Deleted Chapter of UNPACKED
If you've read unpacked: a memoir of checked baggage, you're probably wondering what could have possibly been too steamy, or raunchy, or inappropriate to include in the book. Well, this is it folks! Enjoy.
Cafe con Leche Continued....
A short blonde man stumbles around the corner and falls onto Felix then bursts into wild laughter. He looks me up and down and introduces himself in Spanish as Colin. He lurches over to me for the customary introductory kisses that I am not accustomed to yet. I can smell the stench of booze and cologne and cringe slightly as he lingers on each cheek.
He rolls a smoke and rapidly mumbles something in Spanish that I respond to with a blank look.
“Are you staying at the hostel?” he repeats in an Irish accent.
“No, I work here. You?”
“Ha! No. I don’t work at a hostel. I’m a teacher.” He takes a drag and his eyes linger over my breasts. “Do you speak Spanish?”
“Joder,” he swears with a throaty J. “How the hell did you get a job then? Do you know the job rate here? Thirty percent unemployment. And you come in from The States, and get a job like that.” On the second attempt he snaps his fingers.
“–Canada,” Felix says.
“Oh. Is there a difference? I mean–really?”
“I’m going back inside.” I nod my head at Felix who mouths, ‘Sorry.’ I smile and shrug my shoulders.
Lindsay stands at reception and invites me to go out with the staff after Nico’s shift.
“Your shift ends at one in the morning?” I ask, unsure if I heard correctly.
“I know a couple bars open ’til six de la mañana!” Nico smiles with his eyes shut and head tilted as if I was taking a photo of him.
“I know it’s quite mad, but some bars don’t even open until midnight,” Lindsay says.
“I’m a bit tired,” I say. “But I feel like I should go out and practice my Spanish.”
“I’ll teach you some words. I can start with the embarrassing slangs that you don’t learn in school.” She laughs and takes a sip of beer. “Like I didn’t know milk, ‘leche’, was slang for-” she leans over to me and whispers, “-cum.”
“Oh!” I raise my eyebrows. “I didn’t know that either. But isn’t a latte - café con leche? Coffee with milk?”
“Yes, that’s true. It’s used in certain contexts of course.”
Lindsay, Nico, Colin, Felix, and I walk around the corner from the hostel to Plaza Alfalfa. I had visited Alfalfa earlier that day. It consists of a grocery store, tobacconist, and four cafés that surround a children’s playground. It was during siesta time so everything was shut with metal rollers and padlocks. There were a handful of tourists that sat at a café pink cheeked and exhausted. The playground was empty and the only sound was a church bell in the distance.
Tonight from the alleyway that leads into the plaza I hear a loud hum of laughter, chatter, screams, and cheers. I grab Lindsay’s arm as I take in the hundreds of people in front of me. Large groups shuffle past as if in a conga line. Couples sit at the cafés that surround the square, drink beer, eat tapas and watch their kids in the playground. Dozens of children jump, slide, and swing. I point at them and nudge Lindsay, still at my side.
“I know. The children. It’s too hot for them to play during the day, so they do at night.”
“But it’s so late!”
She shrugs her shoulders. “Bienvenido a Sevilla!”
Our next stop is Plaza Alemeda de Hercules, an oblong strip of cement surrounded by bars and cafes, marked on either end by fifty foot pillars. Felix tells me they represent the door to the Greek Underworld. He leads me by my lower back into a crowded bar that advertises one euro drinks. We take our beers outside, past a group that sit on a picnic bench in the middle of the plaza. I watch a man spit empty sunflower shells on a pile on the ground and take a swig out of a crumpled paper bag. With long black hair, a shaggy beard and eyes so dark it looks like he has eyeliner on, I compare him to the tall, blonde, fair skinned Dutch I had been around for over a year.
In a club called Kafka my flip flops stick to the floor so I just bend my knees up and down on the spot to dance. It’s crowded, hot, and no air circulation but billows of cigarette and weed smoke. Painted cockroaches crawl along the walls and low ceilings. Beads of sweat run down my face and I feel the back of my shirt damp as I sway to the reggae music with the others in a circle. I catch Felix look at me with half shut eyes as he nods his head to the beat. I lay my hand on his shoulder and yell over the music, “Que pasa. You wanna dance or something?”
