September 6, 2015
My favorite thing is taking a nap later in the day. Falling asleep with the sun still blindingly bright and waking in the soft gray twilight.
The sky is overcast in the evenings in Quito, mixed with Cotopaxi’s ash and threatening of rain. The glow of the recently lit street lamps is reminiscent of home, even in this alien landscape of white, pink and orange box houses nestled among the mountains. From where I am, pressed against the wall, I can hear movement and life in the apartment beyond; the occasional opening and closing of the front door as someone enters or exists, thumping up or down the wooden stairs. Sopa simmering on the stove and fast-paced chatter as potatoes are peeled and vegetables chopped.
But inside my small room it is dark and quiet and close, bathed in blue and everything still as if I am underwater. And I am tired. So tired. Maybe it’s my weak, hollow stomach. Maybe it’s the altitude. Maybe it’s my brain working constantly to translate and conjugate and formulate uncertain sentences. Maybe it’s the newness yet simultaneously the familiarity of it all. My eyes adjust to the shape of the bedside table and the dresser. My body feels heavy with sickness and dehydration, my mouth dry and sour.
And it’s all I can do to lift myself off the crumpled magenta quilt and settle into a new position before sinking back into sleep until night sets in and the dogs begin to bark outside my window.