6. Madrid, Spain.
Two walking tourists. All around this ugly city we walked in silence for what felt like days. We walked among crowds of Madridians smoking cigarettes and swallowing the smoke. The locals depressed me with what felt like a Spanish kind of unfriendly thanatos that they carry around in their attitudes. One older Madridian woman came up to me with a parakeet on her shoulder and kept asking me “why?” in English. I have seen her around our hostile all night sitting on a stump, in the dark and staring at a ninth story window. Palpitations are keeping me awake and outside I can see this gray city dangling from what seems to be the last tentacles of life. It’s two a.m and more windows seem to have lights in them than are dark. Don’t people who live in Madrid ever sleep? Do they all suffer from palpitations like me? Maybe its in the drinking water or the food. From now on I should only drink bottled water. Outside it is cold. Really cold and this fucking hostile has little heat. April in Madrid, what a strange place for me to be. At dinner I drank a bottle of Dominican red wine but I am not drunk nor am I hungry. I just want sleep. I should of known better. I am guilty of gluttony. The Spanish consume food in a way that I have not witnessed before. At one time tonight on our dinner table there was fried chicken, pork, rice, beans, Spanish beer and wine and something called Fritos. We ate at a Barrio Caribbean restaurant in one of the poorer sections of Madrid. It was cheap.
This morning Jen and I left that suffocating hostile. Now we are staying in a dank apartment with orange juice and hair stuck on the ceiling. The apartment is on the ninth floor of a very unbecoming utilitarian building. A friend of Jen’s lives here with a man she is fucking for rent. Jen tells me that she has expatriated herself from her drug and birth place in order to live in Spain, get clean and teach English. Language of the dominator. Her name is Sid and she is a lovely looking manic-depressive with a wounded heart who is struggling to piece herself back together and walk through the world some what intact. She is dating a twenty two year old boy (she is twenty five) from the Dominican Republic who goes by the name of Hamlet. Go figure. At first I really was skeptical but he knows not what significance (at least for me) stands behind his name. He does not even know of a man from Stratford, England who lamented the loss of a woman and wrote some of the greatest plays ever written by a man. I suppose I envy his ignorance.
In the other room Hamlet (who speaks very little English but supposedly has a huge penis) sits with Sid (who prefers to be called Sadie) and Jen. They are drinking rum and smoking hash and I can hear them talking about repressed anger. Fuck them. I want to sleep and be alone. They want to go out and drink and dance and engage in what they call “debauchery, Spanish style.” I feel like I am getting a cold and need to take it easy. I fell asleep for a few hours but I have been awoken by all their noise. So what else can I do but write and wait for sleep to overcome me again? Adjusting to this foreign culture is not as simple as I thought it would be. Maybe I should stop suffering on this mattress on the floor with dirty sheets and go drink some rum and smoke some hash. Why suffer?
7. Madrid, Spain.
Jen and I walked all over Madrid today. My feet are flooded by a terrible ache. In the metro we were like two sinners stuffed into boxcars that were descending into the inferno. I could not get the question out of my head- “what am I doing here?” I felt like I was on Carrion’s boat crossing the river Styx. The metro was dark, crowded and stuffy. Everyone spoke a language I can not understand. For a moment I thought I felt a pick pocket dangling his hands in my shirt. We went to the Prado Museum where I met eye to eye with Goya’s suffering, Hieronymus Bosch’s renditions of hell on earth and Caravaggio’s madness. So much art portraying various kinds of people seduced by greed, madness and a fear of death. While in the Prado I also realized that no matter where you go in the world the rich dress terribly. Now Jen and I are lying on the mattress on the floor. It is night again- Jen is getting the hash ready, which I am about to smoke and then hopefully we will both be able to fall off to sleep.
I just met a woman in a very strange dream who cries compulsively when her flowers die.