The smiling moon

The smiling moon

Barcelona was hot and humid beyond what we could tolerate, but walking around the beautiful city, visiting friends and eating delicious food made it worth it. At least it did for the first week and a half.

In addition to the recommendations curated by one of our generous friends, we relied heavily on Google Maps to discover the best places to eat. We walked around, noses buried into our phones, navigating the grid-like streets in search of the nook marked with the red pin.

A 4.6 star meal here, a 4.8 one there...

On our last night, after another 4.something meal, we went in search for a place where we could continue chatting with our friend and pretend we didn’t have a flight the next day. We walked past bar after bar, but none of them felt right. This one felt pretentious, that one didn’t have any air circulation, and ultimately we were kind of done with star navigation.

Eventually we decided to walk along the beach. On the surface, the hope was to catch a breeze and escape the cramped streets. But subconsciously, we probably wanted to bid farewell to the smell of saltwater and the sound of crashing waves before returning to Canada and preparing for the tundra.

As we walked along the beach, we were flanked by the eclectic mix of Barcelona’s inhabitants—almost like a final montage in a sitcom that ran one season too long. There were the teenagers discovering themselves, the tourists escaping themselves, and the nudists who were unabashedly themselves.

Finally we arrive at a ledge just under the gaudy but iconic sail-shaped W hotel. We jump over the railing, and make ourselves comfortable as we looked out towards the sea. We teased each other, reminisced, and made false promises about moving to Barcelona forever so we don’t have to be apart anymore—typical bittersweet goodbye stuff.

In a moment of silence we notice the giant yellow moon shimmering in the water. Looking up at it, I realized that we weren’t done with following the stars. We were just too fixated on the wrong ones. Throughout our trip we kept searching for the right place to enjoy time together, and now we sat on an unlisted ledge without a single review, but it had a billion stars and no one knew about it. It was perfect. All this time we had been too distracted by the glow of our screens to notice the glow of the moon smiling above, patiently waiting for us to smile back.