Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Location: Kotor, Montenegro

I'm currently sitting at the cafe Bokun in the old town of Kotor.

My mood: melancholic

It is really a cop out to say MELANCHOLIC as a mood because it simplifies something much more complex. I woke up with a thronging in my skull, incapable of leaving the discomforting cradle where I laid my head in slumber the night before. Even now, an ache is present right in its centre. I rolled around for a few hours then shot out to swim in the bay. Even then, I was only capable of staying in for a mere 10 minutes as the temperature managed to attack my body to a degree that it could not handle this morning. Maya made a number of posts about her knitting, which prompted me to look through my photos for one where I am wearing both the sweater and hat she knit me so painstakingly and lovingly. I looked through old photos. Oh the fun we had. Especially back in London, we were always up to some shenanigans. I thought about how long it's been since we were able to enjoy ourselves like that. How much more complicated things became once we moved in together. On one hand it was what was called for given our circumstances. On the other, I feel that getting serious about a girl, realizing I love her and want to hold onto her, and moving into uncharted territory made a drill sergeant out of me.

Hold on my food has arrived.

I thought a lot today about how I want to ease up a bit. It's easy to say "that was the honeymoon phase" and think about how Maya likes that I'm taking our relationship so seriously. But one can be serious about a relationship and take things easy. I don't want a a mental description of myself as a hyper-serious needy guy. I want to be comfortable, and to throw away my fine-toothed comb. I know I have everything to do so. In fact I'm confident in that. So I felt an aura of confidence, and loving insight. I looked through those photos and thought of all the opportunities I will have to make memories like this again while travelling through Europe with my sweetheart. And, the privilege of my Adriatic exile to rebuild that confidence I exuded so gaudily. The one that I misplaced in all this seriousness.

Though all this hope comes with doubts for me. So it is that tango between confidence and doubt that tint my walk along the coast to this fortified town. In the trees, in the mosses, the kelp and the mountain cliffs. The crows, the cobblestone, the marble, the mould and the cinnamon in the air.

Long mood today. But it's one fitting of a Sunday on the daybreak of my trip.

I ate at the cafe Bokun: a Greek Salad and a Montenegran Sandwich. Both were delicious. It takes about 40 minutes to walk from my residence in Dobrota to the old town, but on my second trip here, I realize there's not much in this place but tourists and the smell of piss.

I likely won't come back here much aside from a midnight tryst with the spirits of this ancient town. I want to come here and write. It's bustling during the day' but at night I'm sure the atmosphere will be... unsettling to say the least.

The sun is warm and the clouds are sparse.

Since I arrived a few days ago, I have been thinking about how perfect a setting this place is for a gothic horror tale. The unintelligible language (to a foreigner like me), the rain like arrow-fire, the lightening that splits the sky in two, and the earthquakes to uproot the stone beneath my feet. What's more, the doors in my lodging have a habit of shaking loose. It doesn't take much inattention to have a door creek open by some mysterious winds. And this place is damn old. I can't help but channel centuries-old citizens in awe of God's unruly powers. The kind of place steeped in religion and you can understand why when you're here for more than a week (not that I've been here a week).

I'm not sure I'll do much else this Sunday. I still need a pair of shoes for hiking, but I am covered on everything else. Next week I will find them. And will likely try my hand at riding a motorized-scooter. I'd love to ride the whole coast with her chest pressed against my back and her arms squeezing my abdomen. A midday picnic that begins and ends in a dip. I want to see it all with her, but I also need to prepare beforehand. To experience myself, to curate an experience. To do this, I must first explore what experiences are available. I have a lot of time, and not enough time. I will try not to rush it, but I can't promise anything.

Work tomorrow.

Maybe a icy bath.

But for now, a long walk back to my temporary home.