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Curses & Figs

Please allow me to rush you through this portion, as it is rather uninteresting and uneventful. I did not go to Warsaw. I fell in love with Dear Sweet One, an American from a long line of Germans. We made love. I know, I know, it sounds interesting, but you already know the story, trust me. I was stuck in California, in love. There’s more, and I will tell it, but it will unfold in it’s own way. For three years I loved; I almost forgot about the curse, almost thought it had been lifted, thought that my family’s ability to be in love was restored. But then I got the itch. I had to fly.

Warsaw had disappeared a long time ago. The dream of Poland and Prussia faded, and my faith in the Tattooed Psychic waned. It was disappointing, really. I wanted her to tell me where I would be going. I wanted her to tell me that her spirit guides had told her about me. I wanted to be special. I wanted to believe in her.

But my life moved on. My love was in California, not Europe. My life was surrounded by fruit trees and oceans and mountains. I climbed avocado trees in the winter; I floated in the scent of orange blossoms in the summer. I had dinner parties. I had friends. I was anchored to a life, and it was a good life. But there was something growing in the pit of my stomach. It was like when I was a kid and I swallowed watermelon seeds without thinking or knowing anything about it, and my sister told me I’d have watermelon vines growing there and crawling out my mouth. I didn’t want to believe her, but I went to bed with a stomachache anyway.

The vines were unsettling me. There was something I couldn’t deny, but neither could I identify. I began to search for a reason to leave my good life. And in my research, the Estonian Wetlands began to call me.

The Estonian Wetlands represented everything I wanted to weave into my life: ecology, science, nature, poetry, writing, adventure, and saunas. Like the watermelon seeds before my sister misinformed me, I didn’t think about the fact that they speak Estonian there. It was a calling. I began to work my way towards a year translating the Estonian Wetlands into poetry.

My Dear Sweet One and I had been low like the tide pools, exposing all the little animals that dwelled within us. We fought like crabs over territory, and hid truths from each other. My dreams of Estonian wetlands festered in the San Diego sun, and it didn’t really matter what the result would end up being, the Estonian wetlands were tearing us apart.

Alegra Marcel Bartzat writes in order to find the magic in her dusty corner of a sunny town. She mostly writes letters to friends, but has occasionally been known to write essays and novellas. She also wrote a cookbook.