Sometimes I have bouts of Atrial Fibrillation. When that happens I will often take a half of Xanax, go to sleep and wake up cardioverted.


Our first night in Barcelona-midnight their time, 6 pm Pennsylvania/Toronto time-I went into A Fib. We desperately needed rest so we each took a Xanax and went to bed. We woke around 10 am, my heart had stabled herself. We started our day.


So our second night, it worked so well the first, we did it again. We each took a Xanax and went to sleep. Drugged sleep, but sleep.


I noticed as we strolled the ancient city of Barcelona with stone walls dating back to the first century, toured the architectural masterpiece La Pedrera by Gaudi and walked the busy, touristy, pick pocket heaven, La Rambla with it’s street artists and vendors, I felt nothing. I was uninspired, unmoved, dull.


I also noticed I wasn’t all that crazy about Tom either. He kind of got on my nerves.


What was up? I could hear my mother’s voice telling me what an ungrateful child I was. Here I am in a place others would love to see and I am feeling perturbed, uninterested even.


Later that day Tom mumbled, “ I think that Xanax has numbed me out. I feel flat.”


The light bulb went off. “Ohhhh, I am not ungrateful or pissed off at Tom. I am drugged,” scolded the addiction counselor in me. (Better her than my moms voice.)


That night, neither of us took a Xanax. We sleep well waking up mid morning. We headed out for coffee. Amazingly there was a Starbuck’s across the street from our hotel, but instead we made our spot a small cafe with sidewalk seating.


As we sat sipping our coffee, mine with warmed milk, and a flakey croissant with jam, I noticed Barcelona is very hermoso (Spanish for beautiful).


I also noticed really like Tom.



I had never been to the Mediterranean Sea. Since we were only 45 minutes to an hour from it, we packed a beach bag with towels, sparkling water, baguette of bread, cheese, dried meat-our standard picnic lunch while in France-I never eat dried meat in Pa-and found our way to the sea.


We followed signs to Serignan-Plage. We saw on the internet it was a natural beach with wild dunes and no commercial buildings.


The turn off the main road, if that is what you could call it, led down a dusty narrow road to a large dirt parking lot. We hoped we were in the right spot.


We gathered our stuff and headed east picking one of the many paths available from the parking area. We could see other beach goers, also walking east, but on different paths than us. “Were we on the right path-a metaphor)?” we wondered with some worry as we traversed the maze like path.


We both looked at the horizon through our darkened sun glasses at the same time. Before us stood a line of very beautiful, untouched dunes-natural. “Look,” we said in unison, taking in the beauty before us. We stopped to enjoy it more fully.


It was then we both, very quietly, again said, “Look.”


Walking across the top of the dunes, like a sentinel guarding his post, was a butt naked man. Then another. Then another.


Come to find out that in France natural beaches are not referring to the flora and fauna. Silly Americans.


“Well, we’re cool. No biggie. Just keep walking,” I told myself. I wasn’t sure of the protocol. Do I make eye contact and smile? Do I say “Bon Jour” to a naked man?


I did neither. I walked purposely passed, head down, eyes on my feet.


Well I am here to tell you, personal space is a whole different thing when everyone is naked. Thankfully the beach was not crowded. But even so, I was very selective about where we put our towels down.


Once we found our spot, laid our towels our perfectly, arranged our basket lunch, we had a decision to make.


Yeah or nae?


Well, when in France…




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