Textures #38


bubblegum

it’s the 15th of august 1979 at the local fiestas in the town of Mijas, Spain. the whole town is resplandant in white, which the locals assure you is a yearly tradition of painting all the buildings with whitewash in order to maintain the local breezy microclimate during the scorching summer, yet you have your suspicions that really it is all a show for the tourists who have started to trickle down to the south since 1976. you have the feeling that it’s also the reason the number of ragged famined donkeys lointering about the plaza mayor has more than tripled since the previous summer. you know that northerners cannot cope with the heat of the afternoon and are thus pestered by the locals to give them a tour of the place. you see them smile and take pictures while their hair gets rousled by the salty wind mixed with the scent of wild bushes and donkey shit. the queue for the cotton candy runs all the way behind the marroquinerias so that that stench of newly tanned leather gives way to sweet burnt sugar as those waiting turn the corner where Tomás eagerly tries to convince them to buy a little coin purse (it’s only 100 pesetas, after all). under an orange tree, there’s a little girl dangling and kicking her legs against the concrete planter. the forced lines between her eyes and around the lips make her look older but the two high ponytails on her head betray her age. she has the angry pose of those who have already forgotten why exactly they are angry but they are too proud to not appear angry. another little girl approaches her and the girl crosses her arms and looks down to the ground. the new girl says a few words, rummages in her bright pink handbag and produces two shiny little wrappers. the girl looks at the new girl through her raised eyebrows and finally extends one arm and grabs one of the wrappers. without looking at each other, they unveil the prize and put it in their mouths. by the time the first bubbles begin to burst against the girl’s nose, they are both running around skidding between the bewildered adults and frightened donkeys, trying to avoid stepping on donkey droppings. 

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