Goodbye, April

“Just as a flower does not choose its color, we are not responsible for what we have come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free.”

Thursday, April 4th, 2013. 

April has arrived, the month of picnics, the emergence of sunglasses, the stirrings of inner life after the inertia of cold months. It’s as if everything is slowly thawing, the days have finally grown so much longer. Spring has always been a joyous occasion, the time you seem to dream the most. Waking dreams, while driving on a road that is momentarily empty in the morning, when you walk in unfamiliar neighborhoods with their ancient houses with porches, when you slip into the bathtub full of warm, sweet-smelling water.

Underneath the warm surface you hear only two things amplified — the knocking of your heart and the steadiness of your breath. Your heart sounds like something remote, not like a pounding organ — more like someone clunking up a flight of eternal stairs with a pair of heavy boots. Or ceaseless hammering from the house next door, someone forever hanging a painting on the wall or building a bookshelf. And then there are the external noises of the outside world which sound even farther away, the muffled mumbling of the TV downstairs, the footsteps of people moving about. From another place completely, not here. In the world of water only what is living underwater counts — what you can hear is that immediate stillness, not the ebb and flow of the ocean waves but its inner peace, the sound of your own breath a constant guide. You are reminded that you breathe.

In these moments, you imagine yourself the heroine, or anti-heroine, of some film equally as dark as the last one you saw. It is like in dreams where what is disturbing makes logical sense, is alluring. You were always attracted to dark things. You have always known, always wanted to believe, in the existence of a different reality, the kind you glimpse when you are sleeping. When you listen to a song, watch a scene. The mundane-ness of life is lifted — there is so much to notice! The small things, the infinite spaces where a possible other life may be lurking. You see flashes of yourself in different houses, as a child again, as a teenager, walking along different roads. You’ve lived everywhere, every courtyard you walk across has once been a routine. It’s like deja-vu in a place never seen before — in your imagination, you’ve lived a thousand cinematographic lives, all a secret. In spring, the romantic in you surfaces.

Photo by Ricky Romero

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Rubber ducky, you’re the one…

Woohoo, the weekend again! After a long week, there’s nothing more appealing to the eye than a tub full of steaming, bubbly bath water. And the most recent episode of The Office.

I did absolutely nothing on Saturday besides sit around on the internet with music, cook chicken curry, drink tea, and watch episodes of the third season of “The L Word” with my favorite Scotsman. I didn’t even feel like stepping out to go to the grocery store…the thought of walking alone makes me tired. So, a quiet, almost non-alcoholic weekend for a change.

On Thursday before one of my private classes, I discovered this cute pastry and coffee shop that serves these most delicious toasted ham and cheese croissants, drizzled with some kind of sweet crack that was probably honey. I think it was called Coliseo, right at the Puerta de Alcala…I must find it again! Rather than getting bocadillos at this other cafe, the only thing they offer after 4 PM — almost 7 euros for dry ham and dry cheese on dry bread, really?

Enough about bocadillos. More on the weekend later.