pre-departure delight

Earlier today I called my dad. He was having drinks with friends, and I could hear the city, my city, San Juan behind him. In my mind I could feel the balmy air, see the dusky sky, and I wanted to be there. My sister Lela is there. She left on Sunday. Maybe that’s why I’m missing it more. I get that way sometimes when I talk to my parents on the phone. I don’t know if I would want to be there always but sometimes I just miss the rhythm, my family, my high school friends. It’s a city but it’s a small town and there is something so relaxed, celebratory, and beautiful that permeates everything there. I know it’s totally an island cliche but it’s true.

Tomorrow I have a layover in Madrid. I’m meeting my mom there and together we’ll fly to Rome where we will meet my brother, his girlfriend, and her son for a few days. My dad asked if we were spending the day in Madrid, which sadly we are not, and suggested I take my mom to the market he took me last year at the end of our trip. He loves that market. I do too. I was blown away when he took me there. It was one of the most magical parts of a pretty fabulous trip. After we hung up as if on cue I turned the radio up Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s Fright Night came on. We listened to that song, to that album, last summer all the way from Castropol (the town my paternal grandmother’s family is from) to Madrid. It is a Leo song. And I usually stay clear of Leo songs. But I didn’t and it was sunny and glorious and downright full-blown summer here today. And I remembered how fantastic it had been to spend a week in Castropol. How much it had changed since the first time I had been there fourteen years before and how the same it still was. How insane and delicious the food was (the jamón! the languostine and spinach croquettes!), how lovely it was to drink coffee with my dad in our kitchen in the morning and Albariño with cousins and distant relatives at night by the river, and my sister Ellie and her bestie cracking Leo and me up all the time with their super girlie puerto rican girl ways.

And then it really, really hit me. Tomorrow, and for the next two weeks, I will be somewhere where the rhythm will be totally different from my day-to-day. And the I-CAN’T-WAIT turned into that feeling you get right before something really special is about to happen.