Day 31. Saying goodbye is like dying a little #sol19

slice-of-life_individualMarch 31st

Partir, c’est mourir un peu,
Partir es morir un poco
Parting is dying a little

Edmond Haraucourt

Goodbye Virginia, welcome Oregon

Goodbye daughter, welcome son

Goodbye Winter, welcome Spring

Goodbye March, welcome April

Goodbye English, welcome Spanish

Goodbye parties, welcome solitude

Goodbye Richmond, welcome Redmond

Goodbye James river, welcome Deschutes

Goodbye weekend, welcome new working week

Goodbye full house, welcome empty home

Goodbye cold days, welcome warm and flowers

Goodbye warm days, welcome still cold and snow

Goodbye refrigerator full of food of different people’s taste, welcome abandoned refrigerator with nothing

Goodbye Mati’s thrifty red car, welcome gas eater white  pickup

Goodbye writer’s block, welcome inspiration

Goodbye faithful commentators, welcome random visitors

Goodbye welcome wagon volunteers, welcome me to the cart

Goodbye Slice of Life story challenge, welcome Classroom SOLSC

Goodbye Slice of Life story challenge, it has been a pleasure, welcome in search for a job challenge, it will be exciting

Parting is dying a little, arriving insufflates life.

I did it! Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

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Day 30. Tiredness is a good feeling #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individualMarch 30th

Only 2 days…the Slice of Story challenge is winding down, many people are on Spring break trying to squeeze the last minutes of relaxation to the max, slices are shorter and comments on my own blog are skimpier. It seems that everybody is tired. Some teachers are also preparing for April’s classroom Slice of Story challenge. Wow. That’s really commendable.

I am not the exception. I am tired but in a good way. It’s like when I go for a long bike ride and all my muscles ache and I am worn out to the point that I can’t rest. Suddenly, the whole body gives up and collapsescollapses . But feels good.

Now it´s almost 1 am of March 30th. I will have a busy day. My daughter of 23 years old decided to celebrate her birthday as she was 5. We went biking together to the supermarket, bought candies for the piñata, hot-dogs, ice-cream, and some goodies. I am making a hand made piñata remembering the ones I made when she and her brother were little. I just made a cake that tomorrow I have to put layers of strawberry jam and dulce de leche that I still need to find somewhere. And the frosting, and finishing the piñata. Oh, and we are going to raft the James river in the morning. And is almost 1 am. And I am tired, but it´s a good tiredness, the kind that leaves you feeling good..

Day 29. Spanglish brain #sol19 #SOLSC

slice-of-life_individualMarch 29th

I can’t believe there are only three days left for the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I might have a postpartum depression. In April I will continue the challenge in Spanish. I feel I have abandoned my native language during this month. I have written very sloppy stories for my writing workshop. It seems as my neurons can’t switch so fast. Sometimes it’ s hard in both languages. Random sloppiness, sloppy randomness, Spanglish brain. There are some Chilean words in Spanish that I can’t express in English and viceversa


 

Regalona. I will never find a word like this in any other  Spanish country or in the English language. It’s being spoiled, mimada, but in a positive way. It’s a person who loves to cuddle, to give and receive kisses, it’s being spoiled, and loved all at the same time.

Upset. The brevity  of this word compared with the intense feelings that express has always amazed me.

Gorgeous. I heard this word for the first time when I arrived in the US. I find it so cacophonous. I have mix-feeling when I use it. In fact, I don’t think I can use it. Only in writing.

Awesome. This word has been overused but I think is just because combines so many things at the same time that other words can’t convey.

Guatona. Literally this is having a big belly but in my family is an expression of deep affection that I can’t express in other ways. It’s a family secret code.

Chanchada. When you eat something really good but you know you are sinning. This happen a lot in my family.

Pan con palta. Wait. Bread with avocado, avocado toast. Nope. Nothing compares to a pan con palta. It evokes my childhood, my children’s childhood, the very essence of health, simplicity, and feeling lucky for being able to afford it.

Hot-dog. An American hot-dog is expensive, aseptic, dry and boring. A Chilean hot-dog or Completo is juicy, full of colors and very cheap. Maybe Cotsco hot–dogs are the exemption to the rule.

