far too much writing, far too many photos

This last Sunday, El País ran a bunch of love letters written by some of its readers, and also some by French folks, readers of Le Monde. During the next few days I’ll be translating some of them here. (Copyright 2003 El País)

My dear one, I would love you with all my soul if we didn’t both run a serious danger: that you would reciprocate!

– Albert Arnedo Martínez, Zaragoza

Because I can’t bear the mess of your clothing. Because you never sweep the kitchen. Because you don’t know if the bathroom is dirty or clean. Because I am inundated with your magazines. Because you continue being the messy one that I knew. Because you have never deceived or mislead me in anything. Because you always make dinner. Because you always take Javi to the bus stop. Because you always take me to the supermarket. Because you never forget which cologne I like. Because you continue calling me pretty. Because you’ve proposed losing weight a hundred times. Because you like the sea every summer. Because every day you take out the garbage. Because you like my smile so much. For all that, I continue to love you.

– Maribel Pamplona

I have to ask your forgiveness. I’ve begun to forget. Once again. How can I forget calling you, hearing you. How can I forget responding to you, holding you, kissing you? How can I forget watching you while you sleep or you watching me while I sleep? And then I remember and I want to remember always. I remembered this morning, I remembered that I love you.

– Manuel Molano Mazón

And yes, St. V’s day is both an occasion to celebrate love and an opportunity to shovel immense quantities of cash in the general direction of the greeting card and floral industries. It’s also something more — it’s an opportunity to ponder the roots of this happy, tender occasion and reflect on how far we’ve come: from bondage and a year’s worth of action by way of a general lottery to hearts/flowers and far more proper behavior.

Seen on a Simpsons episode:

The legend on the arch over the entrance to the local cemetery:

“Springfield Cemetery — Come For The Funeral, Stay For The Pie”

Copy used in an what appeared to be a genuine trailer for The Incredible Hulk, seen tonight on Spanish TV:

“He turns into a green monster when he becomes angry.

No, it’s not Bush. It’s the Hulk.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Something that has surprised me over and over here in Madrid is the quantity of American and British music I hear on the radio and elsewhere. It’s logical, I know, considering the volume of product that gets pumped out by the American/British industries and its dominance in western culture, but it surprises me nevertheless. I avoid it, to the extent that I can, preferring Spanish fare — flamenco, rock and roll, other latin stylings (”stylings”!! the pretentious word of the day — yee-ha!!) — but now and then I hear something from back in the States that feels just right.

I’ve had the radio on for the last hour or two, listening to different stuff. A short time ago I switched to a college station that lurks all the way down at the bottom of the dial — the only college station I’m aware of here, a major deficiency in local radio — and found myself listening to bluegrass, then further southern fare, more down and dirty. And then they played someone I’ve never heard before (and who remains unidentified), doing a fairly hard, countrified version of the Beatles tune “I’m Looking Through You,” followed by a surprisingly nasty version of “In The Jailhouse.” After which they started up Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road,” a tune I haven’t heard in years, and I found myself turning the volume up, stopping all over activity.

Man, that hit the spot.

Same kind of thing happened several days back. One of the Spanish national stations, Radio 3, plays adventurous, unpredictable music, stuff from all over the map. I turned it on one afternoon, found myself listening to “Continental Kind of Girl” by Elliot Murphy, a tune I hadn’t heard in years ‘n’ years ‘n’ years. (And I swear as I wrote that I had the urge to call it “a jumping little number” instead of a tune — do I need psychological help? Or a beating? Or maybe I’m spending too much time alone. Or maybe I’m just a pretentious twit and we’re all just now seeing it clearly.)

Last Thursday night I went out with two people from my evening language class — a Dutch woman and a Japanese guy, Sandra and Takeshi, both smart, interesting, enjoyable folks — along with Patricia, the woman who had been our instructor up until a week and a half ago. Patricia ferried us through many lovely narrow, winding streets in a couple of Madrid’s older neighborhoods, taking us first to a great little bar for a caña or two and some food. We walk in, they’ve got something playing on the sound system that sounded like some of the cleaner, more countrified of the Grateful Dead’s material. Only in Spanish. Good stuff. Real good. I ask the barkeep who we were listening to, he tells me it’s Jorge Drexler. A name I’ve heard before, someone I’m going to have to check out.

