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Friday, November 8, 2013

The Bull Running Story (continued)

"Before the start of the bull run, they made an announcement on the PA --- in Spanish of course --- that there would be two gun shots: One at seven fifty nine, one minute before the bulls are let out; and one at exactly eight, when the bulls are let out. So, on the first gun shot, we were still standing around, loosening our joints, preparing to run, and joking around. Then the second gun shot. After a little while we saw this swarm of people just ... rushed down the street, and we ran.

"It was a little ridiculous. The street was all cobblestone with broken stones here and there, and wet with vomit and trash all over the place --- because of all the drinking and partying the night before. You could barely run on the street by yourself, without the bull or the crowd. But I didn't get to think about it. The crowd came and I just got swept up in it."

"The whole route was 800 meters, in the middle of it was a turn on a street corner called 'dead man's turn.' The bulls are all muscle and weight, but they can't, you know, change directions easily. I saw a bunch of people get crushed into the wall by the bulls. When we got to the end where the bulls were supposed to go into the ring, I saw these people in front of me all laid down on the ground. I was totally dazed and could barely think, so I just stood there, not knowing it was actually pretty dangerous. Someone pulled me aside, like, 'What are you doing?' Then they explained to me that the bulls would just jump over the people lying on the ground, maybe someone would get kicked in the head.

"I had never been in the war but I imagine that's as close as you would get to fighting in the war. I'll never forget it.

"Afterwards we went to have breakfast. I was so hungry and ate a lot."

He told the whole story without stutter or pause, the memory apparently etched in his mind. Perhaps he'd told the same story a number of times before. His date made almost no remark on this narrative, however, either to one-up him or to make any philosophical observations; she didn't even show any signs of being especially impressed by such masculine pursuits. She just went on with her own pursuits --- diet and personal training.

I wondered whether this was a commonplace occurrence on dates. How many time does he have to tell the story before his date would give a more relevant response? Does he notice or care? Does it matter?

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