McCannudos. Our chat, our family last name can be awesome in Spanish.

Excruciating. It has some onomatopoeic sounds. It’s like the sound of being crucified.

Quinn or Queen? I never knew the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 28. The kitchen table #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individualMarch 28th:

I sit down on one of the two wooden hard chairs probably that have been picked up at the lawn of somebody´s house. I find a corner where I can place my computer on the kitchen table. The table is filled with things that might tell you a little bit of the inhabitants of this house.

There is a hard plastic Halloween bowl with one orange, three bananas (that I bought), a belt, some garlic cloves and a cell phone cord. On top is a book of Villalobos Solo Guitar music. Behind the bowl, in one of the corners, is a huge plastic container with cheese balls. Next to it is an open box of Honey Graham crackers with one package inside. Then there are two plastic packages of chopped dates, and two of dry cherries and blueberries respectively.

A sort of Cuisinart blender lies next. In between is an iron dark blue basket with the remaining parts of the blender and its instructions. It looks that hasn´t been used too much. Five cans of Kroger´s kidney beans are balancing on one of the other corners like if they were part of a fair stand. A black nail polish is hidden between the blender and the bean cans. I paint my thumb nail with it.

An unopened package of 7 rolls of dog poop bags rests next to my computer. My daughter´s very dirty fanny bag with a roll of quarters is in front of the blender. Besides it´s a Cotsco Kirkland container with one fifth of whole fancy cashews. I grab a couple with some concern that they might not be my daughter´s but from one of her roommates. There is an almost gone toilet paper, a wrapped set of earplugs,  and a plugin for USB cables that looks dangerous. It´s been repaired with scotch tape.

An also almost gone roll of paper towels is stuck on a wooden stick holder. An unopened Tortuga Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee rum cake is inside a fancy box. I wonder when it´s the expiration date. I couldn´t find it. A bottle of prescribed antibiotic to treat urinary tract infections dated March 19th, 2019 rests casually next to the cashews. A blue long rectangular box with Japanese letters is under the cheese balls. I open it. A very nice and fancy Japanese knife is waiting to be used.

A set of computer speaker, six birthday glitter candles, a Delta napkin-spoon set (my contribution), a plastic round container half filled with change, and an unknown man´s ID card make up the rest of the table.

I am impressed of how many things can fit on a table.

Tell me what do you have on your kitchen table and I’ll tell you who you are.

kitchen1.jpg

Day 27. The traveling queen #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individual

March 27th

I smile to the woman who was at the counter. She looks at me cheerfully.

—May I help you?

I give her my passport.

—Any suitcase?

—Yes, one.

—Do you want it all the way to your final destination?

—Yes, I don’t want to see it again!…Well, what I meant to say is that I don’t want to see it in between. Only when I arrive in DC.

I cross my fingers that it didn’t weight more than 23 kilos. The scale shows 24.5. As I usually do when I am nervous, I start to talk non-stop just if my words could distract the flight attendant from looking at the scale.

—Celeste, that’s a pretty name. I am visiting my daughter in the US. I am very excited. Tomorrow is her birthday.

My husband, sensing this was going to be a long chat, decides to step aside and checks his emails on his phone.

— Here are your boarding cards, and the ticket for your luggage.

I glance my suitcase while she sticks the tag around the handle.

—Wait. It doesn’t say DCA on the tag. That’s my final destination, and I don’t see it on my suitcase.

—Oh. Ok. I will check again.

I watch painfully as the attendant punches the computer, and prints a new tag.

—Now. Here is your tag.

—But it’s only to Detroit.

—The thing is that the system is not letting me check your suitcase all the way to DCA. You might have to collect it in Detroit and check it in again.

—No, no, no. I am not. You should try to check it in all the way to DCA, please.

—I am new. This is my first day.

She whispers the last sentence as she is confiding me a great secret, and waves to her supervisor.

—Wow. Congratulation!

I smile genuinely happy that she has a new job but damning my bad luck. A sixty something man shows up on the counter and starts swearing in front of the computer, in a way that only Spaniards can swear that makes you smile.

