La Malagueta in the Morning

La Malagueta is a nice place first thing in the morning. Around 8 or 8:30, when I take Waldo down for his morning walk, is a very pleasant hour. The cleaning crew has usually come around by then and the Paseo Maritimo is fairly litter free and looking quite attractive. There are people out strolling, lots of runners on the beach, and a sense that the day is off to a good start. It's quieter than it will be shortly. And it's not hot yet. In recent days, and due to having Waldo here and taking him for walks on a regular schedule, I've become aware of some of the routines of others that I would never have noticed otherwise. For example, every morning I pass by an older gentleman who is out for a walk with his daughter. I've seen them many times now and they are always engaged in animated conversation. And I here the woman say "pero papá..." and that's how I know they are father and daughter. The man must be around 75 or 80 and his daughter around 50. They seem to be having a fine time. The man walks slowly, perhaps necessarily so, but I get a sense that he feels compelled to this pace by the fancy white mustache he sports. His slow, purposeful gait suggests he's quite proud of it and when he stops and leans on his cane, which is every fifty yards or so, he tilts his head upwards just a little, as if showing off his well coifed mustache to the mediterranean sky itself. But above all, this guy seems happy to be with his daughter. So I wonder about their lives. Where is the man's wife? Is she even still alive? Are there other children? There are lots of other people I see routinely at the same hour and I wonder about their lives too. Maybe it's because right now I'm rereading Galdos' classic epic Fortunata and Jacinta, that grand saga of life in Madrid in the 1870s, but I feel curious about all the details. No detail is too insignificant. I don't know how Galdos does that, but it's a wonderful trick, to get us to care about it all. The grand drama of everything! And there sure is plenty of drama right here in the Malagueta. Little by little I'll write about some of them. Oh... the photo here is rather unrelated. This is Easter Sunday, when Pili and Ana were here for a quick visit and we had a nice roast lamb dinner before heading off to the airport.

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