I woke up today and the sun was shining. It was one of those days where you open your eyes and know where you are. I sat up in bed and looked towards my window. Bright and blue was the sky. Lately, all I can think to do is leave where I am and get caught up in the movement of the streets, commotion of the people. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that inside I’m sluggish and drained, but outside insides don’t show.
I walk out on to Calle Magdalena. And although I want to feel a part of the world around me, I still need to be in my head. I put my earphones in and begin to walk down Calle Atocha. Soon my thoughts start stirring. I push the earphones hard into my ears, hoping the music will drowned out emotion. It doesn’t work. I take them out.
Here I am. On the outside appearing somewhat in tact, but on the inside shredded. How many others on this street with me are in the same state? I walk by the book stands that line the street. I stop and see one of the books you devoured in college. I buy it. I keep walking and reach the entrance to the park.
We spent a night in the park together in 2001. You had come to visit me while I was studying here. I remember looking for days to find the perfect hostal for us. I wanted something inexpensive, clean and close to the center. When you got off the plane the place wasn’t open. We sat in a cafetería for hours eating and drinking. It was a nice night and we decided to buy bottles of wine and find a bench. We spent the night talking, laughing, loving and then we got hungry. We went to one of my favorite restaurants called La Gata Flor and they kicked us out for being drunk. We didn’t mind. We laughed the entire way back to the hostal.
I walk through the winding paths and the surrounding trees. I see roller bladers, skate boarders, and groups of friends enjoying each others company. I keep on till I reach my favorite spot. This is where we spent time reading and sleeping. It’s in front of the crystal palace. I love this spot. It’s one of the first places I came back to when I returned to Madrid in 2007.
After unpacking the book I brought, the one I bought and fruit and water – I’m ready to spend the entire day under the beautiful cloudless sky and do nothing but enjoy every bit of the sun’s presence.
My bag becomes my pillow. I read for a while and then rest my book on my chest. The reason we loved this spot was because of the tree. Because when you take a rest from reading and look up – all you see is the outline of the branches against the daylight. I look up into the branches. Feel my feet in the grass. Smell the outdoors. I close my eyes and smile. I feel good here in this spot. So good that I spend the entire day under the tree until the sun loses it’s battle with the moon.by