Este vuelo de los cojones me tiene harto. Qué mañanita llevamos. Excuse my language, but we are having a hard time this morning.

—Don´t worry. Take your time. Breathe in, breathe out. As long as you can send my suitcase to my final destination, I am OK.

I give my best cheerful encouragement. The new girl observes from behind her boss´shoulders with a beatific smile.

—I am very lucky to have such an understanding supervisor— she confides me while understanding supervisor was having a personal war with the system. Pretty soon there are four people staring at the computer. Login out, login in, shaking it, unplugging it, whisper on the screen, throw some magic powder, special spell, praying hard, sweating, jumping…

No sé que coños pasa. Excuse me again. I will have to do it manually.

—Ok. Thanks…

I even surprised myself on how good I handle the stress. I wave to my husband giving him the thumbs up.

I rush into security after giving solid hug and kiss to my husband who waits for me to pass the gate. I am surprised. He is the type of guy that as soon as the good byes are given turns his back and return to his car.

I unload all my gadgets in three different trays. Only two of them made it. Where is my carry-on?

They opened it. Two of the heaviest Harry Potter books show up. They were the only books my daughter wanted me to bring her from all the things she has left behind in Spain. Then the security guard pulls out something that looks like a long blue snake.

—What is this?

—Oh, no! My bicycle lock!

—Señora, you can´t travel with this on the plane.

—Oh shit! I thought about it, but it was so heavy, I didn´t want to check it in my already heavy bag…

—Was anybody with you at the airport? We can give it to him. Otherwise, what you can do is go outside, tie the lock on a pole, and then when you come back, you can retrieve it.

—Really? Do you think I can do that? But where do I lock it? Maybe, juts let me call my husband and see if he is still here…
Steve? Are you still at the airport? Can you keep my lock?

I watch the guard giving my husband the chain. I move my lips to say thank you and blow him a kiss.

—Well, I really appreciate your understanding and the fact you gave me some options. Have a great day!

I enter in the waiting room at my gate searching for a sit. Not even five minutes later, I hear on the speaker that the weather in Amsterdam is really bad, and we won´t be able to take off until 2:20 pm. I looked at my watch. It´s 10:30 am. I check at my Amsterdam connection. I approach the counter.

—Excuse me, sir. I have a connection at 3:30 pm in Amsterdam. I will miss it!

—Yes, you will!

No more help whatsoever. I won´t arrive on time to my daughter´s birthday. I start crying and all my politeness is gone.

—————

Two days later…

—Thank you for calling Delta Airlines Baggage Claim Service. We are sorry you didn´t receive your luggage. Please say your claim code…

I hate this taped help. The machine doesn´t understand my accent. I need to get a real person.

—Hello. My name is Wilbur. What can I do for you today?

—Yes, could you please check if it´s any news about my suitcase? It never make it to the final destination last Monday.

—May I have your claim number?

—Yes, T as an David, C as in California, T as an dog, B as an Vincent, eight, four, three, one.

I am almost sure that these is how it sounds. I hate to spell in English.

—Good news, mam. Your suitcase is in Detroit, and tomorrow it will be drop off at the address you provided when you submitted the claim.

—Thank you!!!

I was a little tired to wear my daughter´s underwear.

socks (Small)
When your luggage doesn’t make it, you develop a new style. The only thing I don´t like about my daughter clothes are her underwear. Too small for my taste. I like old granny undies.

Day 26. The days of your birthdays… #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individualMarch 26th

Today is my daughter’s 23rd birthday and I am physically with her. I arrived yesterday at midnight. She picked me up, and said Aren’t you going to wish me happy birthday?

It has been a while since I don´t spend a birthday with her. The last time was when she turned 18th in high school and I went to her classroom during Physics class dressed up as the cat in the hat, and read Oh the places you will go, and the poem of Pablo Neruda Hoy que es el cumpleaños de mi hermana . My voice got broken with this poem, since our son was in the States, and I was missing him dearly.  While I was reading I glanced at her classmates, and saw a couple of girls drying her tears, and some of the boys looking at me in dismay. —Oh,oh— I thought Now I really messed things up.

