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A Date in Autumn

The Four Senses of Love

Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash

If the change in the temperature wasn't enough for me to realize that I had arrived at my destination, the sudden and familiar burst of aromas did it: I had just entered "Lilies Market." The warm and busy indoors market was welcoming in a cold and windy autumn day like this and, as usual, the scents from all the different booths filled the air in a sweet and savoury symphony that always put a smile on my face. Today, however, I am not going to smell the flowers in the third booth on the left, instead, I turn right here and follow the smell of hamburgers, pizzas, and divers appetizers to go get something to eat before journeying to the agreed upon spot.

I stop at the counter where the sizzling of the hot oil and the perfume of freshly fried croquettes prevails. I order one of tuna and dried tomato and two of beef and chorizo with a side of fries and a cup o'lemonade and ask the waiter to help me take it to a table nearby. As I sat down my watch started beeping but it is useless for me to look at it, I know it is time. Will she come? I bite into the tuna one breaking the crispy crust of seasoned breadcrumbs to taste the harmony between the fish and the tomato. Still waiting, I start eating the beef ones that fill my mouth with a hearty blend of powerfully flavoured meats.

I hear a delicate and brief "Hi." It's enthralling. 

Instantly I realise that up until now I have been unconsciously ignoring one of the features of this market that pleases me the most, the soothing and relaxing music that lightly overlaps the conversations, dancing with the words shared here between dozens of people. There's a soft thud of a tray being placed on the table as she sits down and my nose captures the flavour of cheese and Iberian ham.

"Missing home?" 
"Por supuesto (Of course)!"

And in laughter, we started a conversation about nothing and filled with everything.

Having finished her mid-afternoon snack, I guide her to one of the corners of the market to a tiny store known for their typical and traditional products. Her enthusiasm is remarkable and becomes obvious in the passionate way she describes a set of several coasters and trivets made of cork with various designs and patterns resembling Azulejo Tiles. I take my time appreciating each individual coaster size and weight, imagining all their colours and outlines while listening to the squeak of the postcard display stand as she rotates it to see all the different pictures of my city landscape and monuments. I buy a couple of "Flocos de Neve (snowflakes)" sweets and, enjoying the distinct flavour of the candy, I hold her arm, ceasing the noise of my "eyes" hitting the floor as we walk together into the cold breeze of this autumn afternoon.

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