excerpts from ibz, #4

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Ibiza, Spain

We paid our tab and waved goodbye to our server at La Bodega, the tapas restaurant where we decided to eat on our final evening in Spain. It’s tucked alongside the Portal de ses Taules—one of the few entrances to Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s medieval walled city. Its location was convenient because, despite our charming server’s mandate that we didn’t order enough, we somehow managed to roll up the stone ramp to the outer bailey. It would not be incorrect to refer to us as literal balls of cheese.

This was our first time in Dalt Vila after the sun went down. There’s a commercial section right inside the fortifications with restaurants and kitschy souvenir shops and people abound. The streets wind around the ancient hilltop city and sometimes they just end, replaced with a stairway taking you up a level. We ducked out of the crowd on one of these stairways and climbed up, emerging on a deserted cobblestone street.

We meandered back and forth this way, up the medieval hill. With the exception of hoards of stray cats and a few locals—all of whom seemed to be taking one final pull from their cigarette before entering their homes—we were the only ones on the street.

—**********—

There’s a promenade at the top of Dalt Vila which overlooks the Mediterranean. Silhouettes of couples canoodling on the wall. The waves crashing against the cliff below. The moon illuminating the sea for miles out. It was easy to see how ancient residents of this walled city felt safe. What would they think of the horny teenagers (and adult gay men) making out here?
And the coconut ice cream?

 

excerpts from ibz, #3

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Ibiza, Spain

We told ourselves we would get up early and seize the day… we didn’t.

Darling Lola Lorenza had scheduled a spiritual cleansing to be done at the house. A very real part of me wanted to stay and witness a spiritual cleansing because, well, I need all the help I can get. But there was a much larger part of me (literally: stomach) that wanted to answer the call of tostada con tomate.

🍅 Hola. Soy yo… 🍞

In the end my spirit retaliated anyway and popped the button off my shorts on the way into town. Because, croquetas. The faucet in the tiny upstairs bathroom above Croissant Show poked mi culo when I changed into a spare pair of shorts.

Las karma.

—**********—

Beach #5, Cala Carbo:  Back to where it all began. Our first beach in Ibiza when we came in 2015 with Raica and Nils. It sits in a protected little cove with what might’ve been the remnants of with an old fishing village. The beach is sandy, the water is green. We spent the early afternoon there: a few hours of swimming and dozing in the sun, listening to a Spanish guy speak on the phone to his friend.

Beach #6, Cala Comte @ Sunset Ashram: My favorite beach. Deliciously sandy. Honey soaked sunsets. We came back and went to the more populated beach that we bypassed with Raica a few days previously. I shared some lobster with Joao and we swam in the sandy water, making up stories about the island out in the distance, Illa des Bosc.

excerpts from ibz, #2

Monday, July 18, 2016
Ibiza, Spain

Beach #2: The Tropicana. We went with Lola and met her cousin Juliano, who looks like a blue-eyed Javier Bardem. Gruff, but pleasant and kind in that way that Italians are (they know a guy!) At the end of the day, they just want to look after you and make sure you’re having a good time. This is why I love Italians.

—**********—

Beach #4: Sunset Ashram, Cala Comte. I needed to pick up a blanket for Erin and Carolyn. I sort of assumed we would swim at the beach right there, the one Joao and I slipped into in the middle of the night last year while cocaine-fueled, middle-aged Germans danced to electronic music above. But Raica took us on a short walk to another beach that sat down in a cove — private, more intimate. There were a bunch of naked people. It was perfect.

The beach itself was a little rocky, but once you got in the water? Only sand. Finally!

We swam and watched the sunset. It’s totally cliche to call it breathtaking, right? But that is the simple reality. Watching the uppermost tip of the sun sink below the horizon has this way of taking everything out of you in a single whoosh. And when you recover, and the sky quickly changes color, you feel this connectedness to the earth and for a (very) brief moment you turn into a total goddamn hippie. I haven’t felt that way too many times, but this island (and Cala Comte in particular) seems to bring it out.

It’s ethereal; it’s mystical; it’s calming.

I close my eyes and blue spirals fly everywhere. That is, of course, a terrible explanation. But it’s all I’ve got…

Why always blue?
A deep, dark blue.

—**********—

Later that evening we hung out on the balcony. Conversation that was simultaneously breezy and deep. We shared memories from the year before. This is a group with whom I have memories! They’re special, these people.

And slowly the group of five dwindled down to a group of two: me and Joao. We were still on New York time. 4 a.m. — completely relaxed, completely not sleepy.

We played music for each other while the trees rustled around us, trying to decide on a wedding song. Tom Waits, maybe? Radiohead?

Let’s see in two years.

first bursts

Friday, July 15th, 2016
Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean

The first burst of light came after we finally took off from JFK. There was a two-hour delay that pushed our time back in Ibiza by six hours. The butterfly effect. So we were agitated.

I sat in the window seat, Joao was in the aisle. He flies more frequently than me and mentions discreet battles with strangers over the armrest, so I was conscious not to hog it.

We settled in and drifted into that twilight stage of sleep—where it’s new and you sort of know what’s going on around you.

He readjusted his position and lightly nudged me. I moved my arm off the rest to accommodate. He pulled it back up, next to his.

And then we fell asleep. Long and hard. Waking only an hour or so before reaching Madrid.