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A Mearme

by Jay Kantor

I have stumbled outside to take a leak. It is about four in the morning. Some venta in some road outside Morón. I go around the back of the building. The white-washed walls glow in the dark. I fumble my fly open. I look up at the countless stars and at the August meteors. As I piss against the wall, I can hear palmas, and glasses clinking, and laughter from inside. I finish and close my fly. "What a glorious piss!," I think to myself as I zipper-up and begin the stumble back inside.

We have come back from a fiesta on the outskirts of town. It was Diego's second in two days. He had been in Utrera, about 40 kilometers away, the day before yesterday, and then had come to Morón for the second fiesta. I had joined the second fiesta last night at about 1 a.m. It is now early morning and Diego walks with me to the bar in the market. He carries his own guitar. The bar is a favorite of his after fiestas. Seven in the morning and I am weary. My hands are filthy from drunken falls in dark places. My mouth is flinty from sherry and dust, my shirt is wine-stained. At the bar, Diego orders gin and I order anis. My aficíon has almost faded. I want to sit, but flamencos don't sit. They stand and stand. Their knees lock like horses' and they stand for hours at bars, without even resting an elbow. We talk of the soleá; of his grandparents, and of the lunar-probe, and of the strikes in Carmona. At about 9:30 Diego says "I am tired." My body relaxes," Very soon," I think. Diego says "What an awful thing to be tired!" We walk up the hill and into Casa Pepe where the bar is full. They have been waiting for him. Diego takes out his guitar. Juanito told me that he played until 4 that afternoon.


1971 Hippies

by Jay Kantor

It was the year the hippies came to Morón. The year of grass and acid. The year that they were growing grass on the roofs of the old houses and turning on the gypsies. So many foreign aficionados studying flamenco had so many friends. These so many friends had other friends in so many places like Formentera and Morocco and so many second and third-hand friends of them came to Morón.

For me, this was supposed to be a year like every year I spent in Morón, running towards the Nineteenth Century. Trying to escape my own culture that both attracted and repelled me. Now I sit in the bar looking out at the hippies there, reminded of my dilemma. I envied their freedom, but hated their soft-headed thinking. I despised their I Ching politics, their Beatle Metaphysics. I hated them here even more than I did back in the States. There, bare feet in a dog-beshitted city was amusing. Here, their bare feet disgusted me. Not because they didn't wear shoes, but because they were in a place in which people did wear shoes. And because the people here worked and had to wear shoes. And, I guess, because the ever-polished pointed shoes here were a quaint part of a culture that was melting away into the alloy of euroamericulture.

The men still slicked their hair back here, and when I came here, I slicked my hair back. Dungarees were strictly for work days in the fields and cut-off jeans were for fisherman. I left my jeans back in New York.

The hippies sat around in various interior and exterior places playing steel string guitars, only sometimes showing a momentary and passing interest in. The Americans spent most of their time writing folk-rock, the Europeans spent their time trying to learn how to play and sing popular American songs.

Outside, the Californians had started playing Frisbee in the Plaza San Miguel. On the one side of the plaza, there was the church with its Eleventh, Sixteenth, Eighteenth Century sections. Near the church is the Bar Pepe. In front, looking out from the bar onto the plaza, Frisbee. Blonde, in cut-off jeans and without shirts, they tossed the plastic disc around in the 114 degrees of Andalusian summer. They kept their attention focused on the plastic disk as it floated by the ancient church, floated by the old Moorish castle, floated by the bar with the singing inside.

The hippies were early risers. They went to the market early, searching out brown rice and vegetables. Then they went back home quickly to get high. They were never at the bar in the mornings when we would return from fiestas for a drink before bed.

No real moral to this story. Except that I still feel a little weird about having slicked my hair back.


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