But I have brought a cake, sodas and birthday hats. They were running around like kindergarten kids. Later my daughter told me that she felt a little bit embarrassed but her classmates could go through anything  for food and skipping Physics.

I don´t know exactly what are we going to do today. The year she left for college my celebrations of her birthday have been virtual.

When she turned 21, I made her a booklet that it did mortified her a little bit. I spent quite a few hours making a book for her in Story Jumper. I shared  the link in Facebook very excited. The link passed unnoticed that day and the followings. When you turn 21, the least you are worried about is your mom´s birthday wishes. I sensed that and the following Christmas I printed the book and mailed it to her place since we were going to spend winter holidays at her home. I had put too many hours on that book to get it passed ignored without glory or pity.

When the package arrived, she opened it nonchalantly without asking me, and decided to place the booklet on her chimney for all her friend to see how weird her mom was. When I arrived, she greeted me with a grin and told me What were you thinking ,ma? Who in the world would like to see a bloody baby (literally) on the cover of a book, let alone your boobs???

—Oh! Well, Merry Christmas, guati. That was your Christmas present—I answered.

In the cover of the book, I had put a a photo of  her arrival to this world, still tied to me by her umbilical cord. Inside the book was a photo of me breast feeding her. Ooops.

Despite everything, I love those photos. They remind me of motherhood in the early stages when everything is very physical and intense.

The days of your birthdays.png
My Story Jumper Story for Matilde´s 21st birthday

19 Happy 19th Birthday Matilde YouTube

When Matilde turned 19th, I made these ABCs on PowToon

 

 

Everything started when I made her a book called “The days of your birthdays” inspired by Cynthia Ryland’s Birthdays Presents (1991) when she turned 8.

My birthday’s stories are complete, now is her turn to continue them.

But that’s another slice.

 

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Day 25. Proud mamá on the road again… #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individual

March 25th

In an hour I am taking off to the States. I am so excited. I will be arriving for my daughter’s 23rd birthday. I haven’t celebrated a birthday with her since she turned 18 in 2014, when she graduated from high school in Spain. This year she will be graduating from VCU. I am so proud of her. Double mayor, Economics and Political Science, and a minor in Arabic. On top of that, and I think for this she should receive a huge certificate, she is graduating with no debt, and very little help from us. She worked relentless hours one year prior to college and during all her four college years. Some weeks she was working 30 hours besides her classes and study. There are no words that can reflect how proud I am of her.

MyStar
Matilde, you are my Star

Mati

Strong since day one

M&V
Mama’s pride

Day 24. I can accept the challenge but can’t compete #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individual

March 24th

Honestly, I can´t pick just one person to enter this weekend challenge. Remember my motto is why make things easier if you can make them much more complicated!

As a writer, who has encouraged me, moved me, inspired me, and lift me up?

I can´t compete. It is forbidden to mention ALL my patience and consistent visitors and commentators. I would be disqualified if I enter. I can’t just pick ONE. Genuinely, all of them have been sweet, funny, connected, and many times I have caught myself writing with them in synchronicity.

Lanny Ball , Fran Hayle, Katie Diez, and Brian Rozinsky are my steady commentators. They visit my blog if not every single day, almost. They never fail to leave a comment for me to read which is very uplifting, especially when I start to know them better, and get curious of what will catch more their attention. Even though I know Brian, Fran, and Katie are part of the welcome wagon volunteers, and that maybe I was “assigned” to one or two of them to make sure my slices were not orphans of comments, I think that they genuinely are enjoying the torture of reading my very long sentences hahaha.

Lanny on the other side, as part of the creative Two Writing Teachers team can’t be even be mentioned in the challenge! He was forced to read me after my annoying appearance in his blog since the beginning of March. Since my last name starts with A, he was cursed to be my designated “counselor” in the event I have questions, and I did. Now, I almost think I know his habits, or at least I imagine them. I assume he gets up really early, probably around 5 or 5:30 am and writes his slice, Then he goes and comment on a couple of them and then starts the jog of his busy life.

This quote from his blog describes how I picture him (He said it, not me!)

I wonder if sometimes the lockers chuckle to themselves- “There he goes again, running late.”

