“You can’t sit here!” I heard a voice say.
I looked up and it was a patrolman.
I was seated at the edge of a floral bed
on a cafe-lined street in Corrientes
and apparently it was illegal to
potentially molest the flowers.
I arose and apologized. I had my walkman on and
therefore didn’t see the sign that read:
“DO NOT SIT HERE!”
in large black square letters.
The cop was neutral even courteous:
“There are two ladies over at a table that would
like for you to sit with them.”
He even led me over at which point
I started to think that it was a ruse
and that maybe he wasn’t a cop after all.
I looked so much like a tourist that
I might as well have worn a Hawaiian shirt of the
dark-blue polyester variety complete with
blazing yellow palm trees
violently plastered everywhere
like a walking insult to humanity
on artificial fire.
Yeah, you know the one.
So maybe now I would end up with something
into my wine glass and would
wake up hours later
duct-taped to a wooden chair
in a room filled with portraits of Hitler
and Pennywise The Clown
as some old German prince pranced around me
wearing a full gimp suit and
softly whispering to a filleting knife.
Hey, it could happen
I’ve seen it
in the movies.
Anyhow, I digress.
The two ladies were seated at a
circular glass table
large sunglasses broad hats
skirts and blouses
they looked cultured in ways that I would never be
beautiful and well-groomed
just like in the movies.
My day had suddenly changed
for the better
the sun seemed brighter
the flowers more luxurious of scent
even the children begging
from table to table had beaming
When I sat down the ladies both started
talking at once so rapidly that I had no
idea what they were saying as
my Spanish wasn’t very good
and Spanish women spoke extremely fast
like the chattering of a relentless machine gun.
– I’ve been hit!
I smiled and nodded,
lit one’s cigarette.
“Fuck no. Canadian.”
My cousin had arrived to look for me.
I forgot that I was supposed to meet him
and that I would be entirely lost without him
as I had no idea where I was or
where I was staying.
I waved him over and I still remember well
the delightfully surprised look on his face
when he saw me brushing shoulders with
those two flowers.
He sat down and the machine guns started up again,
As I stared at the women’s tongues
vivaciously whipping back and forth
across their mouths
I wondered what it would be like to
make out with one or both of them
and whether their tongues would
viciously attack mine
once we locked lips
stabbing at it until it was dead
with their sharp tongue tips
so callous from a life-time
of jabbing words out by the millisecond
into outer space.
As it turns out
I never found out.