“No,” he slurs. “But I want to fuck you.”
My heart flips. I laugh, squeeze his shoulder and say, “Oh, I see,” into his ear. “But I thought we were new friends.” My cheeks feel flush, not just from the unbearable heat.
“Friends can do that too.”
For the first week it’s a dry forty degrees every day. By the third week it has lowered to a cool twenty-seven. I can string a few Spanish sentences together such as, ‘I am from Canada,’ ‘Yes, it’s far,’ and, ‘Yes, it’s cold.’ I also have scheduled my errands before siesta time shuts down the city and have managed to befriend the local baker and tobacconist. Felix and I have decided to be rollos which in English translates into ‘roll,’ with various nuances of that word. It has consisted of him feel around suggestively in a packet of tobacco that sat between my legs, me pressing myself up against him as I squeezed past behind the bar, incessant flirting, and constant sexual innuendoes with no real action.
“Who invited the guiri?” Colin says with a rolling ‘r’ and laughs.
“You’re from Ireland,” Felix remarks and adds, “That makes you a guiri foreigner too.”
“But at least I speak Spanish. And I’ve been here for five years.” He turns to me, eyes my chest and says, “I’m just kidding.”
I smirk and look away. Colin’s roommates, Lindsay, Nico, and a few guests drink and chat for a few hours on the roof of Colin’s house. I hesitated at Felix’s invitation to Colin’s housewarming party, but wanted to go along with the group and spend some time with Felix outside of our intimate cigarette breaks. I walk down the stairs to refresh my drink and Felix pulls me into a room. There’s a blow up mattress on the floor next to a desk and boxes piled against the wall.
“I’m not letting you go,” he says and pulls me close to him. I feel him hard through his jeans and he kisses my neck. I wrap my arms around him and lead my lips to his. He runs his hands up and down my back, presses against the bottom of my spine and sucks on my earlobe. I push him down onto the semi deflated mattress. We laugh and wobble on all fours to the head of the bed, and pause to listen for a hiss sound. Satisfied when we don’t hear one, we embrace again. He takes off his shirt and reveals a chest full of dark, curly hair.
“Say something in Spanish in my ear,” I say, while he grinds against me.
“Okay.” He pauses. “Boccadillo, tortilla, cervasita.”
I laugh and straddle him. He runs both hands around to my backside.
“Do you have a preserve… fuck, what is it in English?”
“No, I don’t.”
“It’s okay,” I say, roll him over and go down on him. For such a petite man he’s quite well endowed I think as I take him in my mouth. Slowly at first, then rapidly, stroking along with both hands. I hear him groan and convulse and I taste pungent, salty gel in my mouth. I reach for a ceramic mug that rests on the desk beside the bed and spit into it.
“I’ve never been able to swallow,” I say and wipe my mouth.
In the morning I get dressed with a fuzzy head. I make sure to dump the mug in the bathroom sink but wait to wash it out with dish soap. I bring it down to the kitchen where Colin perculates coffee on the stovetop.
“You stayed here last night?” He asks and reaches for milk in the fridge.
“Oh, just passed out on the couch.”
I put the mug down beside the sink and hear my phone ring in my purse by the door. I miss it, and come back into the kitchen in time to see Colin pour milk into the ceramic mug. I gasp and my hand shoots out in front of me but I remain silent and instead hold a clenched fist in front of my mouth. Colin places the mug into the microwave and heads into the living room. I quickly scan the kitchen for another mug I can replace it with and my mind flashes through excuses I could say but he pops back in before I can find either.
“I like to heat the milk for my coffee,” he says when he catches me stare at it with dread.
On the roof top patio Felix gives a sideways look at the mug Colin sips from. He smacks his lips and sighs with satisfaction. I catch Felix’s eye and shake my head about to explode with laughter.
“Colin, you like your café con leche?” Felix asks with a grin.