A Theory of the Absurd

A Theory of the Absurd

I wonder what I’m doing here, so far from home, sitting
at the bar, with my beer before me, my face distorted
in half a dozen fairground mirrors, surrounded by
people half my age, or less, all smoking, cursing, using
foreign forms of meta-language, gestures I no longer recall:
the single finger on the nose, two fingers on the forehead,
the back of the hand rammed against the chin with a sort
of snort of disapproval. It’s way beyond my bedtime, yet
I am held here, captured, body and soul, by foreign rhythms,
unreal expectations of a daily ritual that runs on unbroken
cycles of time: morning brandy, pre-lunch wine and tapas,
home for the mid-day meal, a brief siesta, back to the café
for a post-prandial raising of spirits, more blanco, then back
to work at four and struggle on until seven or eight when
the bar routine begins again with pre-supper tapas and tinto.
Who am I? What am I? Where am I going? I wander, restless,
 streets and squares, enter other bars and restaurants, consume
verdejo, manzanilla, tinto de verano, the original and many
 falsifications, in corner bars, on patios, sampling liqueurs,
cognacs and coñac, Fundador, Carlos Quinto, Torres Diez,
sol y sombra, Cuarenta y Tres, pasteles con café quemado.
Time, comprehended in this new life-cycle, lacks meaning.
Time, in a cycle I have long abandoned, is meaningless too.

5 thoughts on “A Theory of the Absurd

    • Interesting comment. I posted it a much shorter version a few years back, possibly under another title. I decided to revise it by adding some more details and expanding the middle section. So glad you like it. It describes a day in Avila, Spain, when I was teaching there, back in 2007, just before my retirement.


  1. The black cat reaching for the teddy, is it a metaphor? What a fabulous misspent youth. If one is going to wander while questioning one’s existence it is best done with the blood of the Chilean grape and distilled white wine aged in French oak barrels.

    Liked by 1 person

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