The Butterfly has Flown the Coop

Posted: July 21, 2009 in Food, Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel

Okay, before anyone points it out, I realise that’s a mixed metaphor but it fits. Alexander Supertramp (AKA Jesús the neighbour) has left the building.

He turned up on the doorstep the other Saturday afternoon with a ‘hey, I thought you’d be having a siesta’ when he saw Andy working at her computer.

“Why did you come up now then?” Andy asked.

“Maybe I wanted to snuggle,”
he teased back.

This is Jesús’ idiosyncratic way. As it turned out he’d come up to tell us he was leaving. He’d applied for a job as a masseuse in Oregon and had been successful. He planned to leave to spend a couple of weeks with his family in the Basque country before heading way out west to start his new job.

We were both happy and saddened at his news. We were sad because he was leaving and we liked him a lot and would miss him, but we were happy that he was starting out on a new adventure. In truth he’d been stagnating down in his little casita and after he’d lent us the DVD of ‘Into the Wild’ (excellent movie by the way and you HAVE TO follow this link, turn up the volume and DON’T skip the intro) I realised that he was using Alexander Supertramp’s story as a blue print for his own life. However where Alexander Supertramp was starving to death in the wilds of Alaska, Jesús was starving to death next to a golf course and a banana plantation between Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava. It was caused, I have to say, by an unhealthy obsession with golf; he’d rather play than eat.

Alexander Supertramp, or Jesus - or are they one and the same?

Alexander Supertramp, or Jesus - or are they one and the same?

A couple of days before he was due to leave he turned up with carrier bags full of stuff from his house; bread flours, delicious chorizos (including a particularly tasty wild boar one), sausages from his last trip to the Basque country and a clump of acelgas (Swiss chard) from his garden; one of the few things he’d actually managed to cultivate in 10 months. He was clearing out big time.

On the night before he left he popped up to have a couple of drinks and to say goodbye.

“When do you start work,”
I asked, pouring him a glass of white wine.
“I don’t,” he replied.
“What?”
“I’ve decided not to take that job,” he explained. “My sister had already paid for a ticket to come and visit me here in August and she can’t get a refund, so I’ll have to come back.”
“To stay?” Andy asked, completely confused.
“Who knows?” Jesús shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe I’ll start from scratch again. Ramon said he’ll help me build a proper garden.”
“God, you really are like a butterfly in the wind,” Andy laughed. “You really don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going.”

Jesús laughed and shrugged again.

He left for the Basque country the next day. He left his laptop with us so I guess he’s definitely returning, but we’ve no idea if he’ll be coming back to stay or just whilst his sister is here. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to see off that wild boar chorizo before he returns.

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