AKA Abraham Bacoln

Time is drawing near
July 24, 2007, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Spain

Just so you know, something has happened in the last 24 days. On the 29th of last month I wrote about how I’d purchased a book of Stephen King stories translated into Spanish and how reading it was a complete pain. Well, I picked it up again today. Admittedly I intentionally did not bring my dictionary with me when I went to read it at dinner, so I forced myself to not stop for words I don’t immediately understand, trying to glean from context. Still, it’s impressive. I can actually pretty much read it now. It helps a lot that it’s something I’ve read before, so that’s additional context, but still.

I’m happy. I’m able to read some.

Looks like it’s going to be another rough couple of days. I’ve resolved a lot of the personal problems that were bugging me (regarding plane tickets, class scheduling, etc.) and now I’m just left with … well, with another test this Friday. And the desire to go out to eat a few more times. And more hours of classes each day. And more homework.

So what I’m trying to say here is that I might not – gasp! – I might not write here again until after I return to the US. I know, I know. I’m sorry. I just got a lots of works to do.

There’s this … well, I’d always thought it was a cliche about Spanish women and their hand fans. Turns out, no, it’s still very real. I see them on the news when they take those shots of people in the park sitting very still because it’s too hot to think. I see them in the hands of the professors. I see them on the street, I see them in the stores, I see them everywhere. Women here carry (and use) fans. It’s great.

Not one but two of my professors cursed the big bad words today, one in Spanish the other in English. The best part was that the Spanish one was written on the whiteboard in the middle of a pile of example sentences, plain as day, looking all sweet and innocent. I didn’t even know the word – I’m not fifteen, learning bad words in a foreign language is not my primary goal – and neither did anyone else, apparently. But now I for sure know how to say, “F—! I forgot my keys!” in Spanish (Spain Spanish, not Latin American Spanish). She even translated directly into English to ensure that we understood. I’ll teach you later.

I’m going to grow my beard back. I have decided. I miss it.

I also miss my shower, my Ivory soap, my bed, my cat, and you. All of you.

In closing: I finally saw her today when I was on the train. The young woman. The one I’ve been looking for the entire time I’ve been here. The girl with the tan-but-not-too-tan skin and the jet black hair in an immaculate part and pulled into a perfect ponytail. It looked wavy, probably easily teased into ringlets. Shining hazel eyes, perfectly proportioned face. She was wearing a hip red and black top with black slacks, and had one single silver necklace. She looked classy yet relaxed and fun. She smiled constantly, laughed with her friend. She looked like she would belong on the streets of the business center in a suit, or be equally placed dancing flamenco in traditional costume at 3 AM during the festival. I finally saw the embodiment of what I have in my mind as the appearance, the prototype of the classic Spanish woman.

We shared the same train car for three stops and then she got off. I didn’t talk to her, I didn’t want to talk to her. I had my headphones in, I couldn’t even hear her voice. I was just content, as content as in a museum passing from piece to piece and then seeing that one painting or photo or sculpture that really grabs your attention … but you can’t stand there all day, you have to move on, and you can’t take it with you.

But now I’ve seen it.

Now I’m ready to go.

3 Comments so far
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Why in God’s name didn’t you say hello!

Comment by s

When I lived in France, I read Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions” in French.

I didn’t understand it. I don’t think reading it in English would have helped.

Comment by dranktank

What, no picture? I know you had your camera with you, you were breathing weren’t you? Or did you just want to keep the mental image?

Comment by DadO

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