22
BARCELONA

The capelin season of 1983 had ended and I flew to
Amsterdam.
Perhaps since I was strange because of the marijuana I
had smoked all the time, I thought like this: going south was
good to have fun compared to the north. The north was cold.
People were honest, hard working and boring. Drugs were
few and prohibited. It was because in cold countries, if you
were stuck on drugs, you had to die easily. In contrast to the
north, the more south you went, the more the people would
become open and bright. You didn't have to work so hard to
earn a living because natural resources were plentiful. Drugs
must have been popular.
At the Amsterdam Airport counter, a flight to Barcelona
was available, so I left most of my luggage at a deposit counter
and got on the flight.
The Iberia Airline's flight flew at a low altitude by the
seaside when it came close to Barcelona. I could see colourful
sights of a very popular resort of the Mediterranean Sea from
the window.
I got in a taxi at the airport of Barcelona. The taxi drove
by the strange building of Gaudi and got into the city part of
Barcelona.
English wasn't spoken so much. I asked the driver by
moving my body to take me to a hotel: not too expensive, not
too cheap. He took me to Gaudi Hotel in the middle of the
town.
The doorman and front staff of the hotel were young men
too friendly for the senses of a Japanese.
Evening came and I went out to town. There was a fish
market in the middle of the town. They were selling fresh
fish, shrimp, octopus and Atlantic squid that I had seen before
in Japan.
I walked to the bay, and the Santa Maria that had taken
Columbus to America was anchored there. People were
sightseeing, eating food and being together with their families.
Night came and I ate a hot dog alone. I also drank a cheap
wine which made me feel a bit good, and I stood on the corner
of the town. An old prostitute came and talked to me in English.
I don't remember exactly, but she said something like,
"You wanna fuck me?"
I answered, "No thanks."
The prostitute didn't waste her time and turned around.
But I thought twice and stopped her.
"Can you take me somewhere for a couple of drinks?" I
asked her. "Well, yes," she said.
We fooled around town for quite a while. We walked
narrow brick roads where the same red coloured tall buildings
hid the skies above. Here and there in the alleys children were
still playing, handicapped people staying together in a bunch
and old people playing cards outside.
The prostitute and I got really drunk after checking several
bars, and the wine and beer they had.
I thought that I've had enough, so I tried to pay money to
the prostitute. In the middle of the crowded town, the prostitute
suddenly kissed me on the cheek and started crying. She was
absolutely drunk. She fell down in a load of garbage. The
garbage was all packed in black polythene bags, the same as
in Japan.
Somebody whistled at me. I picked the prostitute up. I
believe she was about the same age as my mother. I cleaned
her face, which was covered with pieces of garbage, with my
hand.
"Muchos, I leave," said her and stood on her feet by herself.
I searched for an appropriate word to say.
"Well, it surely was fun tonight," said I.
The next day was a Sunday and there was a marathon race
in town. I waited until night came again and I searched for the
"hottest" playing spots in town. There, I asked all the Negros
I saw if I could get marijuana. The black men took me around
the streets. They whistled many times, continuously for a
reason I didn't know. Maybe, they were messages.
In a long, narrow and lonely alley, there was no one in
sight, and I was passed a small piece of hashish. The price the
Negro offered me was unreasonably expensive.
I bought the hashish.
I got tired and went to a square in town to rest for a while.
Another Negro came. He asked me to buy what he had in his
hands. I looked at it and it was a polythene bag with some
marijuana leaves in it. It seemed to contain lots of stems and
didn't look good. It was cheap, though. The Negro looked up
at me and I decided to buy it.
I went back to my hotel room.
l decided to keep the expensive hashish to take back to
Japan, and I rolled and lit up the cheap marijuana.
It was the beginning of the "bad trip."
Maybe it was a so-called "flash back" since I hadn't done
marijuana for quite a while, or maybe it was because of the
something like "speed" mixed in it. It was hard to explain,
but first, I became super sensitive to the sounds in the hotel. I
heard the breathing of people staying in other rooms, footsteps
in the hallway. It was so clear that I knew, it couldn't have
been real. What followed the sounds were attacks of unreason-
able fear. This seemed to never end but grew stronger and
stronger.
It must have been only my imagination but, the fear was
like going insane; heart beat stopping without cause; desire of
suicide without any reason. Those things appeared one after
another and I broke into a cold sweat trying to bear and fight
those feelings. I was frozen on the bed and I screamed
unconsciously.
I didn't know how long it had lasted. It might have been
5 minutes or 3 hours. I guess now that it was about 30 minutes.
When the fear eased a little, I got out of bed in a hurry to my
weary feet. I picked up the bag of marijuana and the piece of
hashish from the side table and went out of the room. I ran
down the stairs to the front where two young clerks were
reading the same newspaper together.
Without any remarks, I shouted,
"Get rid of this stuff, will you!? Please! I almost killed
myself!"
I didn't wait for the two clerks to react and put the marijuana
and hashish on the counter. The two clerks were surprised at
having this excited Japanese appear so suddenly, shouting
about drugs. The two clerks looked at each other and then
looked at what I had put on the counter just in front of them.
They seemed to have understood roughly what kind of thing
had happened, and before I could say another word, quickly
put away the items off the counter.
"Okay, no problem, okay," said one of the clerks shuffling
his hands left from right.
There were no other people in the lobby. I finally seemed
to have dissolved my fear.
The next day, the two clerks were smiling.
"Oh ye-eees. What you did was all right, sir. You get
killed by Cosa Nortra. Si, si."
But I didn't like the words the clerk added.
"That hashish was goo-oood, sir. Hah-ha."
I felt like I had missed something really good.
Anyway, I decided to quit marijuana. It was because the
fear I had met. It took a little more time to forget the stuff
even mentally.
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