Someday, I’ll find Carmen Aragon again. I feel it.
First, I’ll have to rid myself of Ruth. And Carmen must lose David … or Da-Veed, as she’d pronounced it. Soft. All shy, in fact.
I will marry Carmen Aragon! Her father, mother, David (or Da-Veed), all standing stunned, around (abandoned) …
We roll through Catalunya. “I am from New York,” I state. This interests her. We crystallize … New topics seem to fall, at her behest, like chestnuts into play. She’s laughing soon, and soon, we’re sharing secrets like an enemy.
A gypsy with accoutrements gets on the train and starts to sing. He’s drunk and spitting, pounding his guitar and shouting Catalan. A blonde, sun-ripe Australian type starts laughing, bonding handsomely … Pulls out his own guitar and joins the gypsy in a jam.
The two are smoking, swilling beer, and the Australian tries to understand the jokes the gypsy thinks he’s spilling: smiling inappropriately, blonde head laughing, Ha ha ha …
The gypsy lights a joint up, the Australian nods and takes a pull.
A hundred teenage backpackers laugh, each having their Experience.
"You’re dangerous!" she tells me, as I ply her with suggestiveness. She falls asleep, head on my shoulder.
Carmen Aragon is mine.
Too soon, we’ll be in her Girona: husband waving dumbly from the platform, imbecilic children …
"I travel alone," she’d told me. Laughed, embarrassed …
“Où est DuDu!??" a French girl shrieks.
She finds her doll, and leaves the train with dog and mom and baby brother.
“Por favor!” Australian pleads. The gypsy’s taken his guitar, and spits and sings and pounds on it. “Morena!” He wakes up my dream wife …
“Chica! Please, one cigarette!”
“No fumo, hombre!”
They smile, sharing centuries.
She’s gotten off the train now. Taken soft my wanting cheek and kissed it sweetly ‘til our freckles bled; our eyes danced, and our bodies wisted tenderly …
"You don’t forget me?"
"Never! I’ll come back and save you!"
"Bye," she winced, and grinned, and tried to tell me she’d been glad we met.
Husbands all wave dumbly from bland stations. Love steams in and out.
Kids twist the scene, and scream, and make us long for infancy ourselves … We go on waving dumbly.
Years, like chestnuts, crash and shrivel pointlessly into the earth. We join them finally, most of us, with never having tasted Carmen Aragon.
I’ll find her …