The problem with me and amor is that I’m actually really romantic but when I talk about love I sound like a 62-year-old woman who’s been through six divorces (five of them from lyin’, cheatin’ good-for-nothin’ bastards and one from a gay man [things were different back then]. We still have brunch every now and then—him, eggs benedict, me, scones and organic deli meats).
Springtime in the city is a long series of micro-romances, smiley strangers, endless lunches and accidental sunburns.
I just fell in love with the man at the Aluche convenience store. I bought a juice; he offered me a plate of cookies. I chose one with red jelly. It was violently mediocre.
I just fell in love with a Tarque look-alike at Café Amargo. We chose the same dishes from the menu del día. We were mostly alone. Me with a book. Him with a laptop. I retired all eye contact upon deciding that he was old enough to have three children and an ex-wife.
I just fell in love with a barista (per usual). I ordered an empanadilla and a coffee to-go. He said “enjoy your Sunday!”
I just fell in love with the Lidl cashier for the third time. He looks like he’s into wood-working. He knows I eat one kilo of mandarin oranges a week.
I just fell in love with four women who were all equally passionate about everything under the literary sun.
I just fell in love with a mischievous young professional on line 5. We both stifled laughter when an andaluza told an elderly man that she would kick his ass if he got any closer.
Lately, older women have been mentioning their collections of letters from lovers and husbands to me. All casual like “we met while I was traveling but we kept writing each other and eventually we reunited” they say.
“Y ahora que?” is what I say “All those beloveds who never quite came to be are sweaty and drunk and swiping through Tinder.”
“Vaya coñazo” is what I say soon after.
My great-grandmother of long-lost Latvian origins had a boyfriend after her husband passed away. A widow and a widower who met often at the firehouse dinners. She made steaks and he fixed things. His name, if I remember correctly, was Walter.
“Thank you for helping me overcome this wall of loneliness, Vera” is what he wrote.
All these thoughts of letters and when I got off the metro this afternoon I found a hand-written note on the ground. This is going to be so cute! I thought.
The note was, I assume, an exchange between two teenage boys.
“Should I go out with ———-?”
“Go out with her and if it’s good, good, and if it’s not, no.”
“Thanks man, this is what friends are for!”
“You haven’t fucked in ages.”
“I have, but I don’t want to say it in front of everyone.”
“When she comes to class, you should say it in front of her.”
“Hey, when are we gonna smoke?”
“During Holy Week, bro!”
“Listen, I gotta finish this exercise, don’t fuck up my pen. I use it all the time.”
Well. There’s always the next note, right?
Luv and letters,