A warm breeze wafted in the lingering scents of gutted fireworks and last night’s fried festivities. It was spring in Spain and I was 18. As I sat, my ears ringing and my head in my hands I pieced together the events of the previous evening. There has be the incineration of Leonardo DaVinci, a cold brick wall on which I had torn my stockings, and an honest attempt at Flamenco in the river. Where the night had ended and the day had begun was irrelevant. It was Fallas, which in English translates roughly to a weeklong spectacle of excess and debauchery.
I leaned back onto warm, softly matted chest hair. I remembered faintly the sound of a tambourine tinkling in my ear as I fell asleep to the sounds of friends signing softly on the rooftop to welcome the sun. The colors swam slowly above me swaying back and forth across the drapery. They were a warm promise of another day of easy sunshine and siestas.
I rolled over.
There was no point in considering the state of myself. The state of my well being would be a contradiction, just like the economy. There was no toilet paper in the public schools, but the upkeep of the royal gardens was still fully funded.
Just like me. All manicured; not necessarily clean.
I’m sure I still had all the outer appearances of being an American, but I was no longer sure if on the inside I had the necessary prerequisites to be a fully functioning citizen.
I celebrated the immolation of effigies. I napped during my lunch hour. And spending hours in the park discussing nothing in particular and nothing all seemed infinitely preferable to squeezing in those extra hours of overtime so that I could go to next week’s Zara sale. I mean, I was currently snuggled in colorful African prints in a house full of conceptual artists.
“When,” I wondered through my hazy state, “had I come to consider sleeping in until noon a necessity.” It was a Wednesday after all. My mind continued to wander as I mused on how I would possibly defend my “successful Spanish education” that clearly did not reflect in my grades to my American university?
I couldn’t be bothered to iron out the intricacies of these great questions. I would leave those problems for another time. Besides, I had just had my wallet stolen so I had no way to prove I was American anyway.