I would say it’s almost a surgical process– the way that Fabiola cuts up an orange. She reaches over to the bowl, careful not to topple a pear from the heaping pile of assorted fruit. As she grasps the knife, she pulls a plate from overhead. The top and bottom of the rind slide off onto the cutting board. She takes the orange in her right hand and cuts vertical lines from the previously cut sections as she twists it in the palm of her hand. She sets down the knife and expertly peels away the eight sections of skin with the side of her thumb, until she sets it naked on the plate. She then cuts horizontal slices and makes them into perfectly trimmed triangles. As she sprinkles sugar over the top she retrieves two small dessert forks from the drawer. Then she sets the plate between Alicia and I. My favorite dessert after lunch. But I think my favorite part is watching her cut the thing.
Class ended ten minutes ago and now I’m sitting at a table outside in a place up the street. My books are beside me, a kind of friend occupying the negative space. Lorca’s words secretly whisper in languid Spanish tongue from beneath pages of photocopied paper.
“Café con leche,” and a smile to the waiter.
My camera is on the table; its neck extends forward to catch a glimpse of the Albayzín that sits on its white haunches behind my head. In America, I would have gone up to the counter, change in my pocket and asked for a latte. They would call my name after seven minutes and I would retrieve the large, warm cup and hold it between the palms of my hands. An individual activity with a personal purpose.
“Algo más?” The waiter does not look at me expectantly but rather with forlorn boredom.
“No, gracias.” A let the “s” slide down my throat with the first sip of coffee. Sometimes I can pass as Spanish when I say little things in mimic of the accent of a Granadino. Coffee comes on a little plate here, with a little spoon, and a packet of sugar. I never use the sugar and by default neither the spoon. I just sit in the sun with my books whispering, my camera straining for a view, and a small cup of strong coffee reaching petite, steamy fingers to the blue sky.
A walk fifteen minutes up the river, people rush by. It’s 9:00 at night and the streets are busier than they were at lunch. But it’s different because the girls wear shoes that make them a little taller and makeup that makes them a little darker. I see my friend across the street as the little, green walking man signals twenty three seconds to cross the road. I watch her part ways with her roommate, who’s teaching salsa at a bar in the Realejo.
She orders tinto de verano and I get a beer. The waiter comes back and asks what tapas we want. Here, with a round of drinks you get a tapa. Sometimes dinner only costs close to four euro, depending on how hungry you are. I’m getting better at talking and sharing. Wine loosens the mind and food loosens the tongue. And just when I start to realize that I’ve been here for a month– a beautiful month, a plate is set down, as we simultaneously set our conversation to the side. I pick up a tostado with a lightly fried, white fish on top and a few leaves of parsley. Dinner in Granada– when conversation takes up more space on the table than food.
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<p>My name is Anna Suszynski and I live in Colorado. I will graduate in 2016 from Colorado College having studied to be an English major, Creative Writing Track. I love to read, ski, go to as many concerts as I can, hang out with my mom, hike, take way too many photographs, and get lost. </p>