Saturday, 3 November 2007

the man at midnight

Nightime in a square in Barcelona. The beautiful nightlife covered me like thick perfume. People walking, talking everywhere, in every direction, boys playing football in the centre, bouncing the ball off the big block of scuplture. Tramps sat around the skirts of the crowds, drinking the sweet cider with a sour taste that only hits you when you swallow - that's when you remember it's 8%. A tree in the corner slowly shed its yellow blossom, it only had a short time to cover the ground before the 2am street washers came round. A filled pitta bread was served to me on a red plastic tray.

My gaze moved left and I realised there was a man at the next table over to me. He was obviously one of the many street performers that line Las Ramblas during the day - each perfect mime enticing you to mimic their stillness by watching them for minutes on end. He was wearing a shabby black suit, had a strong Spanish tache and was smoking, slowly and elegantly.

How could I tell he was a street performer? Every part of skin that I could see was covered in silver bodypaint, it sank into his every wrinkle. The moonlight highlighted the plume of cigarette smoke rising above his head and made his silver skin glow.

A silver man in a square in Barcelona at midnight, smoking a cigarette in an oasis of silence.

No comments: