I draw myself on the map, finally. I conquer the city. The land. I know the gin tonic bar where we kissed first (okay, second. But the first one when you didn’t smell like an ashtray and it felt good). I pass that often, it’s nearby. I remember the spot on the Ramblas where we used to have our little arguments about God and that you don’t believe in having a soul. No point to argue, anyway, you’re already gone.
Other landmarks. Recognizing the little hillside where we had a picnic. Another one, remembering the street I used to walk to get in your house in Góthico. This is how the year began, and man, that’s a year of history, of marking maps, I’m getting tired of it. Sharing. The city takes me in, welcomes me, I ain’t no more a stranger: I have a history, the stones tell a story, little bricks are building up something; or rather some roots digging down deeper and deeper to get me stable and present, filling up my life in Barcelona with moments, places, smells and seasons. Months pass, and I just remember then how white You were dressed when we met for the second time in front of the bar where I’ve been already but forgot – now I’ll remember for You, for you kissed me there and told I may visit. I may not. Healing takes time. And it’s good to find a common ground with you which is called distance, for now.
I finally do recognize when seasons change – such an achievement when you have only two – two and half seasons…! I am exaggerating it of course. It’s autumn now – your favorite season, the fall where we fell… and I stop thinking. I feel empty. I listen to the wind, listen to the noise of sea how the waves are trying to conquer the land tirelessly, I look for the stars and I find them. The wind, the wind is here, it wrapped me in its sweet and sunny arms all day long, I can still smell the sun and the sea-breeze on my skin, the sand in my hair. My breath. It’s so close to me since you left in your hurry.
Landmarks are like milestones, I know I am one step deeper, shall I ever leave again to live somewhere else? Would I go? I am present here, now, that’s a question for the future I know not. I need my social web, my friends, the already known corners of the streets, the well known smells of the garbage, the feet and shoes of summer girls and the barbs of the men, the short stories told on a bus. I sense how my roots are getting stronger and are digging deeper, like blood drops on the ground (why again do I start to think and write in French in a middle of a sentence like this? La mémoire du sang… ).
I know this gin and tonic bar and a few others.
There is a marking on each place I’ve passed some times. The walls of the streets and places start to fill up with history, with soul, with something inexpressible but detectable with the breath, the smell, the noises, something so much familiar that I think it has become part of my own body. I live with it, I breath it, it’s like an extended organ – – –
– – – and the night is so different from the day, different people, different energies, another world, city beneath the city, dark beneath the light. I feel strong today, passed beyond the fears and longings, just present and in peace with whatever has to pass, and whatever has to come. Honestly, it’s such a precious gift having the courage to share and to show what the heart bears: it’s better than a confession of old and forgot sins, is better than anything (except being in love), it’s bright and spacious and fresh and cooling and loved. Whole. Like a whole new life.