I am on the boat that will take me back to England after two years in Spain. On the distant dock are my three friends waving, and the red dog. Behind them are the square blocks of handsome apartments. The boat will pull out and move parallel to the elegant cafes running along the water front. Further along the road rises up curving around the headland at the mouth of the bay and turning down towards the Sardinero Beaches where I used to live, where I would walk down to a beachfront cafe and have a red vermouth and olives, where I would walk on the crispy sand and watch as the water ran at me. Scribadees, the word for little, frothy, lapping waves in Spanish was something like that.

Leaving isn't simply leaving my waving friends. If I could see the dock through the ripple pattern of water I might see myself there too. My Spanish self is not on this boat with me. At first I hadn't noticed, but as I grew out of my screaming infancy I discovered the framework of a different language and customs were fashioning an entirely different me. Although I wasn't very old. I could already ask for things without an ingratiating smile, I could speak about emotions, I didn't feel obliged to laugh at men's attempts to humor me. I love my Spanish self. She's less worried than English me, freer, and much more womanly. And now I'm leaving her behind, because she can't breathe in English.

Last night she went out for the last time with the friends to our very favorite fish restaurant. We sat up on the little balcony and had tiny, tiny, shrimp and a strange seafood that looked like little grey elephant feet, and I had red snapper and for the last time we built a champagne fountain - our four glasses built into a little tower with the champagne running down.

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