El primero de junio
By Parson Thru
First of June and the streets have come to life.
Something is different.
The bulls have been running a fortnight, but tonight feels like a fiesta.
Footpaths teem with friends, families, workers hurrying home, shoppers with bags – bread protruding.
Bars are bustling, terraces full, waiters working the tables, expertly cutting through crowds.
Sparrows fight for crumbs and squabble deep in chestnut and allergy-wreaking plane trees; reckless scooters, swallows and taxis swerve and swoop to squeals, horns and loud exhausts, filling the air with the din of life.
Crossing the road, I catch someone’s eye, or they mine – sure that I know her. Everyone has a double, they say. I trace her to an office in Bristol. I wonder where she saw me.
Below the balcony, buses roar, old Madrileños growl – those still able.
Just after nine – the bullfight is ending. No rain. Madre mia!
I pour a glass of Reserva.
Can summer really be here?