reflect withering fragments of trees and buildings. The parakeets resume their boisterous squawking, people emerge from shelter and the church bells of of St San Francisco tinkle the quarter hour. I signal for another cup of coffee.
I should be feeling guilty but I am a writer and I am working. Two elderly gentlemen draw near, careful to avoid puddles and pause. They embrace, kiss cheeks and go separate ways such is their way. Like swimming naked and writing outdoors, I hope to never get used to the thrill of some simple functions.
A cleaner brighter hotter sun floods the plaza outside the cafe Galeria del Sol, Cadiz.