This Monday morning the house is empty of David. He left Sunday morning, returned to Chicago. We had a busy weekend with a piano concert on Saturday, a walk downtown. Yesterday I attended a panel at the San Miguel Writers' Conference with Yann Martell, Ignacio Padilla, Benjamin Saenz, and Alberto Sanchez. They spoke about reality vs. the fantastic in literature. I found it refreshing; they all denounced the idea of "magical realism," and do not like to be classified as such. Martell is the author of "Life of Pi", a Canadian, who sent books to the prime minister every week or so for a few years. I don't know the whole story but remember hearing something about it. I'll have to research it. Sounds fantastic!
After the panel I sat by the pool of the hotel and drank a Corona, read, until Martell came to sit near me with his wife and three kids to have lunch. I must say they were not noisy or annoying. After a while I struck up a conversation with two women sitting near me, one from Canada, the other from New Jersey. I always enjoy talking to people.
When I left the hotel I walked and walked. My quest was to find a place to have supper where I hadn't been before. Along the way I ran into our hosts from last year. Beatriz! a man says on the street. I reply Hello! but have no idea who he is. He does look familiar. His wife approaches. Bruce, he says. And slowly I realize we stayed at their casita last year during the conference. I didn't know you were here, he says. I tell them we're staying in El Paraiso. They invite me to get in touch with them but they're leaving next week. They seem in a rush; I keep going. What a surprise! Later I walk by our friend's Marty's poster gallery and duck my head in, say hi to Nina and Marty and the dog. They're busy watching tv on the computer. I leave.
Finally I found a place that looked very nice, called "The Restaurant", not very original but delicious and lovely setting. They sat me by the fountain filled with rose petals. I enjoyed my dinner of braised short ribs with caramelized onions and carrots, a potato-cauliflower cake. And a flan. Around 7 I hailed a taxi and came home.
It's going to take me a while to get used to being alone. But I'll do it. I'm a big girl. It's not the first time. This afternoon I'm taking a workshop with Mary Morris and will meet the Canadian woman after.