Island Ramble

It´s midday Saturday after siesta time, sun expires light, the blue is solid. I get the twenty-one bus. It rattles yellow through cobblestones and swerves in front of Atlántida café. I step down where an assortment of builders chew cigars and fume onto the street. They wrap around a radio, listening to afternoon football. Embedded in steam I stroll around Santa Catalina Park. Here plenty of bars and shops lean on the open esplanade. It´s a park with just a few palm trees, the rest is covered with benches, cafes and some homeless. Shoe shiners are spitting into their brushes heralding passers-by. The lottery man chants numbers whilst his dog inserts a chorus between. I take the direct route to Canteras beach. A queue outside a bakery are chinking extra change whilst others are carrying back the whiff of evening baguettes. The carnivals are on, I bump into Charlie Chaplin, men dressed as nuns and Luke skywalker. By the beach a promenade unfolds. Everyone hides in dark glasses. A tour guide snakes through with a spotted umbrella hold high. The group, like school children, follow in ankle socks and red faces. They take selfies with a colonial hotel as backdrop. A multilingual loudspeaker announces the temperature, the wind, the sun. A Police helicopter spies bikinis and shorts. Joggers slide between hobbling pensioners. The cyclothymic Atlantic is furious today. Surfers become alive as they take a ride to the top. Children shriek as salt gets tangled with their sandy tongues. Two seagulls squabble by me, the winner escapes with my shoe lace. A white kite scribbles free hugs above.

María Castro Domínguez