Monday, July 4, 2011

Sleepwalking Lovers

A man says I can have a 25 per cent discount on a bag I wish to buy.
I am to have a euro off the real price of four euro because I am wearing the badge of a participant in the 20th storytelling marathon in Guadalajara, Spain.
I have the badge pinned to my shirt with pride for I told a story of my own at 2.30am that morning in the Palace of the Infantry in Guadalajara.
It seemed appropriate to tell the true story of the sleepwalking lovers to the hundreds and hundreds of faces that saw the cool Spanish night through as storytellers from all over Spain and the rest of Europe rose up to tell their stories in ten minute narrations.
In Guadalajara, they make a fuss of you when you come off the stage. And they pin a badge on your clothing to induct you into the storytelling community of the city.
I have travelled here with a coachful of other tellers from a storytelling conference in Toledo.
The organizers think it a good idea to schedule us to tell, one after another, from 1am until 6am, or so.
We all wait, when we have told our story, some wrapped in supplied blankets to stay warm in the chill of early morn, until the last teller of our group ends, at dawn, and we disperse to our beds throughout the city.
So many stories, so many styles, so many languages, so many mad tellers mixed in with the sane sounding voices.
Even the few sane ones sound insane to the ear, for want of sleep.
I walk through the lightening streets to the hotel wondering why I booked a bed at all.
I could have hired a taxi to drive me around the city while I slept in the back for a few hours.
Awake and moving again, I buy a lottery ticket from the bag seller with the euro I saved on my purchase of the bag.
The lottery is in aid of the first anniversary of the founding of a local youth-led environmental group, I am told with pride.
I stay because the draw is in five minutes, I discover the first prize is to be soap and the second prize is to be vinegar.
I win neither; but have had a discount on my new linen bag wherein I now carry my books to sell at storytelling events.
And I have my badge.
All is well.

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