So we’re sitting there talking, eating, etc., there’s artwork arrayed around the place, collages of ads/clippings/images having to do with films from the 30s and 40s. Then something off in a rear corner of the joint catches my eye, something I haven’t seen since I was embarrassingly young: a poster of Frank Zappa, preserved under plastic, in close to perfect condition. But not just any Zappa poster — one that was genuinely notorious in its day: a shot of him on the toilet, staring at the camera, in all his grubby, insolent late-60s splendor.

Bless his skanky ass — just thinking about that gets me smiling.

I’ve had a serious music addiction since I was about four years old, a habit that led me to accumulate far, far too many records, tapes, CDS. Here in Madrid, life has been much more austere — less than 20 CDs made the trip over with me, all in a compact nylon pouch. I’ve picked up a few CDs, but not too many. I’ve received various tapes from sources back in the States, different stuff. And that’s it. An absurdly modest pile of music, which has worked just fine. I find here that most of the time I tend to stay away from stuff in English. If I put on some music, it’s mostly in Spanish, or it’s the radio. Or it’s not music, it’s the TV. Lately, I’ve been watching loads of movies, dubbed and otherwise, ‘cause I’m finding that my comprehension has taken a leap forward and I’m understanding most of what I hear, an experience I get a serious charge out of.

Something I’ve discovered here is how nice it is to have minimal possessions — a realization that comes as near-heresy when considered against the way I was brought up. But there it is. There’s a lightness to it that feels just fine.

But I blabber. So I’ll stop.

For those aficionados of Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings extravaganza, as opposed to those who might be bored of the rings (and they are out there), Ian McKellen’s production diary is accessible online and easily worth the time it takes to check out an entry or two. He writes as he speaks, with intelligence and clarity, and it’s easy to imagine that amazing voice of his speaking the entries.

Thanks to Kristen for picking up on this one.

Now is that a headline or what?

Advertising’s next frontier: body parts.

Repent!

Way more than you ever wanted to know about the birds & the bees.

(And for the truly disturbed, a bit more, this time poorly written.)

I’ve been thinking about life this morning. It’s a kind of day here that can easily provoke that kind of turning inward for me — gray, mild, the air soft, a gentle, constant hum of life rising from the street. I tend not to work well when I’m in that kind of state, though, and at a certain point I needed to clear my head. I grabbed a bag of accumulated recyclables, headed out to dump them in the neighborhood recycling bins then take a walk. The street with the bins, a block from here, is a major concentration point of shops dealing in footwear/shoulder bags/expensive clothing — with las rebajas continuing, it’s an area with lots of shopper traffic during business hours. Which I like, actually. Couples walking together, talking; groups of women going into shops or walking slowly by tienda windows, conferring about the goods on display. Mixed in with all that are shops of a more pedestrian type — dry cleaners, a drug store, grocery shops, a churrería, a couple of bar/cafes, a few restaurants, a shoe repair joint — producing an enjoyable overall assortment of people. Folk from the barrio, business types, shoppers of all stripes.

Once free of the recyclables, I headed over to la cafetería Vivares for café and churros. They had a Davis Cup match on the telly and the several people sitting at the counter were either watching or reading a morning paper, all contributing to a running discussion of the players’ progress. As I sat and slowly inhaled my morning espresso/churros, one of the neighborhood transvestites came in, making her way to the stool to my left. There are a handful of local transvestites, faces that have gradually become familiar, some of whom present themselves impressively, impeccably — nearly impossible to discern from a biological female. This one is a bit less successful — heavily made-up, thick-featured, her manner of speaking and comportment less like a woman than a male acting out some mannered idea of a woman. She had a nervous demeanor, and the nanosecond I got to my feet to dig money out of a pocket, she began moving stuff to the bit of counter I’d been occupying — her bag, a napkin dispenser, an ashtray. Micro-hegemony.

Back out on the street, I decided to head over la Calle de Fuencarral, another intense concentration of clothing/footwear shops. I think I’m thinking about picking up a pair of, er, something. Footwear of some kind. My hair is also reaching the length where it develops seriously anarchistic tendencies, so I’m edging my way toward a cut. My experience with hair joints here hasn’t inspired much confidence to this point, so I’m taking my time in selecting a place to try, trusting to impulse.

