Nothing to Eat, Nothing to Wear and Nothing to Say


By all means, go to Spain, Andulusia, Costa Del Sol, Seville - all these strange places. Just know that I actively made a choice to be repressed in this particular place. Also know that Seville just happened to be the place that gave us the worst hotel experience. I never actively chose to be the bad guy elsewhere. I've also been to some very shitty hotels before and after this trip. 

Seville never did it for me even when I decided to feel it out for myself without her. I also drank heavily while I was there. I had a few bottles of rum I'd smuggled from Malaga. I was buying loose cans of shandy from a nearby Dia. I had found wine at a corner store for $2.50. She'd make me tea and I'd put rum in that. You know those movies where the character is held up somewhere and theres the montage of them going stir-crazy, pacing, looking out the window and drinking in ragged clothes with sweat beading on their skin - that was me in Seville. I was held up in our room just writing, reading, drinking and sweating.

So don't let me decide for you.

When we arrived our hotel was at an obvious crossroad. It was on a triangle of sorts situated right at the corner of two streets. Sadly, from day one we always chose to go right, southeast which veered us to a very cliche, touristy part of town. I didn't find the left, southwest part of town until the day before we left. We arrived on a Friday afternoon and it didn't look like anyone was ever out to play. The entire place beyond the right of that triangle seemed desolate and dusted over - very Wild, Wild West. So it fit the mood that I had chosen to be in. Our first stop was the first restaurant we saw after making that right. It was more of a tavern. They only had one choice of beer, thankfully it was what I liked. She however opted for sangria. I never much liked the idea of old fruit swirling around in cheap wine. However, hers came with a cinnamon stick in it. That kinda polar opposite crap pretty much set the tone for the remainder of Sevilla. For her Seville was like this jewel in the Nile. Somewhere in this desert was sights and scenery she'd been waiting for. There was the Flamenco dancing, the bullfighting, the architecture etc. In my opinion Seville was a place where people just stared at things. In between staring you ate at some horrid tapas place or eyed the horses. Something about idle horses covered in flies with loud masters trying to force you to take a ride bothered me. In fact, it resonated every time we entered a main square covered in waiting carriages. Seville has like no trees and whatever trees you encountered had no shade. So we were hot, the horses were hot and things were just … hot. You were forced to eat because the heat would lay you out otherwise. I'd already been disappointed at the little tavern. I ordered something and got something else. She jeered at me for that and it sort of irked me that she did because what she ordered wasn't exactly what was on her plate either. Also being stressed about money I ate graciously. However, nothing was ever worth it. I was never pleased or full in Seville. We had a series of very sad, quiet meals. We also settled upon eating at the same place over and over out of comfort. Other days I actually opted to starve - we both did. Even the grocery store was a sad experience because no one was in there. Even the El Cortes Ingles was sort of flat and people mostly bought alcohol. So I guess everyone starves in Seville.

I was running out of clothes too. We had done laundry in Malaga but literally left with wet clothes. So I was drying things in the wardrobe and I had no idea when we could wash again. I was really trying to retain my nicest things for Italy. We'd both bought staples like PJ shorts and leggings at H&M. We'd also tossed heavier things like sweaters and jeans. We were very limited or so I thought. I'd get dressed in my recently bought basics and see her pull out some secret stash of clothes. I'm being perfectly honest I wish I could exaggerate. I was truly going out in basic tank tops that stopped just below my waist and leggings that were almost transparent. I was doing this to save my wardrobe. I was also thinking no one cares and I'm a tourist. I'm not here to make friends or impress anyone. So here I am in an outfit I normally wouldn't get caught dead in and her sitting in a completely brand new outfit from the shoes, bag and accessories. One day I just looked at her in disbelief and said I don't have a dress to wear because they were damp hanging or wrinkled in my suitcase. Her response was "You have dresses, I've seen them!?" and she had this face of societal disgust. It was as if I was standing there in a potato sack and she was in bustled damask. In that moment I was homesick because I had enough clothes to dress her in a different outfit for at least three years straight between Florida, North Carolina and France. We'd run out of things to say to each other - nice or evil - so now it was one-up time. When we went out like that with her in a fucking dress and me in leggings I hoped that I was embarrassing her. I purposely wore no underwear and I tried to channel big British women on holiday in smocked tube tops with white lacy bras. Check.

