Back in the saddle

I’d just finished explaning puppies and mammal birth when Georgina beckoned me over with her pudgy little chorizo hand.
“¿Profe?” she inquired very seriously. “Profe. Ven. ¡Ven!” (which, for those of you who don’t speak Spanish means “Teacher? Teacher! Come here. Come here!) Like the dumb, dutiful slave I am to these devilish six year olds, I lumbered over and leaned near to her tiny, blue-eyed face.
“Yo sé tu secreto,” she said quietly, looking gravely into my face.
“Mi secreto?” I asked her, brow furrowing. What secret do I have that she could possibly know, I wondered, growing suddenly more nervous. Had the receipt from The Blue Bunny Tienda Erotica slipped from my wallet and into the virginal, unwitting backpack of some little Spanish child? Did I rip one before making it to the bathroom? Was there toilet paper stuck to my shoe afterwards? What?
“Si,” Georgiana said, nodding and beginning to smile, “tu secreto. Nerea me ha dicho.”
So this was a secret Nerea, the creepy, hyper-sexual 6-year-old in my first grade class “knew.” My eyes narrowed.
“Siiiii, Georgiana?” I said. “¿Y cual secreto es este?” (Yes, Georgiana? And what secret is this?)
“Que,” Georgiana began, suddenly coy with a smile playing at the corners of her mouth and blue eyes widening. “Queeeee…¡que los Reyes Magos te han traido un novio!”
I stared at her for a moment before bursting out in laughter, “Si, Georgiana,” I told her, “los Reyes Magos me han traido mi novio de los Estados Unidos.”
Georgiana and Nerea exchanged an intense look across the classroom and tittered. I just walked away, shaking my head and smiling. I still have no idea how they found out, but whatever. Now my whole class thinks that the Three Wise Men “brought me “a” boyfriend for Three King’s Day. Ja ja fucking ja. I mean, doesn’t everyone love mystical handouts? Apparently my little children do. (:

So. As you may already have ascertained, today was my first day back to school from vacation (also known here in Spain as “bakachons” *wink wink*, Ms. Amber). It began inauspiciously: I spilled rather unattractively onto the line 9 metro this morning as the doors closed and, sweating (also rather unattractively), set to stalking against gravity and momentum towards the front of the train, hoping to get a seat. Instead, I stopped dejectedly to lean against a centrally placed pole upon coming to grips with the truth that there were no seats available. Loosening my scarf and palming perspiration from my face, my gaze happened to catch on the visage of none other than Nawaf, a teacher in the bilingual program at my school. He waved shyly, looking rebuffed and sorry. It then dawned upon me that, hey, there may indeed have been a reason I’d felt like someone was tugging on my sleeve back there. I sheepishly endeavored to smooth things over by saying hell, but the end result of this effort was the most constipated Spanish conversation I’ve ever undertaken in my Spanish speaking career. Sensing things going from bad to worse, I made my escape by mumbling something about wanting to find a seat, walking away, and collapsing into an open booth near the front of the train. This was not, however, before I’d nearly eaten it, tripping over a slick businessman’s polished mahogany shoe.

In fact, now that I consider it, my morning began even more inauspiciously (and earlier) than that. 1 a.m. saw me writhing in bed with a menstrually-induced migraine. A timeless-feeling thirty minutes later, I rushed to the bathroom and slid into home on my knees, making it to the bowl just in time to upchuck a delightful whorl of tzatziki and chickpeas into the porcelain depths. I don’t suspect I’ll be eating at Maoz for the next few weeks, but I did feel better after fifteen or so shaking minutes in the bathroom and two Excedrin Migraine pills. Today’s been a little better aside from a slight migraine hangover and the conviction held by both I and my jeans that I belong in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Anyhow, the rest of the day was fineish–rather what I expected. There’s still no lack of mucous in first grade. Christian’s golden mullet is even more resplendent than it was in 2007, which I’m sure comes courtesy of negligent parents and an unwillingness to sit still for longer than 40 seconds. It was nice to see Eli, Ana, and Araceli–and my fellow TA, Felicity, too. Not nice enough, however, to keep me from wishing I were still on vacation.

I know not how it gets to be 11:40 and I’m still not asleep, but before I go, here are a few thoughts:

There is a convenience store in the Nuñez de Balboa metro station where often I’ll stop to buy an energy drink or some licorice drops. Every time I make a purchase there, I drop the contents of my change purse on the floor and into the gum rack. Every time. Without fail. Could it be a self fulfilling prophecy at this point, or could there really be some sort of magnetized field that calls my wallet forth from my hands and forcibly prises the change from its depths, refusing to stop until my 1 and 2 euro coins are buried deep in boxes of strawberry-lime Trident Splash?

There is a certain spot in front of my apartment, near the planters where weekend partygoers piss, where I drop my keys at least thrice a week. Again: self-fulfilling prophecy or magnetic force? What the fuck? And am I really that clumsy? On the upside… I may have just discovered the locus of my constant Spanish sickness and it has nothing to do with 1st grade mucous…

Okay. Bed. More when I’m less snippy. 🙂


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