I woke up early for my US consulate appointment. I got ready in the dark hostel room and left Jonathan sleeping. A part of me wanted him to come with me. Hold my hand once again. In reality him going would do nothing and we had a long day the one before.
It was easy moving alone. It was easy to go through the motions of finding my way in my own way. No glitches no problems. It was almost reassuring. like "oh right, I do know how to do this alone." I maneuvered the metro system just fine and everything felt normal.
The appointment went fine and the consul happily told me my US tourist visa was granted. I sighed of relief. There would be no real apparent reason as of why I wouldn't be able to get it but there is always that risk. However how small that risk is there and I hated the idea of coming back with bad news. Not bad news after a bad day, it would've made the whole ordeal useless.
I felt responsible. We didn't want to go to Madrid by choice we HAD to go because of me. Because I needed a visa. Dragging someone else into my immigration status life has always been an issue for me. It's like what poor soul will be dragged into dating me and all the paperwork that entails. Well now I had dragged Jonathan to Madrid and not getting the return visa wouldn't have been the end of the world but I still felt responsible for putting us there. Luckily that wasn't the case. All we had to do was wait for it to be delivered in two days.
Madrid was going back to work. We needed to "build" our website and try to streamline what we are trying to do with this adventure. I found a library that had free wifi access.
Why a library doesn't have A/C is beyond me. The next two days were spent sweating in that library trying to figure out logistics and design. Settle dates for places without really knowing the reality of what it takes to get us there.
The most memorable thing about those first two days was seeing Jonathan in the Hostel. I know that sounds odd but this was a place he knew how to maneuver expertly. It was also my first taste of talking to young traveler kids. Mostly all where graduated college about to enter the "real world" and here we were, the two of us having left the "real world." It was a funny feeling to talk to them and giving them advice.
The last day we decided to actually go see more of Madrid than the walk to the library and back. We went to the La Cathedral de la Almudena and the Royal Palace. We went up a small hill to see another "attraction" but it was closed so we decided to wait it out in the surrounding park. There was a group of people with a guitar and beers drinking and singing. I reminded me of my friends and I going to Santa Monica beach for a day. Everyone just enjoying. The flamenco that was being played was familiar to me and instead of being the creepers just a few feet away mooching on their music we decided to just go join them. It was a birthday celebration we had crashed. We told them about our trip and again it was met with awe and wonder. In the pit of my stomach those words still didn't fit. It was a small moment that made the afternoon that much sweeter.
Most importantly in those days in Madrid I made a choice for myself. I needed to find my new normal real quick. I no longer had my own room. My own bed. My own bathroom. My own kitchen. I could spend the next year of my life yearning for "my own...." or settle into carrying my toiletries every time I shower the sooner the better. That was the choice I made. This was my new normal. This was my new home: ever-changing, with dull hostel knifes, small showers and noisy roommates. I was home.