i’m like alice in wonderland minus the cool adventures but i think the stoner caterpillar is still there?
as i glance to my left, left I see an outdoor cafe. a table that consisted of six hombres (yes they ARE the table, they’re not just sitting at it. idk i’m guessing it’s a europa thing) probably only a few years older than me are cafe-ing. it’s a more remote side street and no one else is around. their eyes are already following me as i walk with the haste of a soccer mom but legs of a corgi. also i have no idea where i am and i needa get to class asap. but it was a total “elementary school your name got called on the intercom to go to the office and you become a circus act/walk of shame show as you walk to the door even if you’re not in trouble” moment.
and you know, when it’s just a table of thirty, flirty, and thriving guys in a foreign country where I am only slightly out of place (blonde hair with vividly red tips – oh and don’t forget the light eyes – is a stark contrast against the mix of dark haired, dark eyed, dark skinned mixture of spanish, middle eastern, and african people of southern spain.
it always makes me feel a little less like “going on adulthood” jennifer garner and a little more “i’m not grown up enough for this” tom hanks in big. some classmates, my host parents, or whoever else I’ve talked to in the last few weeks (I’m still trying to remember all the names of people in my program lol cut me some slack) have all said something along the lines of “oh my god no you’re totally safe though! you have absolutely nothing to be worried about! its safer than the cities back in washin-townnn!!”
how did I not see that before.
now that you’ve offered your advice, I am now completely reassured in my ability to just cake/crepe walk home. not to mention when my class finishes during the hours of the evening’s engulfment of darkness and the nocturnal cultures on the streets make their morning rise with setting of the sun.
plus, wow ya know. my inner compass is actually magnetically drawn towards coffee shops and has already made me late (and almost late) to class or official meetings more times than I’m emotionally ready to admit to the five people who follow/read my blog. I know I will love this confused little trinket of a sense of direction when I’m not shoving a nutella toast sandwich in my face and throwing on random articles of clothing, as I’m frantically power walking as fast as these short Corgi legs can take me to whatever I’m rushing to promptly arrive for (it’s not that I’m always actuallllly late, everyone else I guess was just born into some kind of regal “flawless/fashionably on time” family heritage whereas I’ve founded and excel in the “did-she-really-wear-that tackily late” category).
and also i want to see the city in the light of the days that fluidly pass. when I can feel the little tingle of warmth on my face (that’s finally not the sweat from power walking in 6 coats, a thick scarf, and padded boots that insulate the 4 pairs of wool socks) of the sun’s rays, like the baby sunshine from teletubbies (fun fact: it’s confirmed the baby sunshine is my celebrity doppelganger).
the city of granada is so beyond what you see in photos. of everything. there’s an infinitely, endlessly, fascinating myriad of people, places, things (and essentially any noun you can conjure) to see and get lost in (if you’re not ACTUALLY trying to get somewhere that is. otherwise you’re probably screwed. like me.)
side note: there’s a café only a couple blocks from the casa (shout out to san (saint) sara for showing me the way again, she’s essentially a saint for always leading my jack sparrow compass the right way with her golden compass) that’s so pacific northwest feeling, I could definitely have possibly resembled the heavy breathing obese cat meme. another day you’ll get the total 411-911-low-down on that perfectly roasted coffee shop.
I’m still filled with the “one philange at a time” timidity as I test the waters of the sea and salty air when I’ve only ever known rivers and calm forest breeze. (totally metaphorical. chill). I lament in nervous silence when I undoubtedly-guarantee, bet-oprah’s-fortune, as-my-life-is-hopefully-long say that even as I turned sharply around the nearest street corner (and also because I’m me — turned straight up into the corner of the building) I felt their eyes. watching an awkward, Corgi legged girl with a half attempted mess of a braid and bug eye glasses that take over half her face clumsily bump and pinball around (without even scoring any points) as she attempts to steadily walk the uneven cobblestone in even the most normal shoes; still. i could see in my sub-par distance/peripheral vision that they were still looking at me. the group of hombres at their cafe table slowly resumed their conversation. things went back to normal for them.
but obviously not for me.
otherwise this excessively wordy, nonlinear, mess of a writing would serve no purpose. well like other than to haunt every teacher and professor ive ever had with a compulsory need to give a pop quiz on daily grammar practice, teach an entire week-long lesson on how to write a thesis/paragraph organization concluding in a timed write, and lastly to terminate (in an arnold schwarzenegger style, duh) the notion that writing is more than just a stream of consciousness we choose to follow. however the longer I follow the stream: the closer I am to where it reaches out to the sea and the more likely I am to dive in head first.
it’s not that i expect to be taken (and liam neeson style saved) every time I leave the casa and venture farther than my building’s front door (ok well I just expect it less than I initially did). and yes, some people can scold or judge me for my tenacity (on the real tho, would also be totallllly okay if they elsa’d up one of the sierra nevada mountains and let it go) but I’m still uncomfortable. people just, stare. like honestly chill, fam.
i’m a 21-year-old david in a city that couldn’t be a bigger goliath. I’m the scattered thought, risking being late, jack sparrow compass using, visibly extranajera, young woman with a fear of escalators who will pay all the trident layer gum in the world for one thing. to live bravely enough to let myself begin, but be wise enough to know when it should end.
I think for most people, they’ve gotta reach both poles before they find their equator.
fear often comes from the unknown. there’s no familiarity. there’s no little old light house keeper shining a beacon to anchor you. there’s no adele to wistfully croon into her early 2000s flip phone that “hello. it’s me.” she and I aren’t on that same intense emotional level (and I mean, she’s still trying to make a name for herself. she’ll catch up some day).
but I sing my own song with the same strength as adele reaching the chorus when I look through the eye of a camera lens. granada is that one place where you really only want to let yourself remember the best parts of. when my camera is on and the sun is bright enough to leave a faded sunspot or bring everything to life, that’s when i’ll walk past a cafe table that’s made of contortionist spaniards (really quite impressive) and not have to just pretend like it totes doesn’t faze me that people look at me for no reason.
as a whole, i can easily walk down a street nbd. but sometimes when i’m completely lost in tiny alleys when i thought i knew where i was going, deffffinitely a little less lion and a little more mouse. but i just sling my camera strap around my neck and take 20 minutes to adjust the settings and then i’m gúcci.
there exists a moment, without space and time, where you see it. everything else is just forgot. that sincere, perfect. and naturally genuine smile is why you fall in love.
you take the photo.