It is 1155am on a warm autumn morning and I have just enough time to deliver my package to Eduardo in the city before the long siesta begins at 1 o’clock. Tomorrow I will be travelling and will not have enough time to meet with up with him.
Starting out on my short journey to Figueres I am immediately faced with a problem, a problem in the shape of my neighbour. Though I have tried to befriend him he seems to have taken an exception to me, and worse still he has even tried to stake a claim to my land.
Our paths cross on an increasingly regular basis and on each of those occasions he stands his ground, forcing me to change direction should I dare to pass him in the calle. Today is no exception, and once again the diminutive one eyed Mexican has fixed me in his gaze. He is the new guy in town; he is determined to make his mark and is certain that he will not allow me to get in his way. The higher ground he occupies gives him another advantage, too far along the camino, I can not go round him I can only face him or retreat.
The Mexican’s smaller stature only serves to emphasise his muscular frame. Even the lameness on his left side does not detract from his confident posture.
I need to pass him for there is no other way out of the pueblo. For what seems like an eternity we are locked in what is rather appropriately known as a Mexican stand-off. I check my watch, it is nearing High Noon.
Only when Margarita calls him away does the unrelenting gaze of his one good eye shift momentarily from me. That moment is enough! And I seize the opportunity, moving towards him purposefully. Margarita calls out to him once more. His one good eye focussed on me as he begrudgingly moved out of my path leaving only just enough room for me to pass.
When I look back I can see that he is heading for my land, maybe he is going to stake a claim!