a rainy day in Spain
i am sitting in my favorite bar
the fair haired stranger sitting nearby
starts small talk
where are you from?
how did you learn Spanish so well?
he buys a round
he is from Germany
traveling Europe seeing the sights
he takes a small camera from his leather coat
what am i doing here in Spain?
been here long?
he drains his glass
another? he asks
no, thanks. i have to get back to work
you must work on those submarines
fascinating, he says
my father was on the U-Boats during the war
must have been tough, i say
yah, he did not return
i excuse myself
he orders another round
in the back i find the muchacho
and speak with him quietly then hand him a hundred peseta note
he quickly disappears
i return to my place at the bar
my new friend talks more about the boats
what is it that i do there?
it must be highly technical and a bit secret, no?
a short man in a hat and raincoat enters the bar
followed by two Guardia Civil
automatic weapons slung over their shoulders
raindrops slide down their funny patent leather hats
no one is smiling
the two Guardia flank the man in the leather coat
the short man in the raincoat speaks softly
and my curious friend gets up
and they all leave
the bartender and i look at each other
he takes the stranger’s untasted bottle
and pours it into a glass then drinks it half down
i finish my glass and shrug into my coat
i step out into the rain
the raincoat man stands across the street
we wait until my taxi comes
raincoat man smiles as we drive away