11 Ways to Leave Madrid

1. Tune in to old rock songs in a red car.  Driving away from the city you press your feet into the windshield, relish the feeling of going along a highway driving away, into the mountains

2. At the zoo, the worker ants bring me back to my garden. I peer into their glass farm like a kid. The big fish swirl above, a recurring dream

3. Anger rises from sitting places, sadness and anger dwell in common rooms, they have teeth

4. Pack a tin full of ice cream from the corner shop. Heat descends onto the paths home, between the big banana trees

5. A summer bath, a child’s game of basketball while the sun goes down

6. Evening under the looming monastery, we watch the awful singer-songwriter on stage, sneak away from the crowd stepping carefully over the cobbled stone. The town smells of hot dogs and popcorn and Valencian ice cream

7. Stay in bed, because you want to follow the plotline of some other hidden life. The sun bears down and you bury the feeling that another day has passed

8. To-do lists grow, shorten, lengthen, pause

9. The old bear in the plaza sees more tourists. Everyone else has left, it is a ghost city of visitors and bored wanderers waiting for something to happen

10. Think about years before this city was ever your city,  you saw every corner and said it wasn’t enough, and it turned into a given; estrangement, joy. A new heart, on the other side of doubt

11. Pool laps, after all the children have left


Your glance makes me great
Wish we were alone, the two of us
Wandering through Madrid, 
Without anything to say,
Because nothing is important
When we make memories
Through the streets of Madrid. 

– Maldita Nerea, “Tu Mirada Me Hace Grande”

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