Parte Uno: Carrer de Comte d’Urgell
4am. Barcelona. Saturday morning after a Friday night out. Comte d’Urgell noventa uno. My body is burnt to a crispy roja and smells like sand, salt and dirt mixed together. Chocolate on my hands and doughy churros in my belly, I am satisfied. In fact, I have not felt better in months.
Clarity at the bottom of an empty churro bag. Happiness too.
A chill night with amazing people and quality conversation starting off at a rooftop Mobilee pool party and ending somewhere in the warehouse district of Barcelona. Something that had not happened in a while, but that I was so desperate for.
Before Barcelona, something was blocked in my mind. But here it has moved off somewhere.
La gente. La pasión. El corazón. Contagious warmth. Ease.
All something that can be felt in the air here and not something dark found on a dance floor surrounded by people with their eyes rolled to the back of their heads. It is that something. Just there. Easy to grasp. Easy to hold on to and not something that is looked down upon because it shows its true colors. Easy as the sun. Easy as the clouds. Easy as the waves in the sea.
But something. Something, something, something. In the music, in the streets, in the metro, on la platja. Something that makes me smile. That is enough. Can’t that be enough?
Parte Dos: Above the City
The burn didn’t sting in a bad way. It was triumphant and proud. Like after you get a tattoo, it itches and aches for weeks, but in the end it is what you wanted so you take pride in the pain. My skin had undergone a transformation overnight. From a dark blanca to a medium gold. My hair had bleached in the sun and my nose was bright red and felt tender to the touch. My lips still had traces of salt from my swim the day before and I kept licking them until they were soft and wet. Still remaining salty - maybe a little sweet too from the mango I had just eaten.
I wanted to stay like this forever in the shade. Happy, tan, with a clear mind.The first time it had been clear in months. Barcelona helped me remember . Remember myself. Not that I had forgotten, but I had not been true to myself since arriving in Berlin. I felt like a phony. Here, in this place, there is no room for being fake. Fake is sniffed out and swept under the rug or out the door with the morning garbage.
A breeze blew down from the mountain and I shivered a little. The hairs on my sunburnt legs stood straight up in protest of the cold. Already spoiled by two days in Barcelona. Two days under the full sun.
The sea was my favorite shade of blue. A kind of deep royal blue that mirrored the vast sky. A thin layer of clouds leaned against the horizon but the sun was still shining and the temperature was mild. It was perfect. I could see the whole city from where I sat under a medium sized modest palm tree in Parc Guell. I was listening to a band of gorgeous Spanish men tuning their instruments in preparation for their upcoming concerto and observing all the people around me.
Alone but completely wanting to be and so utterly content my smile could not be contained. The most beautiful man in the band had dark hair, piercing eyes and a smile that stretched jovially from ear to ear. He was playing the hand drum casually while leaning against a tree. I couldn’t stop staring at him and was enthralled by the fact that he seemed so self possessed and sure in all his movements. It was so attractive seeing that. It is rare.
The band started up. Playing music that made me so damn happy. Something like Salsa and Flamenco combined, but something very good. I could not control myself. The rhythm and music were infectious.
It drew me in like a moth to a flame and before I knew it I was dancing with the gorgeous drummer in front of 50 tourists. Shaking my hips, feeling completely free.
Parte Tres: La Platja y Michael Meyer
Midnight in Gracia drinking red wine with Joshua and his girlfriend. Spanish words flying around, sometimes I would catch something but most of the time I sat sipping the communal glass we passed around just listening to them. I could listen to Spanish all night and never get sick of it. The words just drip from the tongue onto the lips and they hit the air so perfectly. The Spanish language is sweet like honey. There is nothing harsh about it.
It was my last night in Barcelona and the first night I was to actually go out properly with my coworkers who had flown into Barcelona to hack together music applications, but for now I was sitting near la Fontana metro station drinking en la calle. The weather was mild, around 20 degrees maybe, the moon was shining bright and clouds were drifting lazily in front of it.
130 am and we were near La Rambla chasing a group of programmers and engineers to our next destination. A party on the beach. I was ready to dance, I was ready to move and I was prepared to spend my Sunday in a daze that I knew would come after the night ended. My flight was to leave at 10am and we were to stay out until 4 am, maybe 6am. Sleep was not prioritized, as it never is in Berlin or on weekends off. We chased down a cab. In Barcelona they are black and yellow resembling a swarm of bees buzzing through the streets.
“Libre” - We see the sign flash and flag down the free cab, hopping in letting my Spanish speaking friends do all the talking. Esta Bien - Alles Klar - Everything is good. We were in motion, finally on our way to the beach and I had three hours to dance until I needed to be back at the apartment to pack and get ready to go to the airport then finally back to Berlin. Finally home - even though I wasn’t sure if that was what I wanted a few days before, now it seemed like something perfect. The idea of my bed seemed so lovely.
In the cab we talked about how my friend just quit his job. It was for the best we all agreed. We talked with empty words to fill the gap between the cab ride and the beach, I almost fell asleep. Joshua passed me the bottle of wine. 15 minutes and we fell out of the cab onto the beach running into my coworkers. For 20 minutes we waited in line for a party that was priced 35 Euros for admission and turned out to in fact, be the wrong party. The beach party was next door and we missed the dj that Johan wanted to see but I think he had already seen two times during the weekend. I still have no idea who any of these djs are at all that have been here during the weekend. These men who are so celebrated and idolized. That fact does not bother me even in the slightest.
We reached the right side of the beach where our party was at. A flicker of light in the distance dotted with outlines of the human form swaying. Michael Meyer greeted us with pulsating bass and lots of character. I was pleasantly surprised by him. We pushed past the crowd unapologetically and ended up at the front of the dance floor wildly moving to the beat. People pushed passed us just as unapologetically so we moved on top of a stage right next to a speaker and a giant illuminated ball that lit us up. Meyer was casually doing some sort of fist pump dance move (he looked so German). I emulated it in an attempt to gain approval from my German coworkers. Actually that is a joke…I didn’t give a shit, I just thought it was funny so I did it.
I moved. Hips swinging, head moving, legs moving, arms moving. Moving, moving, moving. Alex and I danced together and Johan moved to the front of the stage showing off his dance moves. I think he could easily get a job as a go go dancer. No problem. Easy.
3am and the party is supposed to be over, but the crowd refused to go home so Meyer continued to play into the night. The music selection was great. We danced more and more. There was more room because people had left to head onto the next party (there is always a next party) but this was good for us and we carved out a spot for ourselves on the dance floor. I could finally freely move and so I did. I stripped off my leather jacket. That meant business and we moved like crazy to the beat.
330am and everything is over. The music is off, Meyer says a humble thank you and goodbye and I followed Johan to the beach where he halfway jumps in. The water was black, cold.
4am. Cab home. At the apartment by 420am and I peel myself out of my white dress and fall into bed. Time to sleep. Sleep comes easily and I dream in Spanish (maybe Spanglish) about the beach and the bass and summer nights and red wine and music.
830am. On a bus to the aeropuerto. In a daze, red eyes. Time to go home.
Adios Barcelona. Hallo Berlin.