I dream of duende

I’ve just finished reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which, disappointingly, is nothing to with the history of secrets or flan or the Da Vinci Code, but is instead about Gregory Peck. I kept reading the character Henry as Peck’s performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird, although they are moral polar bears apart.

Anyhoo. As usual, none of that is relevant. Except that the chilli-induced dreams I had last night featured a death. The death of my youngest brother. And in my dream I was suddenly overcome with all the emotion that I have big-brotherly shielded from him all this time and howled like a banshee. The grief I was experiencing in the dream was simply incredible. When I woke up it took a few moments to return to my usual flatline state. And realise that he wasn’t, in fact, dead.

Which leads to duende, the gypsy curse. Spanish lore has it that it’s the struggle with the duende within oneself that brings out la pasion – in bullfighting, flamenco, firework throwing (probably). My brother has it. Dogs have it. Cats don’t. I don’t. I guess it’s the mischief gene, crossed with selfishness and vanity. Fires the soul.

I feel a bit flat at the moment. I haven’t written anything all week. Plans that seem so firm from one day seem somewhat less firm after days of inaction. Decisions are smudged. Which can only mean one thing. Breakfast.

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