|Look at them--even without endoscopy I can see their ulcers. Not sexy. No. |
Here, they're out buying Pepcid AC on their lunch break, I suspect.
|These men, I promise you, are NOT Spanish. For crying out loud, guys.|
But among the locals, there was a sense of foreboding. I expressed my glee as I looked out a classroom window and saw, at last, blue skies. A classmate who has lived here for a few years said, with utter disdain, "It's like that 300 days a year here," as if he'd had enough already.
Others I encountered looked to the sky and I could hear "It begins," with a sigh of resignation, see a wave of dread sweep over them--kind of like the squirrelly New Yorkers looking for that swooping predator. This is because, in July and August in particular, that Sevillan sun is going to try to kill you. I'm told that the only people on the streets in the middle of the day here in summer are suffering tourists who didn't do their homework before they booked their holiday. The Sevillanos wait for the sun to go down. And even then, it's not cool outside.
I've never encountered a people so jaded about sunshine.
|Canvas tarps suspended over a street for shade.|
But here's the thing. All the talk of the dreaded summer heat had me thinking that, though I've loved everything about this place, I couldn't actually live here. But with each passing day, each passing cloud of azahar, each park and tapas bar I visit, each smiling child and happy, relaxed family I pass on the street, even each cobblestone that rattles my brain as I ride my bike over historic streets, has me changing my mind.
Here, I catch myself actually breathing [crazy, I know].
Here, I carry my shoulders where they belong [not around my ears].
Here, I catch myself judging less and smiling more.
Here, I think, let the sun do what it will. It will never be as harsh as the emotional and political climate of my own country.
When a place enters your dreams, something has shifted.
And Sevilla enters my dreams now, wrapped in a cloud of orange blossom, wearing a suit and tie, kindly dark eyes shining. It dances toward me, holding out a bowl of salmorejo in one hand, a history book in the other, sensual and enticing, and surging with life.
"Hey girl, I'm Sevilla. Nice to meet you."
"Hey Sevilla," I say. "Where've you been all my life?"