Tuesday, 26 August 2008
The crimson arena
On his stay in Catalonia, he had to see the amphitheatre – the arena where the bull is slain.
Ghosts of Hemmingway had haunted his life. As a pale-eyed dreamer of a boy his father had recklessly thrown the works of the great American at his son’s head, near decapitating him with the weight of the prose.
He’d read them with remorse, more than relish, and yet they informed and educated him still, though he hadn’t touched Hemmingway’s bold lines in years.
So here he was, at the circus of death. There was to be no fight this afternoon, the moustachioed men had packed up their wagons and returned to the hills, far away from the marshes where the mosquitoes blazed. This was August, and its heat could drive back a man from his city. Even mules kick those who try to make them work in such temperatures.
And yet, here he was, a great traveller come to find Spanish gold. Come to see the drops of blood on the wire of the torero.
He’d be leaving soon and he wouldn’t even see the dust spattered crimson floor of the shallow arena. The gates were locked to him.