Regular Stuff

Leaving Spain

I’m breaking bricks on the Spanish tile roof, surrounded by bees. I hear the crunch and slide of loose bricks. Garrett left a couple of days ago. Now it’s just me on the rooftop, surrounded by bees and high air. That is eight stories up. Miles away and humping over the eastern skyline are Spanish mountains, which curve slowly up and down like the Spanish tiles. They are blue and green. Between me and that is the city of Pamplona, small and industrial, with charm and a touch of sprawl. My last Spanish hand-roll is in my mouth, but it’s rigid. My head is rigid, cocked 90 degrees to the south, and a yellow jacket lands on my right arm.

Spain has been terrible to me. What even happened here? I escaped Paris because I had lost my mind. Here I never looked for it, never found it, but learned to live without it. J’Ă©tais partout sans esprit. Everywhere, mindless. I remember the pintxos, the slight slants of tiny streets, the Spanish dancing, the kebab shops, the world’s largest roundabout, the high repose of the city walls, the sharp sweet taste of Don Simon sangria. There were candles and meditation, the buzzing laboratory light of the too-white kitchen, the cigarette-ash cave that leads out to the roof. Beautiful women that I looked at without words. Spain has been a sort of unconscious hyperconsciousness, one where you’re absolutely running at different speeds, both faster and slower than you’ve ever gone. Like a whirlwind you’ve learned to navigate, but only after having lost perspective of what it’s like to not be in a whirlwind, and then of course your mind slows down sometimes and things settle and you wonder what happened.

Below, there is the construction of a new park across the street from the apartment. One day it will be finished, though I will never see it. Down by the bridge there’s a flock of old men watching the construction. Like always. There is nothing so familiar here as old men watching construction. What else have they to do? There are no jobs anyway. Only to watch those who do have jobs, to remember what it was like to build and to construct. They don’t speak; they line up along the bridge in even intervals, nine of them right now. One leaves, another on the street takes his place via diffusion. They’re rigid like me, transfixed like I am paralyzed. Some of them will never see the park completed either. They’ll die before it’s finished. But I think it’s the construction they really care about, not the park, so it’s not sad.

I need to leave Spain. I lost my body in Spain, and my mind is still in tatters. I don’t want to go to America. I don’t want to go to France. But I don’t want to be here, or it will kill me. A yellow jacket lands on my face. I want to be on an airplane, but I don’t want it to go anywhere. Just on an airplane. There everything that’s happened to me will not become a ghost and I’ll be able to hold onto it forever and never be stuck in a place or have to leave one. I might never see where I’m going, but it’s the movement and the flying I really care about.

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