Sally's birthday evening began at about 6:00
in a bar redolent of Don Quixote
Dark wood and obscure tapestries,
Cured hams hanging from the ceiling,
Red peppers roasting
In a raised brick oven.
The smell filled the room
And oozed from the dark wood.

Sally was a vegetarian, and loved the peppers. I tried the thin, transparent slices of uncooked, cured ham. We drank, tinto, tinto, tinto until, Vamos, Vamanos, it was time for the group to hit two or three more bars.

At about 10:00 we sat down to dinner. After eating we presented Sally with gifts. Most of the gifts were thoughtful, grown up trifles. I bought Sally a Kermit the frog puppet. Everyone looked a little shocked. But when they saw that Sally loved it, they laughed. Those wacky, English girls.

After dinner, the EVENING was over. So it was time to go out for the NIGHT, to our dear familar Rebecca, drinking cubalibres de ron negrita and leaning in the little, brick booths and going out to stomp our feet on the dance floor and the hours slipped past, until 4:00 when the nightclubs closed.

All the others went home, but tall Ricardo, short Paco, Sally and I were still celebrating. They took us to the only place they knew- a rinconcito they said - that might possibily be open. Out of town, half way round the bay into the docks area to a place for sailors and laborers and whores - a place like a film set in an Elvis style war musical.

At first the whores were very suspicious of me and Sally. They called me over and asked me questions- a woman with straight dark hair in a short bob, accompanied on each side by two other women, all in skimpy dresses. And I was drunker than Bacchus, and more full of love and understanding for everyone on earth than God. And although I could not follow their words, somehow they understand my love, because was I not one of the cutest Dogs you ever saw, and clever too?

And the bar moved from threatening to welcoming and Sally got out her muppet. And the woman with the bob grabbed that muppet, its face agape and smiling. She took it and she ran it around the bar, whooping and laughing and showing her bad teeth and - oh shining moment - she swooped that green muppet mouth down towards the genitals of the boys and snapped it at their penises and balls and made the boys dodge and squeal.

Other memories jogged by this photo. Further memories. More memories. This Photo. All the Photos

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