far too much writing, far too many photos

runswithscissors


Sunday, August 05, 2001

The last sentence in that last entry? Not completely accurate. On the other hand, not an exaggeration either.

I woke up alone in a small hotel room in an unfamiliar city. Tired, knowing little of the language. Late afternoon, mid-February.

If you glance at a map of Europe, you may notice the mess made by unknown persons when they drew up the time-zones. In the States, it's fairly straightforward -- the demarcations run north and south in mostly logical fashion. Whoever did the zone work across the Atlantic must have been heavily into the absinthe, producing delineations that loop all over the place in wild, comically erratic style. With the result that though Madrid is actually a bit to the west of London (if my memory serves me), it's an hour ahead. Which means the sun rises later, sets later. So the mornings start slowly, gather steam at a more leisurely pace than in the States, and the evenings stretch themselves out, the extra hours of natural light making the days seem longer, more expansive.

That first day, post-nap, I got myself up out the door slightly before 6 p.m. The hotel lay situated two blocks from la Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, the center of Madrid, a crossing point for Metro lines, bus routes and other traffic trying to force its way through the streets at the city's core. I wandered through narrow pedestrian ways that led me down to Sol, in the middle of the gathering rivers of people heading home after the work day. The sun had slipped down toward the western horizon, great slanting shadows alternated with shafts of brilliant evening light beneath a February sky at once blue and golden, studded with dramatic clouds. All around the plaza loom multi-storied buildings of classic old Spanish architecture, most windows opening onto small balcones. A large statue of King Carlos III on horseback juts skyward on the north side of the plaza, flanked by two large fountains. Across several lanes of blacktop from all that, on the plaza's south side, stands the building which now houses the municipal government -- a structure that functioned as a center of detention and torture during the Franco dictatorship, then nicknamed La Casa de los Gritos, 'the house of screams.'

I found myself in the middle of all this, a scene with entirely different energy from what I was used to, filled with sunlight, sound, crowds streaming through in all directions. One of a group of teenage kids making their way through the Plaza managed to grab a pigeon, tossing it up into the sky (after pulling out a fistful of feathers) where it joined the explosion upward of its buddies as they fled the young humans.

The people passing through the rush-hour version of the plaza pretty much covered the entire spectrum of western hemisphere types -- all the various hispanic looks, along with faces and bodies that appeared to come from points all over Europe. Some would have appeared right at home in the States, others far less so.

I'm not sure how to describe the effect on me of what felt like a torrent of sensory input except to say my senses and my heart felt full to the point of overflowing.

Do I lapse into purple prose here, over-romanticizing my first lengthy hit of Madrid? What the hell. It's love -- it merits some overwriting.

rws 5:32 PM [+]

BLATHERINGS

August 2001
September 2001
October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
June 2009
July 2009

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


MORE FOCUSED BLATHERINGS


Travels:
London '01
Pamplona
Italy '03
U.K. '03
Sevilla
Casablanca
Stoke-on-Trent
Barcelona
Québec/Ottawa
Boston/Lisbon/Madrid
Italy '04
Montréal
La Sierra

Events:
Madrid -- arrival
9/11
Emergency Room I
Holidays 2001
Holidays 2002
Holidays 2003
Holidays 2004
Holidays 2005
A neighbor's passing
Madrid -- March 11 bombings
  and aftermath
Emergency Room II
Israeli friend/Madrid Marathon
Madrid -- Royal Wedding
The DELE exam

GONE, a novel:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

THE BASTARD CHILDREN OF
JOE ROCCO, a novella:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3

BURBANK SHRUGGED,
a screenplay:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3
-- Part 4

Short stories:
Murphy's Wife
Another Autumn
La Queja de Una
  Hermanastra Muy Conocida

Autobiography
-- Personal History
-- Hormones On Parade
-- Accidents, Random Mishaps,
    Personal Problems

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


OTHER SOURCES OF WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT

People/Weblogs:
dooce
foxvox
fudge it
fear not
rebekka
bookslut
802online
idle words
madhaiku
wockerjabby
grow-a-brain
rebel market
letting me be
out and about
kung fu grippe
fanatical apathy
baghdad burning
wfuv's music blog
kexp's music blog
mimi smartypants
between the miles
just a hippie gypsy
the impossible cool
tomato can brushes
vermont homestead
sugar mountain farm

Good Clean Fun:
gizmodo
futurismic
postsecret
dave barry
human clock
mcsweeney's
spaceweather
book-a-minute
internet archive
self-portrait day
my cat hates you
out of context quotes
surrealist compliment
  generator
strindberg and helium

Makin' Musical Whoopee:
last fm
stereo8
pandora
soma fm

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ABOUT RWS/CONTACT





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runswithscissors would like to thank everyone who's ever lived for everything they've ever done.



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