I wandered along the sidewalk, checking out goods and passersby, finding the usual spicy blend of both, until the clamor of a small dog encounter got my attention, one strident wire-haired bugger sounding off at a curious, more timid dachsund type, both on leashes, the owner of the loud one appearing a bit embarrassed by the bellicose spectacle his critter was making of itself. The dachsund’s owner had stopped in front of a haircutter’s salon, the dachsund clearly torn between curiosity about the high-strung four-legged blabbermouth and the desire to stay well away from that same high-strung, four-legged blabbermouth, taking a few inquisitive steps toward the noisy passerby before retreating back to its owner’s legs. Three or four feet past the dachsund, the wire-hair veered immediately over to the wall to raise its leg in a brief, contemptuous show of turf-marking. The instant it finished and moved on, the dachsund trotted over and peed on the wire-hair’s fresh damp spot. (Why does all that remind of me of all the posturing going on right now at the international level?)

A few minutes later, I approached a length of sidewalk that fronts a lingerie shop — lingerie and sexy, revealing eveningwear. At the curb directly in front of the shop stood a street person, his hair a matted collection of dreadlocks, his skin and clothes darkened with street grit. He faced the tienda, his back to the street, standing mutely, staring at the crowded display of sensual clothing and scantily-clad mannequins. Passersby glanced at him from the corners of startled eyes as they walked past, the ragged individual paying them no mind, his attention fixed on the store windows.

Later, back here in this corner of the neighborhood, I headed over to the plaza to get a newspaper. Turning the corner, I was met with the sight of another street person, this one wandering erratically around the center of the plaza, wearing floppy black and white sneakers of the Converse high-top kind along with dirty, tired jeans. And nothing else. Unclothed from the waist up, hair pointing in all directions. His attention moved all over the place, restless, not placid. He let out a sudden AAAWWWRRRRGH! Then another: RAAAAAAWWWWGH! Then fell quiet again, still wandering. An old black motorcycle jacket lay sprawled on the asphalt in front of the stairs leading down to the Metro. His, clearly. At the edge of the plaza, by the street, a municipal cop stood watching, his expression a bit sad. He had the air of someone waiting for back-up. Probably a smart thing to do.

Back in front of my building, I paused to look over at the building whose residents had hung the anti-war banner two days ago [see yesterday's entry]. The banner was gone, laundry hung drying. They’ve apparently decided to alternate the two — as I write this, the laundry’s gone, the banner has reappeared.

The day remains gray, life in the neighborhood carries on, its energy and color undiminished.

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As you might imagine, the Iraq thing is a major deal here in Madrid – in part because it’s of regional import, Spain being a Mediterranean country; in part because the head of the current center-right government has been pushing ahead in sync with the White House, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Spanish population appears to be squarely against any such stance. (I base that statement on what I’ve seen of polls reported by the major local TV and radio outlets, along with the two major daily newspapers — El País on the left side of the political spectrum, El Mundo to the center-right. According to them, anywhere from 70-75% of the population opposes an invasion of Iraq under any circumstances.) The last several days have seen a growing outcry against the threatened war, and yesterday morning the third-floor residents of a nearby building — one that faces this building across the soon-to-be-ex-vacant lot out front, just across the narrow street — hung a large white bedsheet from one of their clotheslines which bore the legend

NO a la

GUERRA


– a slogan that’s become more and more visible here over the last week.

As the morning progressed, the wind began wrapping the bedsheet sloppily around the clotheslines, slowly distorting the message. By midday, the sheet had blown around the lines enough times that nothing remained of the sign but the word

GUERRA

It remained like throughout the afternoon.

Sometime during the evening hours, the residents cottoned to what had become of their message and freed up the sheet so that

NO a la

GUERRA


waved once again, clearly visible to everyone passing through this part of the neighborhood.

This morning the residents hung laundry to dry on the other clotheslines, giving the anti-war message a folksy, down-home feel. And that’s how it’s remained all day – colorful clothes and anti-war statement, all waving gently in the mild Madrid air.

