Friday, March 12, 2004

Reflections on Atocha

(Atocha is the biggest of the three bombed Spanish train stations).

I like to walk and look at interesting buildings. A normal weekend or afternoon for me, when I was in Madrid, was to hop on the subway, ride somewhere interesting, and walk around for a couple of hours. Atocha was one of my favorites. It's a beautiful building on the outside, and it has a rain forest on the inside. Very peaceful, very beautiful. Or at least it was. Now it's tainted.

I would ride to Atocha on a lazy Sunday and walk up the road to the Prado to look at some of the West's great works of art for free. After an hour or so dodging tourists and looking at my favorite paintings, I would leave to wander around and look at the buildings. I would walk for miles. Some days, I would go back to Atocha, buy a newspaper or read a book I'd brought with me, and read it in the garden. I don't think I could do that now. The place has been damaged, the calm has been shattered, my memories have been destroyed.

And I still haven't been able to call Consuelo, my Madrid mom. Stupid time difference.


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