Rain on the way to B—. The field was open. I caught up with the C— and he said last time taught him to stop constantly wondering how others see him. Along the highway two Spanish men were whooping at the trucks to get them to honk. The Spanish guys gave me some of their wine.
I couldn’t walk properly. The day was cloudy, dry, patches of morning sun illuminating certain hillsides. Yesterday A— said he expected me to join with the other Australians. Already there were more trees and we climbed through a wood the leaves hadn’t come back to yet, then pine forest. I walked until I could only feel my hip joints swinging my feet, pieces of meat. Talked to G—. Tortilla and cheese in old bread. Read.
Started walking, a little cloudy. Had a sweet pastry. The way went up a rocky hill, beside a military base, snares of barbed wire. I caught up and walked with A—. He was wondering why people binge drink. We had a sandwich in the doorway of an abandoned shed, picnic style, his ‘best lunch’ yet. We walked into town. I showered and read, went for a walk. Ate potato chips and a pear on a bench before the cathedral and thought, I am free. A teacher came and sat beside me, I had fun practicing my Spanish, but some of the young people came by and I couldn’t leave him. We had a sandwich and he showed me the supermarket. I can see openness just at my fingertips like the opening of the sea, a flower of foam, petals.
Bus to Madrid. Sunny and warm when I arrived. Spent several hours in McDonalds, made for bus station, bought ticket. I felt like nothing would ever come to any good. We’d never agree, no good, flesh of stone.
Something about stories. A story is like a railroad, one set of rails from beginning to end—-the written words, one after another, page after page. A story has strand upon strand if it is a rope.
Breakfast with my tray at my table, a walk along the crumbling cliffs. An hour on the sofa reading while my washing cycled through. Some more reading by the canal deciding it wouldn’t rain much more, a walk through the marina, abandoned-looking, the sun and shade beach, and eating dinner. I met some Portuguese in the kitchen who said their country had been in crisis for as long as they remember, and they’d read somewhere that Australians were the happiest people in the world. I said they should be. Had dinner while reading The Tiger’s Wife. Talked to my roommate about travel, her experiences of communism.