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If I shut my eyes I can still visit Eulalia in my mind. It's all jumbled together and I see only what I want to see... but that's the way small towns are. The picture changes in my mind as I watch. The arch that opened out on the pasture where the olive trees grew, and the lake where I fished for perch in the spring. Then there was the courtyard where the oil lantern was lighted every afternoon at five... whether it was dark or not, it was simply a signal that the taverna had opened its doors and it was time for the old folks to play backgammon.
There was the well by the intersection of the only two streets in town. The streets had no names, but one led off to de Santos and he other to Mallorca where they made terrible wine for the tourists. At the well the women gathered in the lazy afternoons and gossiped about this and that. They never failed to bring up the subject of Rosalita who hung her wash across the street in front of the taverna. She never hung her underwear inside her sheets, but left them out for all to see. She didn't go to mass either and everyone said she had good reason to avoid the church. Still, without Rosalita, there would be little to gossip about, for in Eulalia nothing ever happened.
Rosalita was the only young person left in Eulalia. To make a living in this world the young people moved on, the women to marry and the men, (like me) to find work elsewhere. The old town will stay in our hearts and minds for a life time. Sentiment, however, does not pay the rent nor does it put a down payment on the new Mercedes.
I thought, when I grew older and moved away, I would forget Eulalia. But I have not. There was certainly little of consequence there to remember. Nothing ever happened there. No great battles were fought. People from far away never came to visit... there is not even an hotel there today. Imagine that! If you come to Eulalia there would be no place for you to stay. Unless, perhaps you would care to stay with Rosalita.
The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.