Lanny Ball, SOLSC ’19 Day 21

Probably he doesn´t take a break until 10 pm when he may check or not some blogs. I imagine many times he just drops dead in bed.

Katie and Brian, on the other hand are more random in their publishing at least for me. I don’t know when they click the publish button, probably for two reasons: Brian has a blogspot so he doesn’t show up in my wordpress feeds. Katie’s blog took me until yesterday to find since every time I press on her gravatar, it says that she has deleted her blog. Yesterday, I took the time to dig deeper, and I found Katie’s Korner!

I don´t imagine their routines so well as Lanny’s but usually they comment in the evenings when I am getting ready to go to sleep or I am already sleeping. It’s gratifying to get up the next morning and read their uplifting and witty comments.

Brian’ s skiing slices made me jealous but mostly happy since he reminds me of my son and his love for snow.

I like this quote from one of his first slices in March 2019, where he describes to non-skiers what skiing is all about

“For non-skiers among you slicers and readers, imagine dancing lightly through soft, white space in a way that feels simultaneously slow and thrillingly fast.”

Brian SOLSC ’19 Day 3

Katie is really good at giving me comments of encouragement, and to keep writing. She always picks one or two lines she likes, and then develop her comment tied to them. I really appreciate that.

Even though Fran looks much younger than me, she has a son around the same age as mine, and I muse myself at the idea that 21 years ago we were wondering around the world pregnant at the same time. It makes us not just writers but motherhood buddies. I hope she wins something one time. She not only write beautifully but she endured the 75 comments challenge with grace and gratefulness.

Jennifer Floyd told me she was glad she discovered my blog just two days ago. It felt good as she enjoys the whole me writing and not just one random slice, even when she might not comment at all. I do that with many blogs. Sometimes I read so many entries, that I end breathless and wordless.

Diane and Lynne puzzles me because I never know who is writing the comment, Diane Esolen Dougherty or Lynne R. Dorfman? Still, I appreciate their bits of advise and nice comments. Their slice of today “Alfabetically speaking, you’re OK” left me thinking about the time I live in Chile under Pinochet and how so much hate and fear was in the atmosphere.

Terje at Just for a month is my ESL buddy, and have given me encouragement and understanding.

Like the humor and honesty with which you write. Wordjourneysite is a retired English teacher that writes endearing pieces on her blog. I enjoy her journey along with Lemon, her sweet granddaughter. I feel very honored when she stops by and drops me a comment.

There are so many other people that I haven’t mentioned that have commented on my blog. As the Two Writing Teachers rightly say, stories without readers are not stories. I really appreciate all comments because they become my story.

I arrive at your blog, looking forward to what I’ll find since it’s unpredictable. Brian left that comment one time, and I chuckled. It made me wonder if that made me choose as a husband a very patient individual, who I have to say, has been the number one cheerleader during this slice of life story challenge. He is my triage screener and confidence builder. When I feel insecure, uneasy or maybe that I might be out of whack, I show him my drafts before clicking the publish button. Probably, I should give him the full recognition and nominate him. It’s too bad he is not doing the challenge, because he has a blog, and is a good and clever writer.

Mati a tope (Small)
Thank you for all your comments!

Day 23. Brevity is the soul of wit #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individualMarch 23rd

Sometimes I think I am witty, but as my daughter always tells me, it’s the sort of wit that only I can understand.

I want to talk about my friend and author Manuel Valderrama Donaire, that I have mentioned already in another slice of life. He is a fan of our writer’s workshop and once in a while he pops in to see how we are doing and shares his latest work in progress. It’s always fun to hear what he has to say. He is an avid reader and knows a lot about literature and history. A good writer has to be a good reader, he says. He has a radio show called the irreverent reader, but he is also an irreverent writer.

Three years ago, I read one of his three novels, Uno de los vuestros (PeZsapo, 2016), a very witty and sarcastic short novel where he touches on the Spanish 21st century economic crisis and corruption in a humorous way. Through the life of Juan Anselmo, the protagonist, Manuel calls into question the entire society, and the things that people can do to be what is considered ¨successful and  powerful.” I went to the launching of this book at the public library of my town, where I met Manuel for the first time and learned that we live very close by.