********************

On a different theme altogether, the following is from an e-mail sent by a loved one back in the States about a seriously atypical drive to a movie theater that took place yesterday:

I like to get to a film a few minutes before it

starts because I like to see the previews. But

H. does not. We were taking two cars over

to the theater… as he had driven over [earlier]

and the theater is not far from his house. And

so, I’m ready to go and H. is not. So we’re kind

of hanging around the backyard… literally

killing time. Then we go. I’m in front of him

and we pull up to the intersection down there

by the car lots behind the school. We’re waiting

for the light to change and I’m fiddling with the

radio dial. I look up and see this pick-up truck

with a trailer attached doing sort of a mini-jack-

knife, sliding sideways toward my car (I’m the

first one in line at the intersection). A major

collision had just happened, but all I see is

this truck all over the place right in front of me

and I’m kinda wondering at how close it is to

my car (about 2 feet)… and will it keep going in

the direction it needs to without hitting me. It

was one of those slo-mo nothing to be done but

wait situations. It comes to a halt on the

sidewalk without hitting me.

I look back and motion for H. to back up a bit.

He hadn’t seen what actually happened either.

Turns out the truck had been t-boned by a car,

the front end of which was demolished. H. got

out and went up to the wreck. I sat in my car.

A guy from one of the car lots is out there with

a cell phone. After a couple minutes, H. gets

back in his car and we drive around the wreck

and on to the movie.

When we got to the theater, Henry says the guy

in the car admitted it was his fault, though I still

am not sure what he did… ran the light I suppose.

Turns out he was on his way to the airport where

he was to catch a plane to Mexico in an hour.

I doubt he made that plane.

Interesting event, though. It didn’t upset me at

all. But I keep thinking about this timing thing…

how we were just doing nothing so as not to get

to the theater too early… and then voila… boom!

Front row boom. rofl.

Yesterday morning, a quarter to six. I woke to the sound of pounding. The kind of event that penetrates sleep in a way that one is actually unconscious when they first hear it. Like I was. Deeply, happily unconscious. As the pounding continued — four repetitions, that first set, loud and insistent (the perfect way to wake up, know what I’m saying?) — I began coming to, paddling my way up up from wherever I was to a muddled version of consciousness. In my initial stupor, the hubbub was so loud, so distinct that I assumed it must be someone pounding on my door. With a few seconds more to put things together I figured out it couldn’t be, that the sound was wrong –- something heavy was striking something made of metal, not the thick wood of the old door to this piso.

A few seconds later, more pounding. I’m listening, trying to figure out what the hell it is, not wanting to get out of bed to find out. So I don’t. I roll over, pull the covers up, try to pretend it’s not happening. Which of course has no effect on anything. The racket continues, apparently happening down on the street level, somewhere close by. A couple of voices call back and forth, the pounding gets faster, more intense.

Eventually, I get up and shuffle to the bathroom to dump the ballast. On my way back I open a window, take a gander outside to see what the *@#%^!! is going on. What I observe is a line of cars parked in the street, bumper to bumper, four police patrol vehicles and one large unmarked small panel truck. At the head of that line, two more vehicles are pulled up into the small driveway that’s situated at the near side of the plaza (la Plaza de Chueca) -– a spot used normally by delivery trucks bringing goods to the businesses that ring the plaza, the street being one lane wide with no available parking along this block. A police vehicle is parked there, behind it an older, beat-up looking civilian vehicle. A couple of local cops stand together at the head of the line of cars in the street, talking. One bystander, an old codger, stands nearby watching the scene, his expression a bit bewildered. The pounding has abated, a hefty male in a firefighter-style outfit walks back to the small truck parked in the street, carrying a maul.

I have no idea what was up. The plaza is a gathering place for all kinds of folks and all kinds of activity, legal and, I’m sure, illegal. I’m not generally one of those who likes to hang about scenes like that staring, especially not in the pre-dawn a.m. I closed the window, went back to bed.

Later that morning, when I left the house to take the ten-minute walk to the main post office, I passed through the plaza, spotting no visible evidence of the early morning hoo-ha. Just the normal scattering of people, with the addition of a group standing square in the middle of the space, a small film crew. I saw no equipment trucks, I suspect it was an either an indie project or a student film. A collection of seven film-crew types stood around a lone actor – one woman holding a boom mike, another working the sound, one person with a clapboard, one with a camera, the rest watching. A take got underway, the actor opened an envelope, pulled out a letter, went into a state of near shock as he read it, one hand going up to his head. He paused to look around, lost, absorbing whatever he’d read, then gathered himself and walked off toward the street. Cut.

