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El albergue

El albergue

Friday, July 27, 2012

Madrid in summer


It’s cool in the morning.  That’s when you have to go out to run.  Try any time after 10:30, and you’re toast.  Literally.  Toast.  Because it’s hot.  More than a tad bit on the warm side.  If you know what I mean.  As the day goes on, the heat accumulates.  The sun beats down on cement and cobblestones alike.  And radiates back into your face.  Kind of like when you open an oven that’s been preheated to about a bajillion degrees.  And the heat continues to accumulate.  The whole city falls under the spell of lethargy.  The whole world slows to a crawl.  Or a complete stop.  Bodies are littered about the parks.  They seek relief in the grass and trees.  Others are strewn around the public and private pools.  They seek relief from lethargic splashing about.  Slowly, so slowly, the sun begins to fall.  The temperature begins to fall as well.  Slowly, so slowly, the bodies lying dead come back to life.  About 8 pm, the streets are looking alive once again.  The populace emerges from its various hiding places and goes out and about.  Friends meet up with friends.  Family the same.  Just about everyone is outside.  On restaurant and bar terrazas.  On apartment patios.  In parks.  On the streets.  Most nights, they stay out until around 11 or 12.  Then it’s bedtime around 1 or 2, with all the windows flung wide open.  Air circulation is a must, after all.  Good nights you can sleep well.  Others, it’s still rather warmish.  And you lay sweating in your bed, wishing for some sweet breeze to lull you to sleep.  Still other evenings, the storms come.  The sky closes in overhead.  All of a sudden, sharp winds blow your hair about your face.  Flowers from trees are blown onto outside diners in veritable showers.  Drinks, food, and clothes alike receive the floral abundance.  Then the muggy air releases the downpour with a bright flash and a loud clap of thunder.  Lucky you if you’re inside.  If not… You might as well stay outside.  Because chances are the rain will be done by the time you make it inside.  Or if you’re already in bed, leave the window open.  That way you might get a few kisses of rain on your feverishly hot skin.  Thank the refreshing coolness that comes after the storm.  And sleep.  It starts again tomorrow.  But don’t worry about it.  Just enjoy the moment of coolness and sleep.  Sleep…

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