Despite living in the same small town, I never saw Manuel again until I joined the writer’s workshop last October. Then I realized he has published a third and more ambitious novel, Egolatría [Egotism]. I kept thinking I should read it since I was seeing him more often. I was being cheap, and decided to check his book out at the public library. I already had so many books to read that never opened it. Then I thought, I should buy the book and support local authors. He is the type of writer that I want to keep publishing.

I pushed away the temptation of grabbing my phone and getting the novel in one click, and probably cheaper, via Amazon. Instead, at the beginning of March, I stopped by at the local bookstore, had a nice chat with the owner, and bought the last copy. It felt good. I saw Manuel two times after my purchase. I knocked my head on the wall for not having the book with me, so he can sign it.

Last Thursday, I had the hunch he was going to join us at our workshop, so I put the book in my already full backpack. And voilá, when I entered in the room, there he was! I got the autograph! The book is now in my suitcase, and will fly with me to the States. When I finish it, I promise I will write about it.

Manuel also fed my own “egotism” by writing a very nice dedication on the title page. I feel flattered and humbled at the same time, and so inspired. Now I need to write a novel since I can´t be brief. I hope I keep my wit, even if I am the only one that understands it.

A mi compañera escritor y amiga, Pía, que lleva el metrónomo de una novelista insertada en su prosa. Mil gracias y un besazo, Manuel VD” [To my fellow writer and friend, Pia, who carries the metronome of a novelist inserted in her prose. A thousand thanks and a big kiss, Manuel VD]

Day 22. Good morning, I am Pia´s phone here writing #sol19 #solsc

slice-of-life_individual

March 22nd

María, our beautiful and young leader* at our Thursday’s Writing Workshop gave us a prompt for the coming week, and I thought I should try to write a slice of life from it. She talks about the importance of choosing the narrator of a story. It’s the first choice a writer needs to make when writing down the first sentence on the blank page. Who will tell the story? The point of view of the narrator will be our point of view as readers. It´s very different if I am the one that tells the story, as if it´s an omniscient narrator, or a secondary character. How many times we have seen the story of the three little pigs told from the point of view of the Wolf or one particular pig? Last week our prompt was to write about Little Red Riding Hood in a news form; it could be an interview, a chronicle, a letter to the editor, a critic´s view, etc. I wrote a letter to the editor written by the very own Little Red Riding Hood defending her women´s rights. But that´s another slice.

This week´s prompt is to write a story taking our cell phones as the narrator. Yes, our mobile phone will narrate the story of the protagonist. María challenges us by asking “Who does know us better than our phone? How many things do we have in our phones that we don´t share with anybody?”

*that’s the way Maria jokingly said we should always address her, and I am a very obedient student.


So, here is my slice of life told by my phone.

Good morning. I am a Moto 5g old generation. I landed in Pia´s hands two years ago when her brother saw how slow was her previous phone, while they were travelling together in Croatia. As soon as the trip was over, he got on Amazon, and shipped her moi. She was thrilled. She could store so many photos, and also get apps she couldn´t even imagine getting before. She loved me immediately.

I always sleep plugged in next to her night table, despite the horror stories about cell phones radiation, and disruptions in human quality of sleep. Sometimes she lays me down on the floor, on top of a book. Today, I woke her up with my alarm at 6:00 am. I don´t know why because she snoozes me until 6:45 am and sometimes even later. This time I can´t blame her. Last night she had put me to sleep at 1 am.

As soon as she opens her eyes she looks for her glasses and glances at me. If nothings is popping up on the screen, she just go to the bathroom and gets ready for the day. She knows that as soon as I get in her hands, it´s difficult to let me go. I am so attractive.

Last year, she turned all my apps notifications off since they were distracting her too much from real work and real life. At least this is what she tells herself. All but her children´s. She doesn´t like to miss anything about them. They have a busy life in college, and the time differences between Europe and the US don´t help much. Her children´s Whatsapp messages show on my screen silently even when either she or I or both are asleep. It´s pretty annoying but she loves it. Or does she need them?