Two more crew members sat at one of the concrete benches that run in a line along the plaza’s east side, bags for equipment and film canisters at their feet. One smoking, one holding a can of soda. Both watching the action, like the onlookers scattered around the plaza.

It was one of those days where Madrid did its imitation of London. No rain, but plenty of dramatic-looking clouds streaming across the sky, allowing sunlight through now and then. Providing lots of variation in light and color as the day courses on, a cold wind pushing its way through the narrow streets whenever it felt like it, making windows rattle. A kind of weather I like, reminding me of times in London I’ve enjoyed.

The sky is mostly clear today, with abundant sunlight, the wind calmer, milder. The film crew was out in the plaza again this morning, working with the same actor plus one or two more. I walked by at the end of a take, either the last one for a specific actor or a wrap for the day, the crew applauding when the actors finished up with the scene. The day’s look is so different from yesterday’s that it got me wondering how that might impact the filming. Maybe it won’t. Maybe they’re filming in black & white.

The day not only looks different, it feels different and thank god for that. Yesterday pretty much went to hell in a battered, unupholstered handbasket after I got home around midday, becoming a kind of day I don’t experience very often, with things out of whack everywhere, including my little laptop — the center of my existence here, in some ways — and in particular its mouse, which has behaved in progressively antisocial ways from the day I pulled the bugger kicking and screaming from its box several weeks back. Yesterday it simply didn’t want to work, and finally stopped functioning, unmistakably going belly up. At which point, after several torturous, frustrating hours of slow mouse death, I put it out of its misery by unplugging it and whanging it against a nearby radiator a couple of times before literally ripping it apart, dumping the remains in the nearest trash container. Very satisfying. A well-timed primal can be both therapeutic and entertaining, though I to being glad there were no intruders with videocams on hand to record the affair.

This morning I went out to do some errands, winding up at FNAC, where I discovered a combo package of a small Lexmark printer and a wireless mouse on sale (I’ve assumed that las rebajas would be winding up at the end of January -– wrong!! though I’ve been told that they’re a phenomenon of the month of January, they now appear to be a phenomenon that’s been considerably expanded). Both items I need, both items that have so far behaved impeccably, leaving me feeling obnoxiously, smugly happy with myself.

Ah, this life of ours. It rolls right along, with no shortage of entertainment.

From Geese Aplenty, a fine place to go for well-written, occasionally biting, fun:

Notes on an idea for a reality TV show.

Premise: Orphaned children engage in brutal competition for the love of a rich, caring foster father.

Title: “Who’s Your Daddy?”

Emotional notes hit: Cutthroat and tense during the episodes. At end, triumphant and voyeuristic as audience watches winner orphan go off to a life of comfort and security. Also tragic and bittersweet as other orphans loaded into vans to be sent into the foster care system, never to be heard from again.

Addendum to above: Loser orphans get consolation prizes. Wool socks, Pokemon pez dispensers, and assorted kitchen appliances.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stop hanging around here and head immediately over to Mimi Smartypants’ neighborhood where you can wade through a heap of entertaining digressions on the way to learning about her weekend in D.C.

As the formerly svelte, now unnervingly paunchy Xander Harris once said (and I admit this is a quote I’ve been overusing a bit lately), “Smart chicks are so hot.”

My last two or three nights of sleep have been filled with amazing dreams — dreams brimming over with close friends, sweet romances, adventures, fun, joyful events. The kind of stuff that stays with me during my waking hours, gets me smiling whenever I think about it.

This morning they propelled me up from sleep and out the door to the gym, a place I hadn’t been to in, er, let’s see, how many days? (Mumble, mumble… carry the 3… er, hmm, never mind.) The gyms are one place where the rhythm of life in Madrid is clearly visible. There’s no getting up at ungodly hours to engage in rigorous exercise. During the week they open at 8 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays mornings they open at 10. On the weekends, morning attendance is sparse until after 11 a.m., and even then people tend not to show up in any real numbers until noon or thereabouts. Similar to what you’ll find out in the streets at that hour: few people, little traffic. Everyone’s home recovering from Saturday night or beginning their day in slow, gentle fashion.

Got back home around noon, picked up a copy of a Sunday paper and walked through still-tranquil streets to el restaurante Vivares, my preferred local dispenser of a.m. café. And as is usually the case, walking in the front door there meant stepping from quiet Sunday morning Madrid into the major contrast of concentrated sounds, smells, movement.

