Sunday, April 5, 2015

A blog post about my time in Spain and some of the people I once knew

This is part of my continuing series of blog posts I promised myself I'd write all this week. This one is about my time in college overseas and getting my heart SMASHED (sort of), BUT about the bright future ahead for all involved (hopefully). Enjoy!

I spent a year studying in Spain in college. You could choose to live on your own or with a host family. I decided to live with a kind old lady named Loli and her son Antonio. Loli was about 5 feet tall. She had thick brown glasses and a perm hairdo. She dressed up whenever she left the apartment. She put on all her gold to go to the market. I'd never seen anything like it. She made sandwiches for us to bring to school. Sometimes it was dry tuna fish from a can on a fresh roll with a little salt and pepper. Other times it was ham and butter. It was simple food but it was delicious. Her son Antonio was in his mid-40s. He spent most weeknights drinking beer in his underwear watching football on TV in his room. On Friday night he went out and on Sunday came back in the same clothes. All the while Loli cooked and cleaned and took good care of me and Thomas, my American roommate. The first time I saw Thomas I thought he was from Sweden. He had blue eyes, blonde hair, and a sharp nose. But he introduced himself and said he was from Montana. He was four years older than me. He read a lot, had traveled quite a bit, and loved music. He'd talk to anybody. I met some of my best friends in the world over there because of him. I was sort of scared being in Spain at first. Loli's apartment was in an apartment block and there were bars on the windows. I didn't know then that most anything on the ground floor in Europe has bars on the windows. He took me around, helped me see there was nothing to fear. He introduced me to electronic music. Everything but the Girl's Temperamental. Great album. That album still reminds me of us sitting at the kitchen table studying for Spanish Syntax. Thomas had three beautiful sisters. They came to Spain to visit him once. They were all going to travel to Portugal, Gibraltar and Morocco and asked if I wanted to join. I said sure. It was great. His sisters were beautiful and fun and friendly. Morocco was a little touch and go. All of Tangiers seemed to have their eyes on the sisters, but fine. I hit it off with one of them and when I got back to the states we met again and things were amazing. But it was long distance and doomed though I didn't know it at the time. A year or so later I flew west to see her and her brother in Minnesota. I'd hoped all of us would pick up where we left off, but it wasn't to be. She had a new boyfriend and he was there hanging around the whole time. I didn't get the chance to talk to her once and eventually left without saying goodbye. Not that it would have changed anything. I'd look from time to time, but I never saw her straight on. There was nothing to see, I suppose. I spent most of the trip angry and awkward. One of the last nights there I spent drunk in a lounge chair rambling like a mad man. I didn't even really drink at the time. I remember seeing figures looking out at me in the window of the house, but not much else. The worst part of it all is I lost the friendship I had with Thomas. I wish I somehow knew then to play it cool and also how to play it cool. I still follow Thomas on Facebook. Recently he liked a photo album of his sister and it showed up on my timeline. Turns out she's celebrated her 13th wedding anniversary. She looks great in the pictures. Happy. I'm happy for her. I learned a lot from that experience. Mostly about expectations (mine) and perspective (hers). It's interesting getting a peek at what people are up to these days, the successes they're celebrating. It motivates me to work harder, to make something and get somewhere with writing and painting if I can. All those things were such a long time ago, but it's great where people are and where they're going. Things happen for a reason. I see that now.

I'm wondering why I even wrote about that right now. It's a personal story, a personal experience. I just wanna be able to write about everything. Especially now that I'm trying to write this blog every day, it forces me to sort of take the things I see and feel that day or around it and try to make something out of them. I'm not saying this is something. Just my observations and experiences. For myself, I wanna get through to someplace with writing where I'm just expressing myself without thinking too much about it. I don't wanna clean up everything I write, if I feel later maybe I went to far or said too much. I'm trying to be less quiet and shy. For myself. I wanna talk about more things. I wanna write my own way and that's it. Not write something then look at it from outside and question if it's acceptable. My only real goal was ever to say it right and true, whatever it is, right the way it came to me. I think that's where purity lives. People say you have to write and rewrite, tighten and craft. I get that. I'd rather put more posts out that aren't super polished and start working on new stuff. Anyway. Thanks for reading.

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