Thursday, June 4, 2009
Guest Blogger: Ernest Hemingway.
It was the first week of summer. This is how it was in the first week of summer when the cafés were open until the early hours of morning, filled with couples drinking true and honest sangria and laughing and nobody seeing what was around the corner. Gertrude Stein introduced a very handsome young Priest who kept trying to sell Florida swampland to the waitress. She wasn’t interested and he turned his attention to a constipated young man on his own, wearing a uniform. He said his name was “Franco” and everybody laughed, but he ended up buying everything the Priest had to sell, although he returned very angry a few weeks later, wanting his money back. Little anyone realise were this would lead because it was the first week of summer and had been the first week of summer since the Spring had ended.
I remember that Picasso was still a damn fine writer, but the Priest kept insisting that art is where the real money lies. With my last 50 peseta I purchased some true and honest sangria; I took a pull from the bottle. It was good. It burned my mouth and felt warm and faithful in the dusk. The next time I saw Picasso he had taken the Priest’s advice and started painting, although he refused to follow his instruction to concentrate on kittens with big eyes, dogs playing poker, or Marilyn, James Dean, and Humphrey Bogart sitting at a diner where Elvis is working the soda fountain.
Later that evening the Priest explained he intended to become a Matador and everybody laughed, which made him angry. A few days later I took him in a borrowed car to Seville where Ordóñez was fighting. The bulls were terrified of the Priest, and the old men spat and made the sign of the cross. When the Priest realized the Banderillero was to put the banderilla in the bull, and not in what the Priest called as “the dubious fellows in man-lace on horses” he grew enraged, and left in a stolen aeroplane. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald told us the Priest had said something about Argentina and founding a Province called “the Southern Cone” which would oversee churches in Pitsburgh, Western Illinois and Texas. Ezra Pound thought the whole idea surreal, and said you might as well expect Kenya or Nigeria to be calling the shots in New York or Virginia, but a young artist we called Dali thought it made as much sense as a floppy clock and created a whole new way of painting that would become almost as popular as the pictures the Priest had spoken of, although Dali never moved from canvas to black velvet and flock.
With my last 50 peseta I purchased a flask of true and honest sangria and drew deeply from the bottle. It was still the first week of summer and in the evening warmth we remembered how the ancient women in the marketplace had screamed whenever the Priest came near, and how they made the sign of the evil eye before crossing themselves, and how he’d kept telling everyone that he was Father Christian and he taught the Bible.
at 11:28 AM