Arlene Reich Temple in Spain

Muddy Boots

I am currently typing from the Estacion Sur in Madrid, awaiting the bus that will take me to Sevilla.  Also, I am listening to the new Beach House album, Bloom, which is sure to be the soundtrack to my bus ride through the south of Spain with its massive floating choruses over dreams progressions.

The past week has been, needless to say, an absolute upheaval.   Over five months, I became hopelessly and uncharacteristically attached to my friends, to Oviedo, and to life with my loving host family.  This, I did not realize until the moment of despedida, when I felt like each goodbye was like getting hit with a brick in the gut; I couldn’t choke out the necessary words signifying the coming changes.  Each goodbye rolled around in my mouth heavy and dry.  I feel like most of the last nights were spent in long warm embraces: with my family, with new friends, with strangers, alike.  This semester has been a constant state of motion and evolution, of an intensity that urges me to match it in passion and finesse.  I plan on landing in the Pittsburgh completely spent, perhaps moving to a condo in Florida with the other retirees, after having experienced full lifetime.  I’ve lived more lives than one.  I want the fuel gauge to read zero just as I am landing in the city of my childhood and nearing the Suburbia that awaits the first part of the summer.

Note:  I made the mistake of using “Adios” when saying goodbye to my host sister.  Adios, literally meaning “To God”, conveys that it is the end.  She corrected me, saying, “hasta luego”, a phrase that is tied with the expectation that we will see each other again some day.

Luckily, the quick pace of Berlin made me forget these woes!  Berlin, I love.  I can’t help but think that there are few places like Berlin in the summertime.

And last night, in anticipation of leaving Berlin, I hopelessly clung to Hannah and Alyssa, who would be the last Oviedo remnants for some time.  We hugged amid the chaos of Dr. Pong, a ping pong based bar, and my boots felt heavy as I ran to catch the last metro leaving towards my hostel.

This morning in Berlin, the S9 running from my hostel to the Schoenfeld airport was the subject of a bit of arson, and because I know nothing and learned nothing of German during my time there, it was a close call arriving for my flight.  From there to Madrid.  Metro to bus station.  Board bus to Sevilla.  It has been a mechanical day, but also a miraculous day because I have finally learned to wrangle public transportation solo.

By the way, Sevilla is hot. Very, very hot. The online gauge reads 40 celsius.  I am going to be melting all over the pristine cobblestone streets.

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