I Put the TH in Gracias (Or, How Jet Lag is a First World Problem)
"Hola oficial, creo que mi coche fue tomada. No estoy seguro de lo que hice mal, pero puedo ayadarle a conseguir de nuevo? Yo no hablo Espanol, llego tarde a comer aceite de trufa con mi amiga hasta que explotan, y realmente cuiero que en mi boca. Por favor, no tome todo mi dinero o arrestarme, porque me acaban de hacer mi pelo, y yo estoy buscando fabuloso. Gratheeas, muchacha."
This is loosely translated as, "Hey disgruntled police lady that got reassigned to this hell of a Spanish jail, it seems that my car was towed, and I have no clue what I'm doing, but I really need it back."
It's pretty much the note that I Google translated into my phone when I was in the back of a cab speeding through the Alicante streets going from the chalk outline of where my rental car was taken, to the tow yard on the other side of town. True story.
I don't think it's a vacation unless something exciting happens. And by exciting, I mean potentially needing to find the US Embassy so you don't get asked to be someone's prison husband.
This is the thing I don't understand about myself. How is it that I have a panic attack at a Pilates class at the YMCA, but I am completely calm and almost laughing when dealing with some really serious crap like getting your rental car towed in a country in which you don't speak the language?
I just can't wrap my head around this phenomenon sometimes. I also don't understand how why I feel like I'm mourning my vacation. There was a two month build up to this trip, weeks of nail-biting, many phone calls and FaceTimes where my crazy really shined through, and now that it's over, I'm sadder than I could have imagined.
I'm sore from days of travel with heavy luggage. I am dehydrated from drinking nothing but wine for 12 days straight at every meal. I don't think my bowels will ever forgive me for the bread, cheese, cured meats, and oil they have had to work overtime to process. I'm so tired that I had to look up the symptoms of mono. I opened my luggage this morning, and a scull and crossbones flew out (I will use this joke until someone laughs). I considered lighting everything on fire and starting over.
And you know what? I would do it all over again tomorrow.
So, on my first day back in my cozy apartment, I'm sad. I'm sad and hungry, and can't seem to get out of bed, even if I had food in the house. Even if DeFazio's delivered to my bedroom (note to self: give them a key.)
I spent the majority of the day under the covers. Partly because I felt like I had been drugged, and not in a good way. Partly because it was cold and rainy, and I wanted to just lay in my cocoon of a thousand country quilts and think, with eyes shut tight and face scrunched, about my favorite parts of the trip.
Was it when we took the day trip to Altea to see a church, and found it was locked, so we did the only natural thing one could do: drink wine? Or was it watching the gaggle of cloistered nuns all standing on a corner, trying each other's gelato, and absolutely shunning the one that got a fruit flavor? Maybe it was the pride I felt in having successfully purchased fruit and meat and bread at the Mercada for our beach picnic. Oh, it could have been going to the hookah place in Granada where I spilled an entire pot of tea, and found out I don't have the jawline or motor skills for blowing smoke Os. That was definitely my favorite day. Hunkered in a booth, laughing with my Kate, making plans and pretending that we were the mayors. Those silly afternoons are the best medicine.
As I roll over in bed for my third nap, I close my eyes with a smile remembering the unbelievably good truffley-cheesy-tomatoey-bready thing Kate and I got after I scooped my car from the clink. Like, it was so good, I didn't actually believe it. We ate too much, and drank just enough, laughed at all the things, and talked seriously about all the other things. All the Spanish cathedrals and white beaches and vino de blanco in the world wouldn't have topped those couple hours. I would do anything to be there again, staring into the soul of my beloved burrata cheese. (Guys: you don't even know. Oh my God, this cheese. This cheese, oh my God.)
I know the sharpness of the details will fade. That's the great and frustrating thing about time. Time marches on, with or without you, and all the things blur - good and bad. I wanted just this one day, in my comfy bed, to see the sharp line of these memories before time takes them away. Just today to still feel the full heart that this trip gave me before the memories get digested, and I'm hungry for more.
I miss the people and the language, both of which I didn't quite understand. I miss Kate. I miss Kate's classmates that I knew for a grand total of 8 hours. I miss burrata cheese and oil. God I miss the oil. I miss Luca and Jose, the waiters that I would have defected for to marry. I miss being so present to not miss one single detail of that incredible place. I miss writing in the journal Kate gave me when we got there. I miss trying to understand that beautiful language I didn't even know I liked. I miss how I felt like I was the most important thing in someone's week, and how being so loved and wanted is like a drug.
I love that drug. Moving nomadically toward the things that only make me feel good hasn't served me as well as I wished it would, I suppose. I think learning how to miss things and still be ok with "normal" life is going to be my unwanted bedfellow for the next hot minute, so I'm making the tea I bought from Granada, and I'm inviting it in to stay for as long as it needs.
Then I'm going to take one more nap, and move on with my day. I have things to do here...like immediately find burrata cheese in the greater Albany area.