Last night: out with a friend, sitting in a local joint, talking, watching people. Letting go of a day that featured a high, at times thunderous, noise level here in the building. A beautiful mid-November Thursday -- air misty, sun shining strongly through it -- but intense.
By late in the afternoon, the soundtrack produced by construction/rehab. in the hallway and neighboring flat had become relentless enough that the only sane response was to bolt, get some air, maybe go to a movie for some distraction. And as hoped, flight brought immediate relief. Took a walk through the neighborhood's busy streets, caught a bus on Gran Vía, watched the passing city en route to the Plaza de España. Good therapy, all of that. Stopped in at the movie theater I'd thought about hitting, discovered the film I'd had in mind wasn't there. Stared at the various choices, surprised. Stared some more. It still wasn't there. Shrugged, stepped back out into the afternoon. Wandered for a while, caught another bus, returned home, the building substantial more tranquil than when I'd left.
On checking movie listings, I discovered I'd gone to the wrong theater. A little embarrassing, but not a total surprise. Just shows what I already know: all the commotion happening right now has me, at times, a little distracted. Given how intense existence has felt in recent days, I'm doing pretty well. I manage to get myself dressed and fed, manage to get work done, manage to carry on like a reasonably high-functioning adult. I enjoy the moments of peace that descend now and then, stumble through the more intense moments figuring they'll eventually pass.
When I stepped into the local joint yesterday evening, one or two customers sat at the counter. They paid up and left soon after, for a while I found myself alone. Watched traffic passing, listened to the counterman quietly working, read a little. Other customers entered, the place came alive with conversation, movement, me sitting in my corner, letting it all swirl around me. Jorge arrived, the evening shifted gears, my little part of it jerked more or less up to speed with the rest of the local world.
Back to normal life, just like that. No fanfare. Simple. Easy.
Jorge's been getting to know a woman in recent weeks. She called as we sat and talked, they arranged a rendezvous, Jorge inviting me along to meet her. I went, and for a while found myself in another joint, sitting across from an intelligent, attractive woman, enjoying watching them enjoy each other, talking about books, movies, pointy boots.
This morning: Alfredo finally showed (turning out to be short, balding, mild-mannered), accompanied by a slim, taller worker, Central or South American. They checked out what needed to be done, Alfredo disappeared, replaced by a swarthier, slightly burlier male, a mason. Since then, brief fits of activity have traded off with long spells of everyone disappearing. By the end of the day, I'll probably have some version of a kitchen wall. Yee-ha!