Tuesday, January 13

Another Thing This Free

We drew pictures with crayons at a long wooden table, it wasn´t unlike drawing pictures with crayons last year next to one shiny black typewriter on which everyone wrote a small letter to someone, or something, with flowers in the white vase I found at the abandoned house by the house in the country, on the table Becca and Jeremy and I painted purple one night and the backs of the chairs to match. And how I am looking and not looking these days for things that are familiar and connected, spending hours for instance writing out long complicated stories of material things acquired lost and given in all the different places I´ve been. Today I read such beautiful words, be rain. We are in the Oasis hostel in Granada, Aaron is a friend from Brown who is visiting for a week or so. Last night the bottle of Rioja, red wine, we bought tasted metallic, like blood. Tonight we asked in broken Spanish bueno y barato por favor and two Euros later, an old red corkscrew and there were two Koreans kissing cooking sweet potatoes and I was putting on paper the Rock of Gibraltar, a purple ghost, Spirited Away, an owl perched who is Noah´s special totem and not Adrian or Manu, who I get confused with one another, he told me to visit the south of Spain. Jess is aiming away now, or aiming back, to London, to Atlanta, and I envy her a little. But I am coming back to traveling again. Spent three nights couchsurfing with an Italian guy, Francesco, and his Polish flatmates who were so happy to see each other again after spending the holidays speaking Polish in their families, maybe eating Polish sausage who knows, but they are very slim girls who look Russian, now wheeling radiators back into each other´s rooms, eating homemade lasagna out of little aluminum banana-bread pans. Scrappy you sent me Buddha and brownies in a DHL package at the very bottom of Aaron´s bag, he travels much lighter now, and me too. Granada has a law, free tapas with every cana, every short tapped beer, a plate of sliced white bread spread under thin bacon and french fries. I first came to Granada from Malaga with an Australian guy named Rich and two very beautiful and sophisticated Norwegian girls with chunky knit scarves, blond hair. I shaved my hair off, had it done, in a very small barbershop in Morocco where only men go. Jess took pictures, I floated outside of my body in some corner of the warm tea-smelling shop, pointing to the barber´s nearly-hairless head and then mine, making the buzzing sound with the gesture of my fingers. I bought a colorful hat with long braided earflaps and I haven´t taken this hat off in days, not wanting anyone to know me for the first time this way, I am shorn and learning patience every day in the hostel bathroom mirror. Tomorrow Aaron and I go to Gibraltar, technically English land, but I think the soil will feel Spanish. Morocco left marks on me, its henna still unfaded from my hands, I was thinking most days of booking a flight, but Granada is beautiful. Three days ago Francesco and Alex took us into the mountains to measure the baby trees starting to grow after the fire started by two British men who lost themselves in the woods, panicked, made a signal in the dry, dry heat. Alex is an ecology student but there was too much snow to find the trees. It smelled like the trips Dad took Brett and me on to Colorado in the winter, bright neon ski jackets, square white tags stuck on our zippers for months afterward, a mixing up in the back of the car, which can of film was used and which one raw. Rilke is always writing the same letters, childhood is the treasure house of memories.