The air was thick as cheese, and he wanted to slice into it and release even more of the pungent aroma of the downtown Barcelona evening. It didn’t stink there, it was just humid, and noisy – with Spanish ‘motos’ whizzing by, leaving trails of exhaust only the Italians in the crowd didn’t seem to mind. The scent of a row of tapas bars that extended as far as the eye could see was at once intoxicating and slightly sickening. It was a never-ending story of tapas bars on Las Ramblas, here at the center of it all.
Rain arrived this morning on the red-eye from London, but he was no Englishman; he was a working-class American kid, just 20. One day about a week ago, a guy came into the tattoo shop where he worked in Detroit and talked about how traveling was the greatest thing a man could do. This man planted a seed. Rain realized that his tattoo-savings were enough to buy an impulsive one-way ticket to paradise. At home, he googled for about 20 minutes before deciding to move to Barcelona. He sold all his stuff in a matter of days and, his pockets lined with cash, set off to find himself.
He figured he would stay about five years, but he didn’t know if he would bother to learn Spanish. Who needed it? He was an American – everyone wanted to practice their English on him, anyway. This morning when he got here, he found a job in a tattoo shop. He was just walking down the street casually, not talking to anyone in not-Spanish, and he saw a cool-looking shop, so he stuck his head in to see what the guys were like. God knows he wasn’t thinking of getting a job, not that he believed in God.
But that was the way it went. They became fast friends, they joked around, and in a couple of hours, he was employed– in Barcelona. He inhaled: he could say he really lived here. He exhaled: he could stay. In a few short hours, his plan had worked. He saw that he had tended to the seed properly, and now, it would begin to sprout.