her journal

mostly cashless

•Cafe Blaumond/Le Petit Salon•

It’s much harder to get by without cash here in Germany than in Denmark and so I am limited to the few places that take cards until I take myself to a place that will convert the magnets on mine into euro-in-hand. I actually think someone told me on my way to the winter trip, Scandinavia is mostly cashless, and then someone else said something—in I think the last day—about Germany being part of Scandinavia, which can…not be correct. Can it? Let this currency business be my ass-backward proof to the contrary.

cgi catalan lizard

Tonight I finally met Raúl, and he’s amazing. Has these crazy wide-set eyes in something like topaz that he blinks probably one-third as often as most humans blink their eyes, like some kind of beautiful CGI Catalan lizard. I want to put a long-stemmed rose between his teeth every second that there isn’t one. He took me to a great dinner somewhere fancy near University Square, and when I saw another table’s hoopla and made as if to tell the waiter that it was my companion’s birthday, too, Raúl, unsmiling, unblinking, rose from his chair and got down on one knee beside mine to make an even bigger false scene. God I love being outsmarted. He has a whole plan about emigrating to the United States, a plan that involves marrying an Argentine flight attendant. After dinner we went outside to his motorcycle and he produced a helmet for me, which I put on backward, not even trying to be funny, just being a fucking idiot, and he laughed and laughed. Then I put it on correctly and we rode away and it was my turn to laugh but with the pleasure of the motion through the hot, still night. Later, we went to meet his visiting Polish manfriend in a gay bar with a redhead theme. The manfriend had a ladyfriend with him, also Polish, also gay, and he — the one of the two who spoke English — talked about her being on the prowl for shes, and we didn’t correct him because why would anyone ever put a stop to that? Since Raúl had treated me to dinner, I treated him to a toro rojo sin azucar. The bored gay boi Barcelona bartender (not a redhead, btw) was not interested in my Spanish and was like, Okay do you want a lime?

on the business of monogamy

On the business of monogamy, et cetera, I am out in the world and see the way—in country after country—national divides be damned—men look at me in spite of being manifestly, obviously with another woman in that moment, and I see the women pretending not to notice…or actually not noticing…or noticing and being mad, or hurt…or noticing and being too tired to care…and I don’t like any of those options. 

I want to only be in things that are sparkling and new and all-consuming.

Unreasonable, I guess. 

Or is it? 

Maybe only if I want to build something over decades instead of just inhabiting a string of moments. 

my endless summer is almost over

08h15 EEST

Beach Bar Finikas

The first amazement of today is how sleepy this resort town is. I was up at seven and, by half-past, out and ready to be writing with a cup of coffee as one does in any functioning municipality, but this is the first establishment where I found so much as a sign of life, and still I was 20 minutes too early to be served. They told me I could sit and wait, though, so I am. 

The swathe of sand that underlies most of the table seating at this beachfront restaurant is raked carefully, with very few footprints in it, which means it is part of someone’s job to take up all the furniture, rake the beach, and put all the furniture back while stepping anywhere almost not at all. Who is that person, and what are they thinking about while they do it, and how does my or anyone’s patronage fit into their socioeconomy and consciousness? Who came up with the best practice for the fewest footsteps, and who enforces it, and who has anxious work dreams about it? These are droll observations for people who work in restaurants. 

This seat is directly beneath the gap between the end of their structural overhang and the roller of their awning, and I am chilled by the condensation dripping onto my shoulders. My endless summer is almost over. Maybe I won’t after all wade out while I wait into the Aegean, which is so still I don’t recognize it. Even the waves sleep late here, I guess. 

Now my coffee has arrived and is, as expected, a proper cup of sludge. I asked for it Greek with milk — διπλό ςελληνικό ςκαφές, με γάλα— and then when the waiter brought it there was visibly none in it and so I was like Hey can I have some milk and he was like There already is milk in there. But I will bring you a little more and brought me four additional creamers that I poured in, one by one, watching them be swallowed up by darkness.

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