Friday August 8th,
My last morning at Altos, I gave Cheese, who was sitting outside my door, a bowl of milk and decided I didn’t need to pack until after I had my morning Caffeine. I knocked on Lily’s door and we walked over to the boulangerie. Happily, we ran into Alfonso and joined him. I would miss the fact that in Altos you did not have to plan to meet, simply being in a small enough place you would accidentally find people you knew. We talked about the art world (god, we are such New Yorkers) over our espressos as I inched away from the pigeons who were flapping on the ledge behind me. After, I went to the classroom to pack up some things and say goodbye to my former students in the fashion class.
Under the mindful watch of Cheese, who had followed me into my room, I threw everything haphazardly in my bags while listening to Buena Vista Social Club. I looked around my room to see if I had left anything and reminisced. Remembering the night I woke up at six am and had to catch a scared tiny bat, who kept flying around the fan above me and then straight at my head. I thought about how every morning, after my woodpecker friend woke me by knocking outside my window, I would make espresso on the stove, lighting it with a match. Then I would sit on my bed in the sun to write, no technology to distract me. I had my last lunch with everyone, soaking it all in. The dappled sun patterns on the floral tablecloth and one of the cats grazing my leg under the table. I said my goodbyes, took one last look at the river below and after a fast van ride to the airport I waited outside the stairs of the plane. I waited there as long as possible, while other passengers boarded, watching cloud after cloud pass over. There are such remarkable clouds down here.