Thursday, October 22, 2009


And so, despite everything and two days late, I'm here in Barcelona. The story of how I missed my initial flight is long, expensive, and sad. A synopsis just for the sake of documentation: I stood with my bags in cold New York rain waiting for a cab for 45 minutes. Never in the four years I've lived there has it taken so long. Seven cabs who were off-duty turned me down, a occurrence that also never happens, since all the cabs are ending their shifts and headed back to their homes nearby the airport in Queens. I finally bribed a cabbie using convulsive tears, an inconceivable look of desperation, and double the already-generous fixed rate. He tried his best, but the traffic and rain were relentless. Despite my sprinting towards the kiosks with flailing suitcases in all directions, my window had closed less than five minutes earlier.

Following said guillotine drop were three painful hours of disorganization, bad service, and corrupt bureaucracy. In the bitter end, rebooking my new one-way flight cost me twice the original round-trip ticket and delayed me two full days.

My good friend Deirde took me in for a few days, since I'd already turned my apartment over to house-swap mates, Petz and Sergio. Deirde was kind enough to get me good and drunk upon the night of my delay. I even made it to the New Yorker Festival the next night to see an incredible show by the Dirty Projectors. Their music is disciplined but aggressive, which is exactly how I've been feeling lately.

On the second try, I made my flight. I sat next to a beautiful Catalan woman named Carmina who was great friends with - and a model for - Salvador Dali. I'm taking that as a sign to take a day trip and see the Dali museum in Figueres.

It's funny how timing became my hurdle to get here. Over and over again from the day I was suppose to leave until the day I actually arrived, it was off: too early, then too late. But now, the city and I have aligned our pace. No one is in a hurry, and finally, neither am I. It feels so calm, and I wonder if the anxiety getting here actually did me a favor by getting it out of the way on the onset. When I arrived, I felt stripped down, with all the anticipation suddenly extinguished, and replaced by disappointment, sadness, and disbelief. And so maybe, within that heightened mode where once anxiety fled, a balloon burst and all that was left was tranquil desire.

So the only image I'll show here is the first photograph I took when I arrived. This is the street of my new home for the next few weeks.

1 comment:

Robert J. Williams said...

The transformation that took place from the beginning to the arrival of your destination is an experience we can all benefit from. It's easy to miss the little gifts that are gently placed in our laps or beauty we fail to see when we are stuck in the past or observe the world through the fog of negativity.

I really appreciate your story KB and I know with your insight, this should be a magnificent adventure.