My most memorable moment of planning our trip was figuring out how we were going to get ourselves from Porto to Granada as quick and cheap as possible. Someone had written that “only a devout masochist” would bus between those two cities. I had heard horror stories of busses in Turkey involving no air conditioning, food poisoning, and a missing passport. Two of those things are deal breakers for me so a crack of dawn flight to Madrid, a half day layover and a four hour train ride to Granada were booked. Madrid wasn’t on our original city list and I’m not going to count it as a stamp on my atlas but it hosted the best outdoor nap I’ve ever slept through. We found a glorious semi deserted park to sprawl our bags on and have day time dreams. You know those dreams that are almost self guided but reality tries to pry it’s way in while you keep a small part of your brain aware that all of your belongings are open business for pick pocketing? It was one of those times.
Our train station was more of a tropical rainforest than a hub of transportation. It played home to more than a hundred little turtles basking in the sunlight coming in through the skylit roof. There was a mini trail inside that you could attempt to get lost in among the bamboo and plant foliage. It even had a well hidden electronics store that you could run to last minute when the one thing you forgot to do at home was to print out your train tickets.
The four hour lonely train journey from Madrid to Granada was specially curated by Explosions In The Sky’s entire discography. The sky above and field below were our last known surroundings; olive tress followed us through the birth and death of the day, pocketed by expanses of glittering blackness. With tired eyes, tired minds, tired souls, we slept until the first breath after coma was the catastrophe and the cure of the dream where six days spent at the bottom of the ocean was the only moment we were alone. Remember me as a time of day, writing you a postcard from 1952 and your hand in mine being the memorial of our last days as children. Its a slow dance to West Texas where inside it all feels the same, the moon is down, and its natural to be afraid.
Be comfortable, creature; greet death and welcome ghosts.