Here I am closing in on two weeks. It’s hard to believe. I know so much more than I knew day one. I was extraordinarily fortunate in quickly securing a place thereby removing the need to live out of a suitcase. I was (am) most pleased. I know how to get to work without second guessing myself. I live in a fantastic barrio (neighborhood). Circumstantially, all is well; and yet, when asked I cannot help but respond to excited inquiries about my adjustment with nothing more but an underwhelming, “Spain is good.” For all that I left to be here, one would expect more, no?
In truest of fashions, I’ve spent the last few days pondering this reality and after giving what I believe is the necessary space for the obvious lack of time, I repeatedly come back to one train of thought. At present, Spain and I are school children who have just met. “Spain, meet Anna. Anna, meet Spain.”
Nearly two weeks ago we blushed and mumbled our obligatory hellos and tried to go about our lives ignoring and avoiding eye contact of the very obvious right in front of us. For the first day or two each of us stayed on our respective sides of the room awkwardly navigating the occasional brush with an, “Oh yeah, uh, hey.” Except now, a few days in, it is getting harder and harder to claim ignorance. We have reached the point of mutual (albeit silent) acknowledgement, though neither is ready to open up their world and all that it holds to the other. Suspicion still reigns.
We continue giving and taking, giving and taking each from the other without a word. One minute we’re trotting along, the next we’re rather maliciously tripping and pushing each other. One lowers a wall ever so slightly only to turn and run when the other advances on the understood invitation. It is a peek-a-boo of sorts, littered with glimpses of heart that holds all kinds of insecurities and longings and hopes, all craving to be fulfilled. I for it and it for me. Funny, I never quite envisioned it starting out like this but alas here I am: a seven-year-old looking at the floor hoping to receive an invitation to come out and play. I want to be invited and welcomed. I know that I could invite myself or force the hand, but I’m shy and it all means so much more when I haven’t forced myself into it. All the while I hear the teacher’s soft voice calling me to ask him to play.
“I know, but I’m shy,” I respond.
“Are you shy enough to miss out, Anna?” I bite my lip and look at the floor. I know she’s right…. Once routine settles I suspect we’ll progress to flirting and we’ll see what happens from there.
Do be nice, Madrid, for I like you so — even if I can’t yet tell you.