Academic journal article TriQuarterly

El Camino

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

El Camino

Article excerpt

for Bibi and Ulrich

The walk down from the Taller Electrico sign is somewhat more steep now that they have paved the first hundred meters of the initial incline - we say this as if we've been in Mojacar long enough to see significant change - missing the dust, the flattened goat droppings, and even the boulders that used to frame our feet - now Ulrich says the new pavement absorbs the heat and melts the soles of his shoes - progress is simply terrible!

Bibi has written a storybook for their grandchildren of that little-known dirt road - two choices from the bottom of the first incline: to the left - a grove of lemon trees, the sound of water rushing by in irrigation canals, the basement window where suddenly a pig-dog or a white dog with a pink snout will leap up and bark the breath out of your stride - to the right - some white plaster houses and a pack of dogs barking at you from above - they smell the scent of children who've been bad.

After the Odyssean trials with the pig dog, the dog-with-four-nostrils, the dogs whose growls come from the sky, is another bend with a cactus patch as big as a bus where you can stand for one duro under its air-conditioned shade - then another steep incline past two brick-stone-plaster-wood houses across from each other where a family of goats baa from behind closed doors, and where a family of pigs oink out their smelly town gossip - a large happy palm tree with smiling leaves greets you at the bottom of the hill - turn

left along a tall stone wall where the Moors fought off the Barbary Pirates - more trees with lemons dreaming their yellow dreams on their green branches - further along is a pomegranate tree with flowers dancing flamencos in red dresses - again, the sound of water running to the terraced fields of fig trees further below - lost sounds of Moorish children playing hide-and-seek. …

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