2010 Leído [english]

by darribas

One year is enough for quite a few changes; or not enough for almost anything. In my case, this one leaving us now has given me time to do some reading, not much but some. Thinking about it now, as I type on the bus back to Zaragoza, my reading list has been pretty representative of feelings, moods, aspirations and frustations following me all over the world during the past 12 months.

One day like today one year ago, I was just back from Amsterdam, sweet reunion with Europe after the american adventure. I was just back in fact by chance because, luckily this doesn’t change, the rare cold and snow wave media tell us about nowadays but we used to call just winter also made a lot of us think our plane would not take off in time to be back home for Christmas. I finally did but nobody saved me from delays and airport hours to kill and then Lisbeth Salander and its second book remembered me when no flying company did.

In principle, that flight back was going to be the last one in a long while: 2010 would be a mostly homely year, finishing up without much rush my dissertation, enjoying home and getting back (althought that’s never hard) to my daily life in the city I was born and raised. Pretty far from reality. The “homely” year lasted long enough to allow me to start reading “La lluvia amarilla” by J. Llamazares, but not to finish it. And a few weeks after we all believed the earth had started bursting into pieces and Haiti and Chile was the beginning of the end, I was landing in Santiago, in an airport that truly reminded of an apocaliptical story. A few days later, my homework done and a bunch of good memories, one more plane; this time to the US for three months. In my travel bag I was carrying “Mi país inventado” by I. Allende, compilation of memories, nostalgies, personal victories and beautiful descriptions of Chile that perfectly matched the unfillable void my grandad had left thousands of kilometers away. Time in the desert brought me a ton of work and exciting people, those who make worth travelling the world across… and it also brought me “To be or not to bop“, a piece of the New York City of the 40s in the shape of a book, where jazz was almost like nowadays’ rap, which filled the “urban” space I need to be happy and I wasn’t finding in Phoenix.

Summer was all happy, proof of it is I didn’t need  the shelter of a book, since family, friends and outdoor activites happily filled my days. In August I packed up again and my first stop was Stockholm. Home of some of my happiest moments on earth, it was pretty much the same way I left it five years ago; I couldn’t help buying Lisbeth’s last one. Although I could barely read a few pages at Helsinki airport, since I quickly switched to “Gecko Tails“, a rip-off book I bought for a couple of bucks in the streets of Bangkok. Yes, I was going to be in Cambodia with a very good friend and I figured I’d be better off exchanging the adventures of a Swedish hacker by those of an American expat in the Cambodia of the 90s, a country struggling not to forget, which they can’t and shouldn’t, but to cover and get over the horror and hate of so many years. On the way back, my luggage was also carrying a beautifully dedicated copy of “Patas arriba” by E. Galeano, although that’ll have to enlarge my 2011’s reading list.

It’s september and that means “back to school”. During a week in Barcelona, I squeezed in “Pyongyang“, and that was enough for me to get a hook on reading stories with drawings. A couple of weeks in Amsterdam were enough to finish with Lisbeth and her family ghosts for once, and brought me a long list of good moments, either in the house they put me in right next to the university or in one of those cozy coffee shops downtown that make it one of the most beautiful cities I know. September also took away Labordeta and, with him, a part of that happy world from highschool years that doesn’t exist any more but in my memory.

October brought the fall, my first classes as a teacher and some other smiles that, probably because I wasn’t expecting them, felt particularly good. Almost without any conscience, I stepped in November, and in all the excitement I proudly keep from childhood of my birthday. It was also the month when I finished “La lluvia amarilla”, a short book one wants to read slowly, sadly beautiful and which came back as if it’d read my mind, as I was then trying to put a “surface of ice” in between in a desperate effort to save my self-steem. I finished November starting out a book I bought in Montpellier its last weekend: Local, a comic about Megan, a girl who, while chasing her dreams all over the US, tries to escape from her own frustrations and defeats.  On to December, a month I lived as nervous as I get until the 13th., the day I became part of that list of lucky guys who do what they love and are called Doctor for that. In the meantime, I tried to calm down and search inspiration in the pages of the history of philosophy by reading “Sophie’s world”, pending subject since highschool a good friend of mine has brought me back through the pleasure of parallel reading.

So this’ been my 2010. In the year Wikileaks reminded us the best way to avoid having your dark side exposed by others to the public is by either not having it or showing it off yourself, this’ my best attempt. As the poet puts it, “the one telling his hatred is already beggin pardon”. Here’re my readings and books that’ve accompanied me in my bag and, with them, also some of my fears, longings, fulfilled dreams and frustrations from this year worth having been lived. Peace and love for 2011.