“Yeah, let’s go see flamenco, that’s actually a perfect idea. We’ve been wanting to see it for like three weeks now. Good idea,” you say. You look at her. She smiles.
“Yeah, this will be fun,” she says.
You two start walking. You put your hand in your pocket and she puts her hand in there with it.
“Oh, good. I’m glad, this is going to be fun,” she says. She’s smiling. You’ve always had a hard time dealing with un-self-conscious displays of happiness, so you look forward and grin “sheepishly,” nod your head quickly and say “good. Want to take the long way?” She grins.
You use the map in Time Out’s Guide To Barcelona, “the best, most comprehensive city guides in print today” (The Independent) and detour to the Plaça Sant Jaume before heading up to the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, which “happens to be one of Gaudi’s earlier works,” you tell your girlfriend of two and a half years, only knowing this information from catching a glimpse of a placard you both just passed, but employing it effectively, eliciting a coo from her and ultimately enhancing, you note, the amount of “European authenticity” you’re both experiencing. From the Catedral, which was actually constructed several hundred years before Gaudi was born (you both find this out later while reading the church’s Wikipedia entry), you happen upon a maze of narrow streets so incalculably authentic that you both unconsciously assume the facial expressions of little children.
By the time you get to the flamenco restaurant, any bad feelings that may have existed are gone (were there even any?). Surprisingly, you’re ready for a night of drinks and conversation. You’re ready to be impressed by the flamenco performers. You’re ready to indulge in tapas. Looking inside, you see that it’s crowded – but not too crowded – and that there’s a perfect seat right next to the band, who’s just setting up.
“Look, it’s so nicely lit,” she says, to your right, looking in.
“Yeah, it looks nice,” you say, sensing that the decision to pursue flamenco was the correct one and that, in fact, the decision to go on this entire European vacation was the right (in fact, the only) decision to make and you know, from the nature of this type of feeling, that your girlfriend of two and a half long years, who has, lately, brought up marriage and children a number of times, which you’ve met, surprisingly, with a sort of amusement (rather than dismay), is also experiencing this same sequence of thoughts, that you two were completely right in your decision as a team to come to Europe and then to see, among other “authentic European” traditions, flamenco. You look at the menu board outside, and you’re pleased to find that they have an English version, but you can hardly read it because you forgot your glasses. You move your face closer to the menu, squinting. You can barely make it out. Your girlfriend moves over to where you are and puts her arm around you. She’s grinning. “Are you cute?” she says.