An On-Line Journal
by Paul Buceta
2003 04 24 - Happy Birthday to me.

I was born too many years ago on this day.

It was nice to go in to work today and be completely forgotten.
Truthfully, I prefer to keep my birthday quiet at work - As for the rest of the world knowing, that's another story.

I was talking to my friend Travis on the way in to work this morning and he suggested I write something about my little experience in Spain when I was fifteen.

Paul Buceta's passage to Manhood

Back when I was fifteen I was bulletproof and invisible, or so I thought.
I had spent that summer in Spain and had made many friends while there. I don't know why or how it started, but we would always try to "one up" each other with crazy stunts.

I had heard of the running of the bulls and always thought it was something those crazy Spaniards did.
Little did I know at the time, that this would lead me to become Paul Buceta: Toro Conqueror.

I had asked my friends if they were going to run in it this year and they all looked at me as to say,
"You foreigners are crazy - Us locals don't do that shit!"

I was amazed, I just assumed that they would have at least tried it once.

I saw my opportunity to gain top spot in our little competition, (and impress the senoritas) and took it.
I announced that I would run with the bulls.

No one believed me.

The fateful day came and with terrible anxiety I went out to see what my friends were doing (hoping that they had forgotten).
They had all pitched in and bought me a nice bright red bandana for me to tie around my neck.
(This made me seriously ask myself what kind of friends these were).

Not being able back down, when the time came I took my place with the rest of the scared shit Spaniards, and waited for the bulls.

Bulls are much scarier in real life than in pictures, and faster too.

I was running away from one that seemed to have me in his sights when out of nowhere I feel a little something take out my legs, I managed to let out a, "What the f.." before being thrust straight up in the air.

This is the closest I have ever had to an out of body experience.

While airborne, I could see the people running away, the bulls stampeding, and the crowds laughing.
The strange part was that I couldn't hear anything.

It felt like I was up there for quite some time, but I eventually came crashing down on my face - Literally.

I split my lip, my nose was bleeding profusely, I had two black eyes, my pants and shirt were ripped and to add insult to injury, I lost my new pretty bandana in the melee.

Paul Buceta has arrived.

I was told that I was thrown about two stories straight up by the biggest bull they had ever seen.
They also thought I had died because I had gone completely limp in the air.
If I had a video camera, I would have won America's Funniest Home Movies!

For the rest of the time I was in Spain all my friends would praise me and brag to their friends that I had actually done it.

I would be dishonest if I didn't mention that most of the time they would just look at me and laugh.

And by the way, looking like Quasimodo, didn't improve my chances with the senoritas!