The Fall rains came - and stayed.
With the weather permitting - I made it into town (Puerto de Santa Maria.)
I have heard church bells ringing down narrow cobblestone streets, and along the square, the gypsy market was just setting up after siesta.
And eyes - the eyes of the Spanish people are wide, soft, but dark. Even the elderly maintain the softness that fades with early teens in America.
Yes - and I still stop and turn to hear the whining of a jet engine - to watch her soar swiftly with sleekness.
My writer's heart and wandering soul told me to move - so I walked into Puerto de Santa Maria from the hotel Campomar, a distance of one and a half kilometers.
I wandered around for four hours and walked back to the hotel, with a jug of brandy and a pair of new shoes. At about nine thirty that evening the call of the road came again - so, I walked back into Puerto and caught a train.
I wanted to go to Sevilla - but, I had missed the last train and there was a train to Cadiz in half an hour.
By ten thirty I was wandering unfamiliar narrow streets and alleys out along the sea wall in Cadiz.
I stopped at a small cafe and ordered a cafe-y-conac. The waiter, a thirteen year old boy, took my order. Then I walked around for three hours - breaking in my new shoes. Ouch! But, the trip was worth the sore feet.
Checked in at a hotel at three oclock A.M. The room cost approximately seventy five pesatas, that's a dollar and ten cents in U.S. money. The train coming here cost twenty seven pesatas and when I bought my return ticket it cost me nineteen pesatas for the same third class coach . . . So, you figure it out, I can't.
In the morning I returned to Puerto de Santa Maria.
There is so much I can't yet describe - but I love this country and I want to travel it well and go on to others. Even now my desire to move-on isn't quenched. And if I had more money - I'd keep on moving. I love the road - its sights - and its freedom, and its offerings. I cannot say yet what I've gained - but I'm sure I have gained something.
And I've got to get over looking at things with American eyes - but that takes a while - and it could come soon - as I'm now infected with motion. I've got to be moving; I've got to be writing.
The whine of a jet engine, the screaming train whistle, and the hoarse boat whistle - the shuffling of feet, are sounds I'm growing to love.
And I sing - when I'm moving - and I laugh - and I cry - and it's great. But it's not new - or terribly unique - except for the journey - and the land itself - and even that not so.
I'm afraid to put down this pen - because my legs start feeling for wandering when I do . . .
I have two novels in the works, some poems and letters, a few catharsis and a million scribbled wasted pages. I've got to get my first novel, Anatomy, off my shoulders - and it's a devil of a lot of work. Novels are tough. I've got to get this one out. When it's done, other stuff will hopefully come like a burst dam. Perhaps you know the eagerness and frustration of typing up - and bulking a lengthy piece of literature.
But I am on my way to the literary world. Regardless of its difficulties - frustrations - and pitfalls - it is where I belong. I'm afraid I'm a writer - and that writing is no longer a particle of my being but a great part.
The view outside my window is strikingly similar to the one outside my old room in Durham, the Blue Hills pad, U.S.A., There are woods in front, just across from the old dirt road, which also ring a familiar bell; they are much like the woods of Goddard Park, R.I., and likewise lead to the beach.
The old road is as bad, if not worse, than Turkey Hill, Haddam, in Conn. Car springs are sure to go bad.
And now the steeple bell rings; It is ten oclock and I should have been
well on my wayi two hours ago. So far my attendance at school this second
semester has been a whole two days, mostly because of health reasons. That
flu virus hung on and my lungs have about had it. I should have listened
to those blasted doctors over the past three years. They warned me about
my lungs - the asthma, and the pneumonia scars - and they promised I'd
be in bad shape by the next few years. And so I made many vows to quit
smoking and took a million puffs for each vow. And even now I sit here
with a cigarette - cause it's so terribly hard to stop.
And I sit here dying in a hundred small ways. My mind is saying; I just can't think anymore - or don't want to think -. It gives me a headache to do so. And I need - I need so bad it hurts. Things are touch; especially nights. The darkness sets in and depression - frustration - and loneliness sets in. . . Tears of rage;
And what I need most is a change from this room - and the rain . . .
Today I got that change but it is only in the geographical sense. So I ran. I went to forget; for an hour I remembered: I remembered how it was to shed my shirt and shoes and run along the sands. I remembered how it was to be part of a natural world and to have no thoughts outside that world. I found fortresses, castle ruins, peace and comfort. I returned to the garden of Eden - like I had once been there seven years ago. I opened up and the garden opened up. I'm going back to the garden - if I really can, withdrawl and all. I'm going to re-live it a little while, and write my book fresh. Memory is at best a faulty warp - and I must write how it was.
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