Tuesday, December 28, 2004


American Airlines Flight 68 Miami to Madrid

Flying into the sunrise on flight 68. The clouds look like a landmass and confuse my eyes. Is this continental Europe? Portugal? The mountain ranges appear, black and blanketed with mist. Beloved Spain, I am close to you now. I am awakening.

journalLa Ochava, Calle Bustamante 27

As a fearful flyer, crossing the Atlantic is not easy. Those who share this fear understand the apprehension of setting foot on an aircraft: your fear is your freedom.

I’m sitting at the bar La Ochava, just outside Atocha. I have no idea how to move around in this city. In Madrid, at this moment, I am in completely unknown, unfamiliar territory. But two universal constants comfort me: one, a bar where you can have a caña and two, that unequivocal feeling of being at home.

The flight was not the greatest of my worries. This is precisely what I was afraid of, that I would come here, and fall in love again, fall in love with this place, with the accents words jumping playfully about me, tempting me to speak my truth, my life on these pages.

The bartender has just refilled my caña, although I had only taken one little sip, emptying just half an inch from the rim of the glass. Another set of constants: one, the power of cleavage, and two, woman sitting at a bar, writing, alone.

The relationship to wholeness is already here, a priori, as it should be. The sadness that enveloped me two days ago like an impenetrable fog disperses from my body and I feel that even though I am literally lost in this city, I am not lost at all.