Vanilla ice cream in the cold

Tonight, it is 31 degrees Fahrenheit and I am biting into vanilla ice cream. It’s one of those nights where you want to open a bottle of wine and just sip through the bitterness. I found an unopened bottle of Champaign in the fridge, unwrapped the gold aluminum around the top and realized I was too lazy to figure out how to unscrew the cork. Instead, I opened the freezer, grabbed the ice cream and served myself three big scoops of white vanilla.
My sister is in Mexico. I am in her big room, using her sound system, her bed and the comfy red sofa chair, her stuffed dog, Spotty, sitting next to me. I called in earlier to talk to sis. I bravely answered the man in Spanish, assuming he was asking for her room number, I said tres, cero, cero, uno. He didn’t understand, so I repeated myself, then finally he said something else really fast and I knew I was stuck so then he said it in English. I later realized I probably should have said tres mil uno. I don’t know how to prepare anymore. My Spanish is worse than ever. I watched an English movie with Spanish subtitles for a change. I don’t watch soap operas anymore because they talk so fast it makes me nervous.
I am leaving for Madrid on the third. Everybody is excited. Oh my god you’re going to Spain?! Oh you are gonna love it. You’ll have the best time of your life!
I am going to spend four months with strangers. But I’m curious to meet Senora Fidalgo and her two daughters. I am hoping they will excuse my bad Spanish. I have even prepared a little speech upon my introduction with the help of my Spanish tutor. Basically I will be telling her to excuse me for not understanding her, asking for patience until the time that I improve.
I am in a sueno, a dream. Everyday I picture myself walking through the terminal, looking for Felix, the man who will accompany me to my house. I picture our cab, the cabdriver making small talk while I sit there, silently, nervously tearing my fingernail.
But the other part of the dream is the part where I realize I’m finally doing something for myself. Something brave and maybe a little crazy.
I like crazy…
I dragged Mom to the swimming pool on this chilly night. She was too lazy and cold to go for a swim. But we went anyway. Drove to Providence recreation center, got into our swimsuits, and headed under the water. I cleared my head of Spain. Mom cleared hers of the trees that were cut down today in our yard. After a thirty minute swim, a fifteen minute Jacuzzi, and a two minute sauna, Mrs. M and I dragged ourselves out into the cold and got back on Cedar Lane, our eyes meeting, once again, the rein deers on our neighbor’s rooftop and the six-feet snow man on the front lawn.

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