Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Doors Track 11

Traveling. Bus. End. Wait. Delay. JFK. Goodbye. LaGuardia. Talia Hershewe. Portland. Eve. Day.

This is the last one about Spain. And it's not really about Spain.

About hour four of hanging in the airport and I realized that saying goodbye under stress and exhaustion is more of a test of endurance rather than a heartfelt experience.

I had dragged my ass out of bed and made my way to the plaza Cervantes for the last time. It was like the first day. Bus in the same place, the setting a blur behind the reality and immediacy of the people before me. This end was quiet and hectic. Nothing ceremonial about our quick goodbyes. 6 in the morning is too drowsy of an our, and far too cold, to allow for the necessary emotional response. The goodbye was an automatic disbelieving formality. We had already said goodbye for the last week.

A short bus trip to the airport. Terminal four and the line was out the door. Full of Spaniards and Americans doing the Holiday rush. Iberian Air was working hard at moving the line, we were lucky we had so much time. The quickest and least heartfelt goodbye was the one that should have had the most ceremony. I said goodbye to my friends on the Boston flight in a mere few seconds. They were in the wrong terminal and had to run to catch their flight. Quick goodbyes, quick hugs, and on we went.

The holiday rush elicits weird responses, a man late for his flight insisted on going on a hunger strike. Security was a normal. Fell asleep everywhere until boarding. In the cafe, in the terminal, in the plane. Sat next to Claire on the way back and we just sort of drowsily conversed, slept, and pretended that all of it wasn't the end. We had been delayed four hours and everyone was adjusting their plans. Ultimately it would be fine, which meant that sadly we would have to end our lovely Spain experience uneventfully. Hopped off the plane, went through customs with my wine, walked Claire to terminal three, and hopped on a bus to LaGuardia.

Sleeping in airports is not the most fun thing in the world to do but it certainly is something I can say I have done now. And if that makes the experience more bearable then so be it. Four in the morning. Wander to the line and bump into Talia Hershewe. One thing I have learned from Spain is that you can never escape Reno. Talia went to Reno High with me, and lives just down the street. It's always funny to have those happenstance meetings.

Flew into Portland and let the culture slip back into my consciousness. Christmas Eve was fun and loud and noisy and awesome. Family is good. Family is warm. Family is safe. Christmas day was similarly fun and very delicious. A reminder that my family doesn't cook with oil only.

Goodbye Spain.