I am still in Valencia.
I am sitting in my dorm room at my half-broken laptop. The window is open behind me. The smell of slightly burned toast and citrus cleaning fluids floats in on a chilly breeze and makes my stomach rumble.
I’m waiting for a little money to arrive. There is some on its way. In the virtual post. In the meantime, I’m staying in a cheap dorm and living on salami, bread and red wine. Wine costs between 55 cents for a dodgy box and €2 for a half-decent bottle. Obviously there are more expensive bottles, but I don’t waste my time looking at those.
I’m feeling doubtful at the moment. Doubtful about my future and doubtful about my ability to turn it into something I really want.
The doubt is making me afraid, frankly, and the fear is making me want to run away and hide – to switch off the internet and henceforth forevermore shun the company of peoplefolk whose approval I crave but will most likely never achieve.
I ignore it. The fear. I half-ignore it.
There is one other guy sharing my dorm. He works for a private equity company in Sydney. He is not sitting in the dorm feeling doubtful about his future.
He has gone to the aquarium.
So – anyway – for the rest of today, I will write hard. Some time around 4pm I will buy salami, bread and red wine. After I eat the salami and bread, I will smoke a cigarette on the roof. I will hear the laughter of foreign women and I will despair at the poverty of romance in my life. Then I will have another cigarette, maybe another brick of wine and I will pretend to be heartened by the romance of poverty. But I’ll only be half-pretending.
Yesterday I lay in the hot sun for two, maybe three hours. I knew I would burn. And I knew it was dangerous and potentially very bad for me. But I did it anyway. I did it because I also knew that within a couple of days, the redness would turn to a half-decent tan and I would feel better about myself.
Today it is cloudy, with rain on the horizon.