I was going through some old boxes the other day. My rule is if you have not opened up a box once in the past year it’s toast. There are certain riders to the rule to adjust for special situations. If you have just moved for example then the time period starts at arrival at the new abode and lasts for six months. If, at the end of that time, a box has not been opened it is time to auction it off to Storage Wars.
I stumbled upon a box that I did not recognize and was not sure when it was opened last. I am sure that I had violated my rule several times over. Most of the contents did not seem worth holding on to until I came upon an old pamphlet advertising a shopping district (FNAC) in Barcelona by the name of Placa Catalunya. ” If you’re after sheet music, music-related books or musical instruments, there is a large FNAC on Placa Catalunya”. The past came flooding back as I gazed into the faded type of the yellowed poster.
It was several years back and I found myself enjoying a warm spanish summer in Barcelona. I was living the life of an expatriate in Spain. It was not long after college and I was drifting along in the world bereft of an anchor that a career would provide. I had no inkling as to what my identity in the world would be and I was perfectly happy. I had drifted throughout France and into Spain and by the summer I had found myself in Barcelona. I was in need of an influx of cash so I had procured a job at a small music shop in a shopping district known as Placa Catalunya. My spanish was passable and my music knowledge was sufficient enough to convince the proprietor to give me a job. I think the novelty of being American did not hurt.
It was my third day on the job when the universe pulled the emergency brake as I was turning the wheel and the direction my life was taking was immediately adjusted by 180 degrees. The cause of this of course was a woman. Not just any women. Lupe was the embodiment of every gorgeous senorita that had ever existed. When she smiled the sun came out and when she walked the breeze smelled of jasmine.
I was too mesmerized to understand her request at first but I soon snapped to reality and understood her yearning to play the guitar. It did not take me long to convince her that I was the man for the job. When I got done with her, my guitar would join the legions of men, women and children that had fallen in love with her. For me, it was too late. I had already fallen hard.
The summer had passed in a rose-colored instant. All of the Disney bird chirping , stream flowing , flower blooming symbolism could not describe the passion that we shared. I had no inkling as to the danger that lay a head. There may have been a sign or two that I chose to ignore. Perhaps it was the strange mens clothes in the back of a closet or the montera (bullfighter’s hat) on the coat rack inside Lupe’s front door.
When summer ended, so had our love affair. One moment I was professing my love for her and the next I was running for my life down the La Rambla de Sant Josep with El Rodrigo and his gang of picadores in hot pursuit. Fortunately my european ramblings had gotten me into excellent shape and I was able to outrun the angry mob of bullfighters*.
My mind came back to the present and I decided to keep the pamphlet. It was my only keepsake that tied back to Lupe. Well ,not if you include the times when the weather is cold and the act of sitting down brings back the sharp reminder that one of the picadores had a decent arm and good aim with a pica.
*Well that’s what I called them at the time. Running for your life is not the time to research the true name, Torrero.
Note to friends and family. Do not fret about this unknown part of my life. It did not happen. This story was hatched from a writing idea in a blog called “Daily Prompt”. The instruction was to go to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own post. In my case the third post was “Music Shopping in Barcelona” at a Blog called “Shop With Intent”. I hope you enjoyed my story.