far too much writing, far too many photos

Up early — far, far too early — for an online rendezvous with a friend. Would have been fun if my satellite internet connection had cooperated. It didn’t, despite me doing the standard fix (power down modem, power up modem, reboot laptop) numerous times and camping out on the customer help line for forty-five freakin’ minutes in hopes of getting some assistance from a real live human being.

Have been back in Vermont a little more than a week. A strange eight days — all right in some ways, but rough in others, especially the first two, three days. Not a very tranquil transition. Left behind: Madrid, springtime well underway, streets full of life. Arrived here to find: Vermont countryside austere, leaves not yet making any real appearance, grass just beginning to revive. Cool enough that the house had to be heated the first few days, a chilly, user-unfriendly breeze blowing outside, nighttime temperatures slipping well down into the 20’s. And me here in the middle of it all, basically going Huh?

And then three, four days ago the weather turned, and with it some of my state of mind. Not that I’m skipping around strewing flower petals with wild abandon. But I’m not quite the mess I was for a little while there. And thankfully, the long, long return trip from Madrid (three Metro trains, two planes, two buses, one taxi), has mostly faded from memory, buried beneath the sensory input of the last eight days.

Not that the voyage was a hideous experience. Just interminable, not much fun, dragging on and on and on. Woke up around 3 a.m. in Madrid, stumbled into the house here 26, 27 hours later.

The most interesting part: changing flights in Zurich, the airport clean and orderly, almost clinically so. Despite being midday during the workweek, I found myself at times walking down quiet, empty corridors. Strangely tranquil. And the urinals in the men’s loo had a small illustration of a lit candle down near the drainage hole. The manufacturer’s trademark? A target? A funny high-tech game where the candle goes out if sprayed long enough? Don’t know, didn’t stay to find out.

Another interesting aspect of the day: my first flight with Swissair, who served the single best pasta meal I’ve ever wolfed down at an altitude of 36,000 feet. My seatmates on the first leg of the trip: a 60ish Italian couple, him not looking at me, not speaking to me, making every effort to avoid even the most glancing, incidental physical contact. On the second, much longer flight, an elderly, slow-moving American couple sat cross the aisle from me. A 20-something Indian couple sat ahead of them, the woman not exactly pretty, but extremely sexy, feet bare and painted with henna, an intricate design that covered everything but the soles. Her hands, wrists and forearms also bore traces of henna, too faded and sketchy to make out what it had looked like when fresh.

[continued in next entry]


This morning, far too early, sun slowly burning through haze and overcast:

EspaƱa, te echo de menos.

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