Donny picked me up on the hill and we went through the gorge. He was spending Sunday in his car with The Clash. He went dff-doosh along with the drums in Police and Thieves, explained that he was a physio in Amelie and it was boring, he was doing it to get the money to go off and do Chinese medicine, and the difference between Joe Strummer's voice and Junior Murvin's, in the original, produces a delicious contrast in his mind, when he thinks about it. Dff-doosh. I said it's good. I had the window open, I could've leaned out and licked the rockface. Donny chuckled and spoke in English:
- Fuck your mother!
I laughed. He laughed.
- Aha! I don't speak it very well but I am remembering now certain things.
The sun was behind a mountain. He dropped me off opposite the cascades and turned around and waved goodbye.
Then market day, in Ceret, rhymes with beret. We were up before the sun with a van full of bread and jam. A half-hour drive down the gorge passing hunters on their way up.
The market is through the streets and under the trees. Grey trees, taller than the houses. Most people are selling by eight thirty. Cheeses From Another Time, mushrooms, tablecloths and tapes. For your cassette deck, you withering relic. This was an excitement because there's a tape player in my caravan/space pod. And it wants feeding. But all they had was Elton John, The Police, Jean Michelle Jarre. That kind of thing. The Eagles. I gave up.
Picasso was there. For a while, a while ago, while he was alive. There's an A4 sign about it. And a street with his name. Nothing tacky. They've gone all out on gutters, a foot wide and shin-deep and possibly polished.
By five past two everyone's packed up and gone into the unstoppable lunch. I had a drink in a café. The waiter opened the bottle one-handed over his shoulder, I pretended I'd seen it before.
A dizzy squealing sound came up the road slowly. Six men in white cheesecloth shirts, wielding diddle-doo tubes and goblin pipes and one had a sort of canvas-stomached wooden goose he was squeezing and blowing into, I couldn't tell which part of the noise was his. It was an Animation Musicale, re-enacting and advertising a sequence of events from back when that kind of noise was the golden bomb. Fliers were handed out. The men were on a one-day tour of the region, to be finished with a spectacle. It began to rain. No one felt like applauding. I said woo but they couldn't hear.