SACROMONTE 16X20 1999

A tale of wine, woe, paella, and redemption. First I have to talk about the painting. Sacromonte is where the Gypsies literally dug homes into the mountain after being evicted by the Christians in 1492. Like Toledo, this was another beautiful place of ghosts, and cousins. My Romanian roots give license. This is not a view of, but a view from this sacred mountain. The hike and view were breathtaking with the Alhambra dominating the scene. I am focused on the horizon when a handsome Spaniard, Enricki,startles me from behind. He admires my painting so I unroll the other eight I had done so far. When he discovers I have never had tapas, nor have I been to the Alhambra, he begins to make plans for me. We meet up on Sunday, where he guides me to several bars serving complimentary tapas and paella. You pay for your beverage. I rarely drink and when I do, only a small amount gets me loaded. We go to three bars in the Albasin, which is a labyrinth. I am drunk when Enricki and I make plans to meet the next day to see the Alhambra and spend two days hiking to towns in Andalusia. I am halfway to my pension when I realize I have left my roll of paintings on a hook, in a stuff sack, under a bar. All the paintings you have seen, gone! I am drunk, alone, and have no idea which bar is which. All I can remember is what the paella looked like in the last bar. I run from place to place until, at last I see the paella. I ask for my canvas. They tell me no. In shock with my trip ruined, tears begin to well up in my eyes. They bring my stuff sack with nine canvases from the kitchen. I leave a big tip. I step outside and throw up. Back in my room, I sew my stuff sack to my backpack.