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The yarmarka (farmer's market) is about to close. Some of the people are already packing up, offering their last bruised tomatoes at half-price to anyone walking past them.  I am wandering, staring at bunches of herbs, at the same old options - cabbage, pepper, potato, garlic, apple, cucumber. But then I see a pile of peas. The season must have come early this year. I buy a kilo, and some mint. I know what is for dinner. We have not had it in eleven months.

At home, I rip the bag open, showing them to V. She stands by the kitchen table, eyes wide. I crack one open, showing her the little rounds inside. She plucks one out, her pinky pointing to the ceiling.
"Try it." I tell her.
She does, but she does not like it.

I pull out a bowl for them. She jumps up and down a few times. V always wants to help in the kitchen. I pull her to my lap, and we begin pulling them out from the shells. She learns quickly, tossing them with a flourish into the bowl, a few cascading to the flo…

Sancho Panza and Don Quixote

The ocean whorls and spits and turns back on itself, a blue muscle pushing against sand. 

There are groups of old women, mostly in threes taking in low voices as they move slowly down the white tiled street. Little men in red berets all start to look like Sancho Panza. The rain is not salty, running down my cheeks and across my lips. My feet are wet.

After the rain, the cherry blossoms hang low. I watch them bobbing from invisible hands. A man sits on a bench waiting for someone. Children jump in puddles all messy hair and smiles, their raincoats open and flapping around them. Someone is smoking a cigar. A man with one leg shorter than the other is waving papers on a corner trying to hand one to everyone that passes.

Umbrellas choke the sky as I walk narrow streets.


A few days here and Moscow's deep snow cannot be imagined. I block it out, sipping on cafe con leche in little shops with their doors open to the damp air. I think of E in school, offering her homework to the teacher that bends down with a red pen and gives her a star, a correction or the casual grade. I think of her at lunch, slurping soup from a tiny spoon with her big eyes watching the other children not looking down at her bowl. I imagine her on the playground, hands in pockets, walking in slow circles in dirty snow, maybe kneeling to retie a shoelace.

I imagine what it will be like to travel with her someday, to climb little mountains and look down at cities, to feel sand between her toes, to order randomly from menus we do not understand and eat baby eels for lunch.








Comments

liv said…
And what are you doing in Spain?? Looking for your own Sancho Panza?

And most importantly - what are you eating? I am envious.

Safe trip!

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