I miss Europe this week. Not really the Europe I spent the summer exploring, but the Europe I’ve since idealized — where everything’s beautiful and nothing hurts. Instead of walking down piss-stinking streets past too-friendly men, my memory meanders down cobblestone corridors strewn with flower petals, lined with gelato shops.
I don’t remember the homesickness or frustration. I remember the glory of new language and comfort of new friends. I remember train rides past dream landscapes. Paintings that made me feel like I was the only person in the gallery to experience them. Sunsets (and some Spanish sunrises) with truer colors. Yellower lemons, oranger oranges, bluer skies.
I remember the Mediterranean waters at Nice so warm. The Atlantic coast sands at Cadiz so hot. The rainwind in Ireland so biting cold.
The printers were making coffee last night at work, and in the instant I smelled the brew I was heating coffee on the stove at No. 30 Felipe II; I was downing a shot of espresso at a cafe in Riomaggiore; I was filling a chipped hostel mug.
My mouth waters for hazelnut chocolates. Italian kisses. My mind wanders around book stores stuffed with familiar titles in unfamiliar tongues.
I’m drinking up that remembered Europe. It is morning coffee, evening red wine and all-day Cruzcampo beer. Mint tea in Arab saunas and French goat’s milk in sunny country kitchens.
I want to go back. I want to go to ChinaIndiaAustraliaScotlandMoroccoTurkey GreeceGhanaCostaRicaArgentinaIceland. To LondonMontrealRioJerusalem SeattleMoscowParisTokyo.