Domingo 4th – Meandering through the streets of Casco Viejo. Looking for something new. The Beetle too busy for an indoor seat – hadn’t walked enough to want an outdoor one – so I head for the river. El flor mercado domingo. Pulling out my camera to try and capture what I notice. Process more important than results. The sights and smells lifting my spirits. Doing a couple of laps of the stalls. Scouting. Two euros in my pocket. Ready to spend responsibly or impulsively. Whichever comes intuitively. Orchids, tulips and pansies catching my attention, my pisos lack of sunlight springing into mind as I settle on three pots of lettuce.
Lunes 5th – Back on tinder today. Much more conscious – in thought. Trying to swipe right more. Look for the positive in each person’s profile. Been pretty honest in my profile. Looking for a relationship, whatever that means. More than sex. Less than labels. Looking for someone that makes present moment opportunities seem futile and unnecessary. Someone who can do as they please, knowing that honesty is the cornerstone of our relationship.
Martes 6th – Is that Ivan? I asked myself as I stepped out of mi casa. Looking down the street I thought I recognised his silhouette. It has been over two months since Crema shut down and it’s been radio silence from us both. Que tal, Ivan? Todos bien? We exchanged pleasantries amongst the smiles, pausing only for a hug. Glad to see his once familiar face, smiling and laughing.
Miercoles 7th – Some people look confused when they see a football rolling through the streets. Even more dumbfounded when they see me running frantically after it, shouting “Irlanda!”. It’s nice to pass it to people and see their reactions. Shouting aupa after every opposition touch, always gets a smile. Trying to nutmeg random passersby. Played keep ball on Somera for nearly three hours before I noticed the time gone by. Gone by my bedtime.
Jueves 8th – Knocking Irlanda around Somera tonight again. Everyone walking around like penguins, nobody wanted to be be on the receiving end of a cana, a nutmeg, an aupa. Catching strangers off guard the greatest possible victory. Pamz flicked the ball into the window of the tattoo shop, startling both owner and client. Throwing up a hand in apology and flashing a smile, I got two big grins back and all was well in the world.
Viernes 9th – It’s a gift for you. Normally I would write a note but you’re right here. She waltzed into the kitchen and busied herself with a tomato. I meandered in to investigate. Lost in her. Lost in the moment. “You know I’m only doing this so you can write your note…” “Oh. Right, yeah. Of course!”
Sabado 10th – Living your life for others should start with your family, Adam. Staying out all night smoking and listening to music you don’t love. That’s not the answer to your questions, Adam. Go find your own answers.
Domingo 11th – We all sat in silence as the tram – more shelter from the storm than transport – carved its way through the rain. When we arrived at the Guggenheim la aboela beside me said “Mal tiempo, no?” “Si, siempre pero super bonito, no? Asi Irlanda.” We had barely stepped off when Holly asked enthusiastically “What did she say?” Admire that curiosity and action.
Lunes 12th – Mum poked her head in and said goodnight. I said goodnight back before quickly returning my attention to the chess match at hand. Holly and Beth playing connect four beside me as George oogles the board. “What if I didn’t wake up tomorrow?” A thought intrusively says. “Be right back. I want to give my mum a hug.”
Martes 13th – Your recommendations on what to do today por favor, Jose… Jose acts reluctant as he grins enthusiastically while grabbing the map. “We are here. X Exactly here, La Riberia is a great market just here. All of this is the old town, Casco Viejo. This is the second church of Bilbao, he says circling Catedral de Santiago. “And this is the first church of Bilbao, San Memes!” Jose paused, out of pride, teeing me up beautifully to finish his own punchline. “That’s the football stadium, mum.”
Miercoles 14th – Valentine’s Day. A day of self love for me today. All signs pointing in one direction. Breaching the topic of porn in school. Instagram stories declaring it V-agina Day, where the only requirement is masturbation. It’s been one a week max for a while now for me. I lingered in a hot shower. Face cloth caressing every inch of skin with suds. Drip dried on my bed where I lit some candles and sprayed some cologne. Happy Valentine’s Day, Adam. Love from your biggest admirer.
Jueves 15th – Straight after lunch I went down to see the chickens. Amazing creatures. Their man-made mutilated beaks a harsh reminder of the cruelty of humanity. Their squeaks and hops of life a kind reminder of the gentleness of humanity.
Viernes 16th – I arrived at the football pitch fifteen minutes late. Whatever I was expecting, I got the opposite. Three French men vs fifteen Spanish kids. A law under themselves. One kid spent more time pulling my shirt than looking for the ball. Straight away I nutmegged one, living another goal. Yet, all in all, it wasn’t that good. My mind keeps me distracted. I couldn’t shake that worry. That guilt by association.
Sabado 17th – How good it is to get out in this city. To experience the life, laughter and kindness that captured my heart, to begin with. Sitting opposite the Guggenheim. On the other side of the river, on Jose’s recommendation. Sketching the clouds as I watch the fires roar. I’ve passed the museum countless times in the last five months and this is the first time I’ve seen that. A man stops and looks me up and down, before settling on my eyes. Aupa! I offer and he promptly responses “Mi llamo Jorge. Encantado.” Before setting off once more. I pull my pen out and begin to scribble in my diary as the sun sets behind the hull of the Guggenheim.