I suspect that my last six or so hours of staring at the computer is completely ruining my eyes, so this’ll be a brief one. After my exciting Spanish eye exam about two weeks ago, I now know that I have a vision deficiency in my formerly perfect right eye to complement the one in the left. This news means I need new glasses. This news is also a thing about which I will do absolutely nothing; though Fulbright rocks in general and our health insurance isn’t so bad, vision care is not part of the package. Guess I’ll have to wait to see well until further notice. Or watch fewer crappy streaming movies, force myself to be less of a gchat whore, and curb my avid icanhascheezburger perusal. Mmm. Or that. 🙂
I don’t know what i’ll do when I get home to a land where there are no Saint’s days that render my weekends longer than the work week. Thanks to San Isidro being the rockin’ patron Saint of Madrid, I’ve been off from school (where, SURPRISE, I was the only teacher all week again), since Wednesday at 4 p.m. The time off has been incredibly sweet and spent catching up with friends and doing functional, tax-related, grown up things in both English and Spanish. Wednesday night I cooked shrimp, black bean and sweet corn quesadillas for Talia and Alex, who came over bearing a bottle of wine and the supplies for Alex’s scrumptious guacamole. Later that night, post gorge, Talia oversaw my online tax-doing which resulted in the discovery of a tax return of $14.00. Yep. That’s right. $14.00. That isn’t even a 1/4 tank of gas for The Petrol Beast. (sigh).
Thursday, el día de San Isidro, for which the most castizo of Madrileños dress themselves and their children up like this, I got more hang time with aforementioned lovely ladies, plus the charming Monica and Mike. We hit this criminally hip bar in Lavapiés, which sported not only a gorgeous, top-floor terrace, but a gorgeous, top-notch waiter whose male pulchritude compelled me to rethink my stance on men with light eyes. We then headed to Retiro to watch a pyrotechnic, water spectacular, all in honor of San Isidro. There were lighted, colored fountains strategically placed in Retiro’s lake, gushing to the tune of Handel symphonies. One of the coolest (but barely visible thanks to unbelievable crowds) aspects of the display was the history of San Isidro being projected in full color onto a curtain of mist created by a lake-machine. All of this glory was followed by balls of flame that would put the best of medieval dragons to shame and the most spectacular fireworks display I’ve seen in my nearly 23 years of life. Very cool. Pictures will be on flickr as soon as I feel less lazy.
Yesterday, post sweet run/stairmaster/ass workout at the gym, I met up with Morgan, Talia, and Nicole at the most former’s apartment. Morgan made us fruit salad accompanied by some cookies borne by the other two and we chatted, ate, and washed it all down with two bottles of wine. After that it was time for trivia night and J&Js where we did NOT lose and were only outstripped by the winners by a single point. The night ended with me watching Morgan and Nicole enjoy an octopus pizza in a tiny pizzeria in Malasaña while we talked about the mystery of the human sex drive, and me usurping tiny bites of the dulce de leche infused free dessert the owner gave them. 🙂
Today was my lazy day and, aside from working out and cooking a pretty bangin’ stir fry, I’ve done jack shit with myself. Funny–I think my hermit period is coming to a close. I wish I could say that this is a change that’s come better late than never, but it is pretty fucking, well, late. I thought I’d enjoy my quiet antisocial day today, but I’ve been a little lonely and extremely bored. I’m surprised, and also a little pleased. 🙂 I was beginning to worry something creepily drastic had shifted inside of me and I’d become a permanent recluse.
Anyhow–aside from grading 3rd graders’ science tests at my favorite café tomorrow, the rest of the weekend is looking to be pretty quiet. I’m going to lay low, hit the gym, sleep as much as I can and prepare myself for next weekend when I’ll be flying to Porto, Portugal to meet up with Courtney for a weekend of relaxation, culture, Portuguese cooking, and port.
Walking home from the gym the other day, high on endorphins, I came to a happy realization. I came to a number of them, actually.
Here, I have had the life experience of…well… a lifetime. I have a future opening before me that’s entirely mine to envision and architect. I know how to take care of myself, but if I didn’t, or if I momentarily needed to cede the reins, I have people who would gladly, lovingly pick up the slack for me. I know how to weigh options, how to make my own choices, and how to make the choice that’s best for me and fair to others, too.
I have recovered my childhood love of and small talent for drawing. I love children and teaching, and children really seem to like me. I’ve got enough money to feed and clothe myself and to put a roof over my head. I have a small culinary repertoire that’s growing by the day. I can usually select a wine that isn’t horrible, bake dessert and then pack it away with gusto along with my guests. I have made wonderful, solid friends with whom I want to share said dinners. And I want to know these people for the rest of my life.
There are two fuzzy cats who will be waiting to curl around me when I get to 84 Whitman, and a mother who loves me waiting with open arms. I have a father who I’m beginning to finally befriend after 22 years of our knowing one another. I have a boyfriend who will drive South to Hartford to welcome me home and hold me and tell me he loves me without hesitation. I have somebody–so many somebodys–to love, and who love me back.
Life is very good to me and I am a lucky, lucky woman.