It’s raining again. Seriously?! So far the warmest weather we’ve had since November — the second month we were here — was in Israel. This is not what I signed up for.

But at least it makes me more comfortable with staying at home and reading all day, which is exactly what I did yesterday… minus a trip to the gym, where once again, I read while working out. It’s one of my favorite luxuries in life, to be able to curl up for hours on end and just read. Even better when I can do it as part of my job!

Invariably, I emerge from one of these days quiet and spacey, as if a part of my brain has been left behind in other worlds and imagined lives. It always takes a while for that part to catch up with me again, allowing me to rejoin the real world outside of my head.

Last night, Gabe arrived home later than usual to find me starting dinner in this calm, silent, detached state. Luckily I married someone whose extroversion is so contagious that it reaches me even at my most withdrawn, and last night was no exception. By the time we finished eating, I had shaken off the last fiction-induced cobwebs from my brain, and we were carrying on our normal cheerful conversation. Afterward, he even convinced me to walk up the hill to the mirador to watch the sunset (or at least the dramatic clouds covering it) and listen to the DJ they have there at the weekends.

I was glad that he did. We sat on a bench overlooking the city, sharing a massive glass of wine from the cafe there and watching the hipsters shiver as they toted around their cheap 40s of beer. There were many less out last night than there had been the week before, when it was much sunnier. Even so, there was some great people watching — the entire crowd all seemed to know each other, including the miniscule bleach blond DJ, whose two skinny legs together would have fit into one of mine. She had a good ear for the music though, and we all nodded our heads to the beat and pulled up our collars and wrapped our scarves a little tighter as the storm clouds flew overhead.

I am now constantly aware of how little time remains to us here, so I try to take in as much as possible, to saturate my memories with the look and feel of this place before we return. I did the same thing before we left home last summer (was it really nine months ago now?!), drinking in the sight of the ocean near our house, the light on our bedroom ceiling, the warmth of our families and friends, storing it all up to last me during the year ahead.

Now we are somehow already on the downhill side of that year, and despite my best efforts, I feel this city slipping through my fingers. Especially on a night like last night, with the vast panorama of densely packed red roofs and white walls spread out before us, the castle brooding on the hill, the river off to the right, the angry sky looming above impassive skyscrapers with foreign names. I despaired at my ability to cram it all into my head, to remember what that exact moment felt like, to take that place, that feeling with me when we leave. I know that all too soon, our evenings at the mirador drinking wine and listening to good music will seem like just another of the fictional worlds in my head. But what can I do, other than live my life and appreciate those moments as much as I can when they arrive?

That particular moment was soon interrupted by the harsh realities of an empty glass and an increasingly chilly night, so we made our way back down the cobbled streets to our flat. When it finally grew full dark, well after 9 PM, we were home and firmly ensconced on the couch — where I was, of course, reading once more.

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