Self-deprecation is worth its weight in smoldering phoenix-ashes and baby unicorn tears.

14 Apr 2008.  1:08pm.

I sit at the small table outside the little café, situated just south of the Great Pool in the Parque del Buen Retiro.  It's a beautiful day, the vast azure sky dotted by friendly, fluffy clouds, making their quiet pilgrimage across the countryside.  It's almost as though Madrid wants to say to me, 'Look!  I'm not so bad, after all!  Enjoy your last day here!'

A cool breeze blows by, rippling the face of the shallow pool, breaking up the pristine reflection of the gigantic monument on the East side.  With the breeze comes a platoon of pigeons, landing and rooting about in the ground for bits of fallen food.

The saxophonist on the edge of the poop stops playing 'Strangers in the Night' and begins to howl a forlorn, melancholic tune I'm familiar with, but whose name escapes me like the wisps of a dream upon waking.  It's soothing, as I stare out across the water and into the trees on the far side.

It may be sunny, but it's chilly in the shade of the massive ash I sit under.  For the millionth time this week, I wish I hadn't forgotten a jacket.  Tarragona has almost always been warm enough that I haven't needed one.  Madrid has been another matter entirely.

A steady stream of people venture past in the sunlit path to my left, men on their lunch breaks looking for an escape from their stuffy offices, lowered collars undone.  Mothers walking their little ones in big, unwieldy strollers, all decked out in track suits and matching sneakers.  Plenty of tourists, dressed in garish clothes (the Germans) or summer finery (the Brits) or bundled up with scarves and heavy coats (the Latin Americans).  A slew of Japanese tourists, with a cavalcade of beautiful children whose gender is a mystery to me.

A father and his young daughter pass by.  She's grabbing his hand like her life depends on it, sliding back and forth, obviously just learning to rollerskate.  he pats her hand reassuringly, demonstrating once again how to push off, how to angle the feet, how to brake and stop without falling.

The saxophone player starts in on the almost inevitable (and almost inevitably bad) rendition of 'When the Saints Go Marching In'.  I never had cared for that song, ever since the long-lost days of beginning piano lessons and the tortured version of that old gospel 'classic'.

Out on the pool, there's a young, American-looking couple that have rented one of the rowboats and are cruising about the mini lake, chasing the sunlight and trying to avoid the shadows of the clouds.  I think they're honeymooners - they've got that sickeningly sweet 'Just Married' vibe about them.  I'm impressed that they could afford a trip like this for a honeymoon.  I live like a pauper, having gone a couple days without even eating, and it's still costing me a fortune.

I finish my coke and it's time to go.  It's been a nice last day in Madrid, but I'm ready for the long train ride home.

on May 02, 2008
The only version of that song that doesn't kill my soul.

on May 03, 2008
All of your experiences are going to come together one day into a best selling novel.

Are you still seeing Hiromi in a week? (Nope, didn't forget ) Make sure you blog on that if it doesn't make the novel! I want to hear how you liked it live!
on May 04, 2008

It's almost as though Madrid wants to say to me, 'Look!  I'm not so bad, after all!  Enjoy your last day here!'

I'm glad Madrid succeeded.

on May 05, 2008

Thanks for reading, you guys.  I don't write these posts for others, I write them for me.


But I write them in a notebook.  And then I type them up, format them, and post them here.


So I do type them for you all to read.  And it's nice to know that someone does read them. 

on May 05, 2008

it's nice to know that someone does read them

Always, mate, always.