Camino de Santiago: The Sickness

Pietro made the sauce while I cut the vegetables.  Lisa and Marcela sat in the kitchen to escape the bitter cold of our (partially unroofed) albergue meanwhile Bartek and Karl said that they would help to make dinner but really only helped to eat it.  It was only a few hours ago, but thinking about that jovial laughter is making me furious.  Sticking it to the guys for not helping and hoarding the wine between Pietro and myself seemed like great fun.  Those second and third helpings were a godsend after hiking thirty-six excruciating kilometers in the light but constant rain.  Now, though, my stomach will not stop rumbling.  It gurgles and turns over on itself and it seems to me that the bricks holding this building together have no moarter between them, but only wind.  Somehow, I am still sweating.  The elderly wooden bunks groan with each move I make and it is causing  minute sways in the bunk above me.  I think about the daunting walk  through the unpaved courtyard between me and the outhouse.  I cannot take it anymore; I spend the next two hours recreating the scene from Bridesmaids.

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On Feeding My Ex-Boyfriend’s Cat

The air is dead: stiff and unmoving. All of the lights are off and the door creaks as I twist the key in the lock. Two yellow eyes look up at me and I smile. I let myself in, drop some cat food into the dish, and take a look around. They are only gone for one week, but it feels as if no family has lived here for much longer. With each step into the almost forgotten home, a different life presents itself to me. Maybe in another life I could have filled the corners with freshly cut flowers and painted the walls a respectable shade of blue. We would smile annoyingly at each other and laugh every day. It is possible, though, that I too would have been sucked down the same dark hole of depression with too few consequences and not enough motivation. Or maybe we could have had a perfectly normal life. I would wake up in the bedroom upstairs every day for years before I realized I was living someone else’s dream.   Maybe things could have been different.


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Do That Yoga

Just ahead there is a pair of feet in the air with toes that cannot stay still as the ankles they are connected to circle round and round. To my left there is a man rocking on his back, holding his knees tightly to his chest; to my right is a woman seated with a purposeful stillness and an audible whoosh of breath in and out her nose. The room is packed. On my mother’s recommendation I have signed up for one month of yoga – thirty dollars for thirty days.


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Camino de Santiago: Fisterra

I have walked thirty-three days without glimpse of my forever friend, but her footprints are all over this trail.  There have been whispers of her smell and descriptions of her divine beauty, but none of them do her reality justice.   Those who have gone their whole lives without ever having met her wonder quizzically with nervousness and excitement what it is that has drawn so many before them.  What they cannot know, though, is that it is not only the air and the ecosystem that changes as one approaches the sea.  Seaside towns are different.  They are a little harsher and a little friendlier.  She ignites a feeling deep in the bones of all people: feeling small as our earth turns, unnoticing of our tribulations; of childlike wonder, of returning home.


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