Three-point-three million dots breathing paint onto the canvas of this city. Their colors change, the setting too. Lights on, lights off. A sun yolky and solitary. Rain. Clouds like wisps of cotton candy that don’t exist in Europe only in memory. Penelope Cruz as a dot. Javier Bardem, the homeless man who plays the harp on the red line. A clap of thunder. The emptying of the lake in the park. New water. Boats for paddling. Tourist 1 posing for a picture in front of el Prado. Tourist 2 asking Tourist 1 to take a picture of his family. Tourists asking natives if they’re native and natives blowing smoke in their faces. The waiter at your favorite café who sometimes gives you coffee for free. A different waiter at the same café that scowls and makes you pay. A woman from a farm in the north of Spain who has moved to Madrid to be an artist. Students in, students out. Tomatoes crushing into sauces. A bull, stabbed. The roar of a soccer stadium the roar of the metro the roar of the stomach of an American student who has run out of bread for the week. Dotting and redotting and undotting. Some days, it’s enough to be a dot, a small force, part of the swelling whole. A dot that smokes and cries and sometimes wants to scream a dot that has moved and will move and for a while will stay in one place but will never quite be still, will never quite be comfortable with the smallness, the anonymity of his little circled self.
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