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Quote #4

in their mouths, a strange taste
of bile, of mint, and of basil (65-66)

In these lines, we get a mix of taste imagery, which creates a mix of emotions. With "bile," the climbers seem to be experiencing the bitterness of disappointment which, given their track record thus far, is easy to understand. Interestingly, though, this disappointment is not the only thing they taste. It's mixed with fresh and savory tastes, too. Yum? Maybe the point here is that this climbing, like life, is a collection of mixed experiences, of which disappointment is just one element.

Quote #5

Drunken "Guardias Civiles"
were pounding on the door. (81-82)

This is really… just… the biggest bummer ever. Just as the speaker seems to have neared the balcony, just as the green gypsy girl seems to be in reach—wham! Everything's jerked out from under him again by a bunch of drunken, loutish cops. Way to go fellas. What's that? You've got a package for me? A big box of disappointment, eh? And it's cash-on-delivery? Yeah, that figures…

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