An empty stool – the only empty stool at the crowded counter — waited for me a few steps inside the door, I planted myself on it. The camarero wandered down to the near end of the counter, searching for something in the various cabinets and storage space back there. He said hello, I said hello. I asked for a café cortado, he wandered off, I began nosing my through the paper’s Sunday magazine. After a few minutes, a saucer and spoon appeared in front of me, followed shortly after by a cup of espresso. Took a moment to inhale the first mouthful (Mmmmmmmmm!), then began absorbing the scene around me.

The counter in this place runs from one end to the other of the front room, on top of it sit two long, refrigerated glass display units, each containing several trays of tapas-style food. On top of the near one sat two trays heaped with fresh croissants. On the far one sat one huge tray piled high with fruit: clementines, bananas, pears. Bright orange, bright yellow, a subdued pale green. All along the counter people stood and sat, drinking coffee or a morning aperitif, reading the paper, talking, maybe smoking a cigarette, while the camarero moved back and forth behind the counter. At tables around the space, groups of people sat ingesting high-test, talking. The television broadcast a soccer game, the voices of the commentators floated above all the rest of the hubbub. The restaurant has two machines that are the local version of a one-armed bandit, both about six feet high, the flashing lights from both of them twinkled away.

People wandered in and out in a near-steady stream, those leaving calling out “¡Hasta luego! (Not pronounced the way it’s spelled, BTW. More like “¡‘Sta logo!”

I’ve discovered that I love sitting in the middle of this kind of thing while I eat lunch or sip at a cup of brew. I ate lunch at this joint yesterday – when I arrived, there were no tables in the front room, which meant I had to walk down a long hall to the back room, which has a bunch of tables and little sensory input. No windows, minimal traffic coming and going, nowhere near as much to look at and soak up. Although at one point yesterday a 60ish couple entered, walking slowly – by necessity, I think – saying hello to each and every one of the three or four diners already there, and wishing us all “¡Qué aproveche!” (Essentially, “May you use it well!”) That was fun.

I’m finding more and more that if I get seated in a back room, without windows, without motion, activity, energy, it feels like I’m in a sensory-deprivation chamber, and I really don’t care for it.

I went out to lunch today at a different local joint, a restaurant/bar on la Calle de Fuencarral called El Valle, located in a busy area, where the street narrows down to one lane’s width, flanked by two wide sidewalks, both sides of the street lined with stores, restaurants, all sorts of funky shops. The sole table by the front window was unoccupied, I immediately claimed it (after making a show of gentility by asking the wait staff first) instead of letting myself get herded into the back room where most of the diners get corralled. Much more fun. Loads of pedestrian traffic out on the sidewalk to watch, buses occasionally swinging past on their way out to Gran Vía, autumn-style sunlight, the shadows slowly sliding across the street toward the restaurant as the minutes slipped by. If I hadn’t been positioned there, I wouldn’t have witnessed the moment when one of the wait staff accompanied an elderly blind woman from the back room, through the restaurant and out the door, disappearing with her off to the right, their arms linked, him entertaining her the entire way. As they passed through the room, it was clear that a number of the people there all knew each other, and one of the men standing at the bar – a tall, husky, good-natured type – called out as the camarero strode slowly past with the woman, “¡Hombre, no puedes dejar salir aquella mujer guapa! ¡No puedes!” On and on he went with this good-natured blarney as the pair walked by, the waiter talking to the woman at the same time, a smile on her face as she put up with it all.

Now that’s entertainment.

Later, walking along Fuencarral, I saw a 30-something woman conducting a transaction at an ATM machine, a three or four-year-old boy at her side, both of them standing in a wedge of late afternoon light. She finished at the keypad, took the boy up in her arms and held him close, telling him how wonderful he was, him enjoying it shyly. As I walked past, I saw that he sported a Spiderman mask, the plastic face tipped up on the top of his head, the elastic that ran around the back of his head bunching up his dark hair just the tiniest bit.

It’s now evening. February has just begun, it already stays light here until after 7 p.m., the illumination in the western sky lingering later and later. The days have been slipping by at what sometimes feels, perhaps appropriately, like light speed.

Despite the larger, human-generated dramas taking place in the world, the days here have felt golden, packed with vibrant life. Like my dreams of late. Don’t know what it all means, but I’m enjoying it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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