I met David the night prior at a bar just off La Rambla. We had a table close to the stage and were at the loaded stage of sending drinks to other people as seemingly rowdy as our group, ordering shots for the waitresses and standing to dance whenever a new hand was extended in our direction.
He was a one man band, percussive by beating on the wooden frame of his guitar, strumming with a Spanish style that was visually incomprehensible and entirely foreign to my feign American eyes, and singing with such perfect English accenture that I was fooled when he professed to an inquiring audience that he was born and raised right here, in Barcelona – “it’s pronounced Dah-veed.”
He had light hair, light eyes, light skin, and a light heartedness that had me laughing at his quick whips to no one in particular. He passed notes on napkins back and forth with our table, scribbled between songs with a permanent marker he kept on the window ledge, and only ordered water to the bartender from the microphone, so we sent him a drink.
We made plans to meet the following afternoon outside of La Sagrada Familia, in his neighborhood, where he was sure he knew of places I would enjoy.
He majored in English at a University in France and taught to professionals in private lessons, taking delight in learning expressions like “don’t make me open a can of whoops ass,” and anything related to color – “I’m seeing red,” “I’m feeling blue,” or “the grass is always greener…” He lived in Atlanta, GA for a year as an au pair for a 7 and 10 year old, traveling up and down the east coast, collecting stories and sounds. We walked through courtyards surrounded inside by murals of forests, snuck into the hospital he was born in, designed by Gaudi, and strolled down food markets with scents so strong I reveled in their authenticity.
Walking back towards the gothic church for my departure, we ambled along the crosswalk and I stared up to marvel at the structure, commenting on my awe. Amidst troughs of tourists he stopped and hugged me close enough to whisper in my ear “stay with me in Barcelona.”
The next day I boarded a train for France. It was the last time I ever saw David.