"... the solitude has returned me to something. I feel more desirous when I am alone--mostly for my husband, but also for life, for experience, like I was when I was younger. I listen to music more intently. It seems to mean more. It is its own kind of euphoria, its own kind of peace..."--Amina Cain, A Horse at Night
My knees burn as I type this post. God I'm hungover. I can't look at the black-sailed boats drifting beyond the Marina without feeling queasy. Last night we went to an Irish bar, which is what Irish people do when they are on holiday. I have been to Irish bars in Barcelona, Rome, London, Malaga, Grenada, Nerja, Rethymno, Alvor, Albufeira, Paris, even San Diego, because the husband wanted to know if the bar was showing a GAA cup final (it was, and charging 20 dollars entry).
The publican is a young man from Tipperary, who played Irish standards on his guitar for a crowd of Irish and Scots and Welsh couples in their 50s and 60s, belting along at the top of their lungs. The husband recognised a couple whose house he'd sold to his aunt and uncle. The world is that small at times, and maybe this is why Irish people seek Irish bars in other countries, just to reassure themselves.
Later, in another bar (not Irish), we watch the only people brave enough to dance: a Norwegian couple in their 60s, awkwardly jiving to a live rendition of an Oasis song; she is grimacing, and I can't tell if she's enjoying herself.
Anyways the husband is still in bed, and I am leaning into my solitude, feeling the edges of my self, however ropey and anxious, in the brilliant Lanzarote sunshine. I will read and write notes until I start to get restless, until I want to extend tendrils of my consciousness toward the outside world, the dragonflies, the sunbathers, the black-sailed boats, the very rock, the former pulse of a volcano, of this island.