Sala Vega

Sala Vega

We met in the small moment when thick Barcelona air stopped on a dime
I was trying to catch a train, you were asking for the time
Two blonde girls, lost and confused
Same color in our eyes, just different hues.
You’re from Russia, and we spoke Inglés
Talked about men and whiskey, liked the way both taste
I found a friend, God himself must have sent
One of the same, but yet so different.


Tequila sunrises have always been one of the loves of my life.
It’s what we ordered when my new Russian friend met up with me, my first night to escape from the house, and her to experience the way my native English language sounded, as we threw our blonde heads back and laughed like teenagers again.
What an odd combination, the Dutch workers would say. But it was almost like I had known her for fifteen years, not minutes, when we crossed paths in a Spanish train station.
Slipping inside that discoteca was the best ten euros I don’t remember spending. I was bathed in a dream, because the air was hot and free and the music filled me with what I thought I knew.

I won’t lie to you, I was infatuated with her. Elena, Lena, Helen, whatever. She was tired of the cold winters in her country so here she was, coral dress clinging to her hips like a child being pried from its mother. Her hair whipped the edges of the world around me as she jumped up and down, pumping a fist into the air to the beat. Maybe it was the tequila, or maybe it was because for the first time in two months, I had a friend. But, My God, I just felt invincible. I remember thinking: I need to write about this. I have to write this down so it will never end. And then there was the foam- frothy, translucent spheres bubbling from machines and soaking into our sun-kissed skin, snaking across the floor and billowing out to touch the flushed faces of young girls and men who couldn’t think of wanting anything more. They throw out “¡Qué guapa!” for us to catch at our feet.

I wrung out my hair, the droplets trickling down my breasts as I caught my breath, and tilted my head back. Clear liquor in a red and white bottle. Had to be cheap vodka, but I needed it. To dance with her, to keep up with the crowd of a Monday night, to love like a tourist and live like a local. And there was France by the DJ booth and Germany at the bar and I think Italy on the dance floor, yet we all melted together. A family of worlds from America and Russia and the unknown guy in the corner with a stuffed penguin, and the stuck up girls with now ruined designer handbags, and it didn’t matter because it was like we were born to dance to this song. Helen kept swaying, but I had to get more tequila, this time by myself. I needed it to make it to the morning.

And just like that as I made my way back to her, it was over. And I didn’t know how or when, but there were guys sliding across the floor on their stomachs, making the soapy mess a playground. There was an empty room- when did the crowd seep through the back door? And there was Helen saying goodbye and mumbling something about a taxi, but we were both too tipsy on the moonlight to understand this was the last we’d ever see each other. My hand was taken by the DJ who took me to the beach and told me I was beautiful, and I told him thanks but I had a boyfriend, and I could tell he was leaning in for a kiss but he helped me into a van, and I was driven halfway home, from what I know…

The next morning I wake, my eyes finding the house keys, and a cup of water. I know I couldn’t have done it alone but I pray that I did. Helen, where are you? And I’m so sorry. I’ll come spend winters with you in Russia if you can fly me out tonight. And I’ll make 7 am Tuesday morning up to you.

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