Walking on broken glass under Colombian stars
I met a Colombian bartender last night. They are not difficult to meet just as long as you do not chat to their girlfriends. I was singing along to Sweet Dreams are Made of This which was blasting out on his music machine. It made such a lovely change from all the rhumba and reggathon. He joined in lustily, commending my singing of the Dave Stewart part. He seemed in a trance as Annie sang, phrase after phrase repeated on his reverential lips. ‘So you like this group?’ I inquired.
His eyes lit up, bright and shining. He revealed that he not only liked them, but that they held a special place in his heart, as he had ‘learned all the English I know through listening to the Eurythmics. ‘Who am i to disagree with that?’ I said by way of joining this niche idiom. He asked ‘Was I waiting for a friend?’’Well everybody’s looking for something’ I had to remind him. He asked if i had any plans for the evening. I said ‘ i want to walk in the open wind i want to talk like lovers do.’ He pointed to the next table where a couple were enjoying a publicly intimate conversation in that achingly tender Colombian fashion.
As i gazed in envy, it started raining in my head like a tragedy, tearing me apart like a new emotion. He said ‘Don’t be down – hold your head up – hold your head up – keep your head up, keep moving on.’ I found this intervention really helpful. He asked who had done this to me. I said ‘She gave me such a bad time, tried to hurt me but now i know.’‘She sounds like she was a real thorn in your side. You need to be moving on. Have you looked up at the stars up here in the mountains?’
Gazing skywards i said ‘Yes they leave me feeling very small under the universe.’ He relied ‘The moon is pale outside and you are far from here. Why not get out of yourself, go out enjoy yourself tonight?’ These words felt a strange deception, be celestial intervention.‘Not tonight’ I sighed ‘ in fact I can’t wait until tomorrow comes. I worry about going out around here with so many drugs flying around.’ ‘Oh, so you just can’t get enough of the stuff? Why not try the club next door it is glamorous and sleek by design.’‘God no I went there last night. It’s hard and restrained and totally cool. It touches and it teases as you stumble in the debris.’
“Well it does need a different cleaning contractor. I’ll show you something good, I’ll show you something good. You can make a new start when your crumbling world falls apart.’ “Will it really take away my pain?’ ‘Yes just hold your head up. The miracle of love will come your way again.’ ‘ Well maybe. Meanwhile i will travel the world and the seven seas .. i need to go to a place where no one on earth could feel like this where i am thrown and overflown with bliss.’I am not sure if i have ever had such a clean, helpful casual conversation before, successfully working as it did the tension between lyricism and necessary restraint. Perhaps he has a friend who schooled on Van Morrison for a change in mood tomorrow?