July 4

I slept fairly well, despite a minor head cold that I picked up probably from all my walking. Exhaustion. I can’t think of anything else. Stress, jetlag, coffee, sugar. It all works against me.

Liam and I took the train to Aran Juez yesterday to see the Royal Palace. He was pretty impressed. I was impressed with the fact that we did lots of talking. He’s really able to dig deep and express himself, unlike Angel. It’s amazing the differences between the two. Liam is also very homesick so on the train while we road through the Spanish countryside, we talked about stuff back home that we miss the most: spaghetti and meatballs, Grandmom’s hugs, Alex, Liam’s toys, the backyard, all the friends and family we left behind. I remember making lists like that when I was in France and Greenland and even Madrid. It’s a tough feeling to get through. Indeed!

We ate a horrible lunch at this place called the Godoy right across from the palace. The meat was overcooked and fatty and the calamaries weren’t cooked enough. The waiter was this rough little old man who took smoke breaks a few feet from our table. He had a strange under bite with sharp fanglike teeth and he scared Liam. He told him he better eat all his calamaries.  He was only kidding but his voice was gruff from years of smoking. They kept asking, almost as if they knew our answer, Is the food okay? “No es muy bien hecho,” is what I wanted to say. When we went to pay our bill, the scary waiter tickled Liam’s neck and Liam did nothing. Later, Liam said, “I really didn’t want that man touching me.” Well, why didn’t you say something? I asked. I didn’t like his response: “because I didn’t want the man to be angry with me.” Good Lord! Who cares about that stinky old man, I said. You are in charge of who touches you and who doesn’t. This is why children are molested. Ugh. You have a RIGHT to say no. You don’t have to deal with things you don’t like. Except maybe mommy telling you to get to bed, or clean your room. Jesus. I hope he gets it. I hope they both do.

Anyway, when we got back, I had my customary coffee and digestive cookies, and surprise, surprise, P called. Abuela passed me the phone and I was overjoyed and flattered that he really called the house—he must have been practicing what I taught him: Podria hablar con Tracy por favor. C would never have done that. His excuse? “Oh, I thought it was best to leave you alone and I’d see you when you got back.”

So, P and I talked awhile, mostly about his poison ivy situation. It’s spreading everywhere, apparently. How sad. And not much else. His parents left Wednesday, so he’s got a full week to himself to do with as he pleases. What sucks is that he’s got to deal with poison ivy during his “P-time.” Aww…my sweetpea. It’s going to be very strange seeing him again and getting to know him all over again. On Sunday, it’ll be our five month anniversary. Five months! That’s a whole lifetime for some people. Then, it’ll be six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve…A full year.

While Liam and I were in Aran Juez, Angel went over to Tio’s house to paint. He said he enjoyed himself. How nice that both my children are getting such a great education.

Last night we went over to Eroski and ate at McDonald’s. There were actually a bunch of Americans in there. How bizarre. What are they doing all the way out here, in the ‘hood? I wanted desperately to ask. But I missed the opportunity. How frustrating.

So, I found a bunch of cool vintage shops in the Malasaña. I’m going to spend the day shopping and be alone.

Later… 9:40pm

Well rested, and yet, so ready for bed. I was up early and out by 10:30 to Tribunal, having an espresso at El Rincon on calle Santo Espiritu by 11ish. I saw the most adorable man there. The waitress thought I was Italian. I’ll have to tell my mother. So, let’s see. I ended up at Templo de Susu, then Corcharan y Delgada where I met a very nice Italian woman from Sicily, who, after I bought a couple shirts from her, took me to Lotta Vintage. I never found The The or Pepita is Dead. I think one more day in the Malasaña ought to do it. I had a brilliant time.

The boys spent the day on the computer, and then after dinner, went to Tajamar to play paddle ball with Tio. Liam came back completely bruised and beat up. But he said he had a great time. Boys. I got a few moments to myself and I called P. He sounded very happy now that he’s all alone. I’m happy for him.

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