Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Spanish Torture

Yesterday I had one of those depressing five-hour meals with Jose’s theatre group, late night and a LONG way from home. Honestly, I should’ve known better by now that these things have a more devastating effect on me than staying alone at home eating ice cream. (Yum! By the way, I’ve tried Ben & Jerry’s this week, and feel in love!) But I’m always concerned about disappointing Jose, because I know that these things are very important to him, and he loves having me around. But I should’ve been cockier (this one’s for you, K!), and just declined when the invitation came. But the fact that I didn’t do my Morning Pages yesterday certainly didn’t help get me through the day without major emotional damage.

The whole talk went as usual, with the wisdom being judged by the volume of the voice, and although this time they fortunately took a couple of hours before starting talking about the two guys who left the group last month in bad terms, the first half of the meal was centred in the fact that I don’t cook meat for Jose and Jose cooks vegetarian food for me.

[Cultural Shock Interlude: In Spain, everybody is supposed to cook like a master chef, and every household features at least three cuisine books. In bookshops, a large, hardcover wonder full of pictures and printed in glossy paper costs about one-fourth of the cover price of an ordinary pocket novel or self-help book.]

Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, there’s a thousand things I can come up with from the very top of my mind that feels worse than cooking corpse pieces, so I don’t think I’d refuse cooking meat for him, but as I worked my way in defense, through all the shouting from all sides in tandem, the cigarettes and the AWFUL sandwich I paid lots of euros for that didn’t taste good or fed me (besides having TUNA when the menu said it was a VEGETABLE sandwich!), I didn’t know if it was more depressing to continue shouting or to just ignore everybody, keep fanning myself with my hand fan and be still. Naturally, for me the first possibility was the easiest, however high the price turned out to be. Again.

I could totally have survived the bizarre situation that’s somewhat part of my routine now in Spain, but as I shouted and remembered everything I cooked that Jose so promptly labels as ‘Feces’, including my first night here in Spain, when Jose invited his friends to eat my risotto and NOBODY at the table liked it, and made sure I KNEW they didn’t, I liberated emotional garbage I had been accumulating for the past three months. The torrential outflow of hurt feelings just covered the table. Of course I am aware that that kind of ride is usually a downward spiral. I didn’t surrender to it due to ignorance, though, but due to lack of strength to hold alone all the weight I had on by then. And down I went.

After midnight, we simply had to go, because very fortunately the metro here closes at half past one a.m., and Jose had to work early this morning. On the LONG journey home, the downward wild ride went on and on, and the haunting ghosts gained power. I realised how stupid I was for not fastening my seatbelt before the devastating experience of an extended meal with Spaniards, and felt worse. Then, I remembered some of the precedents. And especially, I began to resent Toledo’s procession in Spring, when they cover the city streets with thyme blossoms. It sounds like an impressive experience. We were in Toledo that day, but not for the procession. We were having a whole-day meal in about seven different bars and restaurants talking mean about people I have no idea of.

That metro ride was long enough to give me a waking-life nightmare.

This morning, I received a lovely private letter from a friend here on Tribe. He confessed calling me cocky in a private conversation with somebody else. I was immediately healed some because I knew at least somebody thought that high of me. Even though I put too little salt or too much cummin in it.

I need drumming, and I need the Bitch Medicine. To consult with the Bitchy One in the Otherworld. But alas, it’s too hot to lie down for fifteen minutes.

Image Disclaimer: Alas, no fruits last night. Only fish, meat and, thanks Gods, fried potato!!