Eventually, I settled in the south of Spain where I spent the best part of twenty-five years. By this time I had been married and divorced twice over. After the second divorce, I made the decision to just live the rest of my life out alone.
I had all the female company and intellectual stimulus I needed with a few close neighbours, Tree, Agnes, Britni, Geetika, who all kinda looked out for me. A bit further down the street lived the Doc as we used to call him. We all looked up to the Doc as he knew stuff us mere mortals could only dream of. Across the other side of town, there was Earnie.
Earnie is one of those good ole boys who paints pictures and writes the stories of his salad days back in the East. I like Earnie, keeps himself to himself, I call that being smart. The less you tell folks the less ammunition you have given them to hurt you later on when they turn. But you can tell Earnie anything you like and not a word of it will slip past his lips. But even Earnie doesn’t know my real age.
However, I did once let slip a little to Earnie about the story of the rock. He looked at me in silence and sagely nodded once or twice as I gave an abridged version of the events. In the end, he simply said ” Is that it? You finished with that amazing tale?”
“I guess so,” I said softly.
“Ok, soooo maybe one day you’ll write that up into a story huh. In the meantime, I gotta feed my cats, if it’s all the same to you. Go on, scat, get out of here and live your best life.” And that was the end of that conversation.
One morning sometime after this, I went over to the local bar where I religiously had my breakfast. This day I was busy enjoying my Safelite and toasted millet with pata Negra Jamon and virgin olive oil when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Maribell asking me in Spanish if I could help her out with a customer who didn’t speak any Spanish. “Sure Maribell,” I said as I turned to look down the bar. Therewith the most beautiful smile I had ever seen in my life was the prettiest Japanese girl you could ever set eyes upon. From that moment on I was well and truly hooked.
After two years of dating, Kyoko and I got married. And at this point, I feel like I ought to say “And we lived happily ever after.” Which in all honesty we are doing. However, there is an added dimension to this story.