Then there was the Flamenco thing. She had researched about the dancing and how Seville was the place to go for it. She expressed that we could go to a show and see it live. I have a very strong passion for the arts with an emphasis on dance. I am the one that encouraged her to see ballet companies in NYC that I didn't have access to. These are organizations I actually follow and donate to. So it was really funny to have her convince me to see an act I should have been the authority on. When I thought of Spain I imagined a strong authenticity. I wanted to be transported to a land of color, great food, performance art, sensuality etc. I never expected for her to try to guide that. I never even expected her to understand my expectations. I'd already seen myself in some tiny hall witnessing dance and song. What I didn't imagine is her trying to book some elaborate show. So as much as I wanted to see something I'd dreamed about I wasn't spending money on some contrived act. I told her I would sit it out and she looked irritated with my choice. Trust me I was way more hurt than I ever put on. I seriously wanted to see the dance but I was broke. It was watch a show I'm not even confident about seeing or miss the Vatican. As disappointed as I was having to even make a choice I still went with her to buy the tickets hoping there was a chance she would buy me one too. She paid for her ticket with a credit card so she couldn't even afford it herself. Maybe she felt it was a worth while investment, this coming from someone who couldn't even stay for the second act of a show I recommended to her at the Joyce. I watched her dress for the show. I watched her walk down the street from the balcony. I then drank myself into a stupor. I may have even cried. When she returned all late I listened to her go on and on about it without flinching. Checkmate.

When at the hotel our card keys never worked. Our wi-fi never worked. Our shower was also a very strange device that shot water in your face and no where else. It was also cold the entire stay. It was okay though because cold showers were mandatory in a place so hot and disappointing - it was a pastime. I was told to get glad about it because she chose the hotel because I insisted on being cheap. I guess I failed to mention I wasn't desperate. Our beds were cots on wheels and all the furniture was this weird Scandinavian pressed wood. The wardrobe was peeling and the night stand was more like a stack of something just ye high. You could see straight through the bathroom and the light in it was like LED. However, it was too far from the window to just eyeball it in the night. So you always woke someone up just trying to pee and they could see you if they wanted to. As much as I hated our accommodations I stayed in that room. I realized it was far better staying in the room alone than it was being stuck with her in that god awful heat. At least the room didn't talk back … or so I thought. When Sunday rolled around I realized our hotel was positioned between two churches. Well I'd noticed before because the Virgin Mary was right outside our balcony but I couldn't see the bells and whistles. On Domingo, these bells rang for hours on end. I expected a little fan fare for service but it rang multiple times throughout the day. Those bells were so loud my brain hurt and ears rang. It was debilitating to continue hearing them. What sucked is she wasn't even there so I was trying to be productive. I was planning my trip back home. I was researching Italy. I was making YouTube videos. After a while I couldn't do any of the above. I'd be halfway through a video and the bells would toll and it was beyond editing. I was forced to make bloopers.

There were so many defining moments in Seville. There was me asking for an extra pillow at the front desk for about seven hours straight. There was the time I went looking for a dealer I saw selling castanets and got terribly lost to the point I was in a garden maze for a few hours. There was the time we waited in the hot sun to see a certain sight for free for her to get bit by a mosquito and want to go home. There was the moment we found the shopping district and wondered into a panaderia like zombies. There was the moment of her asking me for the money I owed her after we'd just nickeled and dimed our way for creme horns. I guess in that moment she expected me to fork over $500 I didn't have. I guess my obvious starvation and late night calls to friends wasn't an indicator. Then she gave me 50 cents and asked me to find her a loaf of bread. Of course, I came back several hours later after seeing some Moorish sites, finding those castanets elsewhere and buying a whole pizza. That pizza was like an Jedi mind trick. Firstly, it was cheap for what it was and it was made to order increasing my time away from her. Then it was this prize I walked the street with where people looked at me wondering where did I get it in the land of Iberian ham and fish eyes. When I entered the room with that box she was obviously starving and she tried to maintain her control. I handed her a bag of bread and her change saying it was only 50 cents so it was on me. It was like salvation to sit on the end of the bed with a cold beer in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other. I kept offering her a slice because I had a whole pie right there. She eventually had one slice but then acted like she'd bit the apple. So I ate 90% of the pie while she pecked at a loaf of bread. The reality was I'd only had $40 budgeted for three days in Seville. On this day I'd spent my last $10 and I still wasn't above sharing with someone like her.

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