far too much writing, far too many photos

Not long after posting yesterday’s entry, I went out to round up some chow, found a city cleaning crew scraping away at one end of the wall opposite this building, pulling off layers of posters in long curling lengths which piled up like oversized wood shavings. Today the wall got stripped down to its unadorned, butt-ugly gray core. Completely denuded, all bits of paper gone, as if the city workers meant business. This has happened in the past -– within hours, the joyful re-postering was well underway. The ‘post no bills’ stencils have vanished, I noticed. Don’t know what that means, though it suggests that the city may have thrown in the towel in its attempt to break the cycle of cleaning/re-postering.

Between homework, local/international phone calls, and skittish, abbreviated sleep, last night turned out to be a tumultuous stretch of time. In the middle of which I fielded a call from a woman wanting to look at the piso, referred to me by my sainted, now-vacationing landlords, to whom I gave notice last month, me thinking I was shifting my life entirely back to the States.

I didn’t know what to expect on this return trip to Madrid, had no idea how being here would feel. The lease on this piso originally ended mid-month, the landlords graciously allowed me to extend it a couple of weeks so that I could come back and say good-bye to the city. I didn’t anticipate how great the streets would feel under my feet or how much emotion re-entry would provoke. And as I spoke with the prospective new tenant yesterday evening, alarm bells began sounding in my teeny brain until they overrode just about everything else. I thought about that, among other matters, during the night, elbowing my way through a growing thicket of questions and overstimulated feelings, until I got to class this morning and put it all on a back burner to simmer. When I left school, as groggy and near-useless as when I’d arrived a bit before 9 a.m., I’d come to some clarity. Namely, that if I let my life here end right now the emotional price tag would be far greater than if I re-upped in my current state of uncertainty about the coming months.

Here’s the thing: when I returned to the States in April, I did so expecting to be exploring a romantic relationship, expecting to settle back into a sizeable network of friendships. Neither of which went exactly as, er, whatever the hell the word I want here is. In fact, these last months have largely been a time of relationships not meshing, some lurching apart, others drifting more gently in different directions. There have been some nice reconnections and a handful of new faces, but way more of the other. I’m not at all sure I want to remain in northern Vermont — outrageously beautiful, but so far not offering me many compelling possibilities –- and I haven’t been feeling called anywhere else. Until my return here.

I have no real idea what I’ll wind up doing with myself in the coming months — attempt to finish up work on a novel, spend time with various friends making the trip north for a hit of August and September in Vermont. Could be I’ll find myself drawn in any number of now-unseen directions. Or not. Don’t know. But the rent here is doable and I’m not going to cut the cord yet. I may find myself back here come late autumn, settling in for a while. Time will tell.

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