Today I was proud I helped her American niece to get a hold of Pia via whatsapp, since she was a little confused about what train to take to return to Sevilla from Cádiz.

Later on the day she figured out her son is enjoying his Spring break skiing with his friends. His story on Instagram is amazing. I sent her a notification that Vincent uploaded a new story. What a beautiful day for skiing it was. She marveled at the short video and sent messages back and forth to her son. In the meantime, her daughter sent her text messages over Voxer which is really strange because nobody texts in Voxer. I know it is because she is in class, and can´t talk.

When Pia is in front of the computer working, she doesn´t use me too much. She keeps forgetting me in odd places, and her husband has to call me several times just to figure out I was left in the bathroom, the kitchen, underneath the clean laundry, or sometimes even in her own bra. The latter happen when she doesn´t have pockets or purse where she can carry me. Since last year though, when she gets out she always put me on a little sweaty fanny bag she carries everywhere. I am crammed in with a white Chinese battery, and her leather change purse also packed with IDs, coins, receipts, and 5 or 10 euro bills.

Lately, she has gotten into the habits of putting me an earphone cord to listen to audio books. Today she spent an unusual amount of time searching for books in the three different digital book apps that I have on myself. One from Spain, one from Chile and one from the US. That way she barely needs to buy books. Also, I know she is taking off soon to the US (I have her flight on her Google calendar app) and she is getting ready for having interesting reading material on the plane and her stay in Virginia and Oregon. The only problem is that in Overdrive some of the most recent books are all borrowed and the waiting list is amazing. There are 0 copies of 20 available of Educated by Tara Westover. She placed the hold two months ago and she still is number 318 on the audiobook and 219 on the ebook.

At 6:30 pm she takes off to her writing workshop. She wears a wrist watch that is 7 minutes ahead of time, so she thinks she won´t arrive late to meetings and such, but always catches her by surprise when she sees the real time on my beautiful screen portraying her two children smiling. It´s too bad I can´t take a selfie of myself to put in this slice. I have to ask my old fashioned Canon Camera friend to do it for me.

Anyway, she put me in her fanny bag and we take off biking really fast, because she is indeed late. She arrives at the workshop when everybody is sitting around the table. She brought some brownies. This is going to be her last meeting, at least for a while. She will be in the US for two months. She leaves me on her backpack, but 15 minutes before 8, she takes me out. She needs to leave half an hour earlier. Her husband is participating in a round table discussion about the Green New Deal at 8:30 pm in Sevilla and she doesn´t want to miss that.

Between readings, and when the participants get off topic, she touches me and starts Strava and Mapmyrun. She is biking to Sevilla, and enjoys tracking down her path. She also wants to make sure she knows where is the meeting and fires up Google Maps. I am just hoping I last the entire trip. My battery gets exhausted with all the apps she has open.

She reads in a hurry her Little Red Riding Hood letter to the editor, and gets up apologizing that she is late. It´s already 8:05 pm. Everybody gives her two kisses and a hug. She gets her reflective vest, puts the front and back lights on her bike, straps the fanny pack where I am almost suffocated, and darts out pedaling as fast as the dark and traffic let her while Maria´s question still resonates in her mind: Did you write this letter very fast? —Yeah, probably between slices.

Usually she fools around when she bikes, stops, and takes photos of random things, or put her earphones and listen to a book if it´s a boring ride. Not this time. We can´t arrive late. While she is double locking the bike to the pole, she looks at me. 8:30 sharp. She opens my camera and takes a selfie that she sends to her writing group while she types “I arrived”. I don´t know if she does it because she is bragging or because she knows her group cares about her safety. Probably both.

Lying in bed very late at night, she tries to put a story on Instagram about her husband talk, but I am working very sloppy and slow. I think I am getting old. I am afraid I will end up in the box of old gadgets.

Even though I know she would get very upset if I got lost, I still think she hides many things from me. I wish I knew her better.


My apologies for this very long slice of life. My phone didn´t want to shut up.
My phone (Small)
Here is just a photo of me.
I arrived (Small)
“I arrived!” she wrote on my whatsapp
Strava to Sevilla (Small)
Here is Pia´s bike ride to Sevilla.