whiff-of-wonder-curly-lobo If you meet Ricard, then you’re probably on one of your troglodyte romps in the cave of post-adulthood adolescence. Yes, there are bills to pay and personal projects to take care of, but the evening has swept you into a purgatory of no yesterdays and no tomorrows so you might as well search for your relative alleluia. Ricard opens an unmarked door in el Gòtic with an expression that resembles an energetically optimistic grandmother; his homespun countenance sharply contrasts with his pink Mohawk, various piercings, skinny tight jeans, string of bullets around his waist, and reptilian tattoos. What kind of a doorman do you expect at an after? Of course, he tells you that you have to pay if testicles hang between your legs. Your lady friends smirk in a failed attempt to hide their relief, but they don’t look so smug when one of them has to fork over a tenner because you ain’t got so much as a cèntim to piss on. But Ricard somehow tranquilizes any ire that might surface with a strange aura of childish know-how that blocks out the slime of manias infesting this place. As gatekeeper for one of Barcelona’s more seedy afters, he’s accustomed to providing some civilized hospitality in the center of a whirling cyclone of cocaine, sadomasochist fetish displays, drug-addicted bartenders converted into sex toys, strung out clients, and meows of the post-03:30 Saturday night. Amazingly, he doesn’t have one scratch.

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[/s2If][s2If is_user_logged_in()] [quote align=”center”] A complete stranger is making such a promise at such a ridiculous hour and within such a sordid scene full of thieves and junkies. [/quote] He’s as calm as a Hindu cow. So when you hand him your Basque friend’s tenner and he tells you that he doesn’t have any change at the moment, but that he’ll go below in a little while when he has it, you don’t doubt him. He says that he’s working until 08:30, so some change is bound to show up. It’s only 04:00 after all. His face makes that expectant gaze someone has when they offer you freshly baked cookies. But what really twangs your inner banjo is the idea that a complete stranger is making such a promise at such a ridiculous hour and within such a sordid scene full of thieves and junkies. No, you’re not hallucinating or so inebriated that smurfs are popping out of the rafters; you’re connecting with another human being who’s saying, “yeah, there’s still some warmth to chew on.”

So about an hour later, when you’ve already forgotten about Ricard, he suddenly appears with a charming smile and drops three coins into your sweaty palm. Where are the smurfs now, you fucknut? Later on, when you throw yourself into the blurry dawn, your Basque lady friend tells you that he sings in a punk rock band and participates in S&M performances as slave – this means cigarette burns to testicles and the like. But this doesn’t surprise you. It makes perfect sense. Some of the most polite and affectionate people are the ones who have taken all the blows that our comfy reality has to offer and converted them into howls. Then, when they come before us, they’re as docile as a happy herbivore grazing in the sunshine.