upheavals and (re)alignments

5 12 2011

Day-to-day currents keep shifting, and the urge to chronicle ebbs and flows, wordy moon waxing and waning in an altogether too rapidly spinning sky. I’m still here, I’m still writing. I continue to taste the new, both bitter and saccharine.

Endless nights take on fresh meaning sticky with sweat and sweetener. They’re necessarily temporal; I aim to let each remain in well-earned rest, undisturbed by introspection’s probing claws. A selection of frames: skullface and skulldress, electric Mexican advice, purple line wrong-way mornings, teenage punk-style busted lip, access denied, Robyn, huevos al plato, discarded slides/snaps, mad dancing ladytribes, cilantro judiciousness, saving face with crudités, spontaneous manifestation of lemon-yogurt cake, halfway-homelessness, somebody that I used to know, spotty mondays, disasterous cheesesteak luncheons, not seeing the Serbian, icy cobalt nails just in time for Madrid’s cold snap.

Re: “halfway-homelessness” – it’s true, I am currently nest-less. I’ve moved from Luchana. There is much appeal to community living, and there have been moments in the 10-person piso during which I’ve absolutely soared. Several of its members are now dear to me. It was an ideal, easy escape from the Palos electrical nightmare. Also, expensive – for a place clearly fraying around the edges, the rent was simply much too high to continue calling it “grunge-chic.” Selected incidents of severe fiesta also resulted in disaster, culminating in the form of pilfered dresses from the neighbor’s line. Your truly was up to no good far from the piso at the time of the Great Dress Heist, but in such an oversize batch of inquilinos, we are all somewhat to blame for the failure to cultivate more general, common-sense respect in the house.

The atmosphere of Luchana became rather tumultuous for a time, which I not too happily rode out. Whispers of a constituency amongst us moving out together buzzed in the hallways, but blah-blah ultimately undermined any joint coordination. It was when my long time NYC amiga Alex came to visit, and when the front toilet – the one I never use – began to spew water during her first shower in my place, that I began to be rather seriously miffed. The second time it happened, I declared my intentions to leave, alone if need be. And so I have.

Piso prowling in Madrid is always harrowing, full of dashed dreams and unrealized appointments. After several days of slapdash idealista journeys both north and south, I went with my gut reaction to a 5-person place near metro Antón Martín. It’s decorated by the owner/landlord with her own oversize abstract art, which surely deserves its own post somewhere down the line. There are plants in the kitchen, vines and green leaves!

Deposit paid, the only sticking point is that the room’s current resident remains until the 10th of the month. I had made Grande Plans to hit up the Lyon Festival of Lights over this week’s puente vacation days, but the French foray was cancelled on account of Parisian Love (not mine). As such, I am presently Wanderer, Forager, Squirrel. A pair of sleeping bag nights on the new couch, one snugged amidst a mountain of soft neon paraphernalia, and another in Miguel’s bed in Luchana, since he’s already gone skiing down south.

It’s okay. The instability, feeling displaced, reminds me strongly of Bangkok. I never make mention here of Thailand except in the most cursory way (som tam! Pai! sawatdee kaaaaa!); in fact, until very recently I hadn’t done any sort of writing whatsoever about my experience there.

That’s where my words have gone as of late: I here announce my latest project, a stab at painting a Bangkok picture. It’s the best story that I carry within me, I know, and I haven’t even managed to tell it to myself yet – how heavy it hangs. Give me much time. It will out itself, at times flowing silky pashmina glitterwraps, others torrential swim-walking through flooded streets, still others achingly gut-wrenching, violent, too much, overwhelming, overdone. All part of the picture. The best stories have layers.

In further BKK overlap, Madrid’s been in the throes of protest. Biweekly teachers’ strikes have led to a strangely dynamic schedule this year. The global OWS protest made its way here on October 15th; armed with cameras, Luchana ran gleefully out to join the passing throng.

Despite the written rage displayed on several signs, the joy of the crowd was palpable. So much of Madrid came out – tens of thousands – the streets clogged with signage and green shirts and snap-happy twitterfiends,  overwrought anti-slogans given new breath lifted into the air by the multitudes.

My participation in OWS began and ended on this afternoon, but I left it with yet another view of my city, a shiny new facet. A Gran Vía of Dreams.


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4 responses

6 12 2011
Kaley

Glad to see you writing again!

6 12 2011
contomates

you and me both!! sometimes the hiatus gets so long that posting again becomes daunting. putting these bits together felt a bit like letting hot steam out from a pressure valve.

9 12 2011
Rich

I remember that photo in Chiang Mai. While respecting that it takes time, I will be really looking forward to your writings of Bangkok. And, I’m glad you are off the couch!

9 12 2011
Janel

i do get an occasional thrill from flying by the seat of my pants, but a secured bed for the night cannot be highly rated enough.

bangkok is an absolute beast. gonna be a while; thinking about releasing it in segments?

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