The sand in your pocket

It’s 3 in the afternoon right now, and I’m sitting in class learning the subtleties of French grammar. My mind is focused elsewhere, the last 24 hours a flurry of adventures. It was our attempt at experiencing Barcelona and painting a complete(ish) painting of this delicious city. I sit in grammar class, feeling remnants of Barcelona on me. The smell of salt in my hair and the Spanish sand in my right coat pocket.

My last month in Europe, I found myself in a tiny apartment in Barcelona with five of my friends who would also be leaving for the US in just a short moment. On our last day, we woke up hungover late in the morning, chattering about last nights events. I made my way into the kitchen, making French toast while someone played music in the background.

12 hours before, I was walking barefoot on the pebbly beach with my friends, looking at each shell that I picked up and thinking of all the separate moments that led up to this moment. Not a soul was on the beach, so we flung ourselves in the ocean, squealing with delight as one by one each of us ran into the chilly water, streaks of beige in the monochromatic morning. Screaming and clutching our bodies, we all ran fast as light into the salty Mediterranean Ocean. With eyes shut tight, my body hit the water, and my lungs gasped from the cold. It’s a wonderfully chilly feeling, to feel the waves carry me reassuringly back toward the shore. I turn my belly up while the blue pink sky melted colors above.

It was one of those moments you take a mental click picture for later, where you’ll always try and recreate the sensations. But no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to capture the moment.

When I close my eyes, I’m back on that beach, thrusting my belly up, my limbs bobbing along, and my eyes turned upward toward the inky black sky. My mouth tastes the sharp salt of the sea with every wave I float to. My ears go underwater and suddenly I lose all my senses.

By the time we get out of the water it’s Sunday morning. We walk back home, our steps flooded with the muted light of the street lamps. It’s color is very specific, a certain color you’d only find after staying up all night, causing mischief and walking barefoot in the middle of the deserted street.

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