The Price of Love: A Cheap Flight to Madrid

Cal and I have had quite a year. Actually, for everyone I know – with almost no exception – 2007 has been a year of what I’ve taken to calling “life-altering shitstorms.” QUITE a year.

For me, I went through an ugly legal battle after being laid off from my job. Man, was I BROKE. And very, very sad. But now, as we close out this year, I realize that the life I live now – meaning, my daily, everyday life – is so close to perfect, it’s frightening. AND the rent is getting paid! Next year, with our planned move to Italy, it will actually BE perfect – and my head might explode.

For Cal, this has been a year of getting his head together and breaking through a lot of the mental blocks that have been holding him back from being the man he knows he can be, the man he wants so desperately to be. We’ve taken his tremendous progress on a day by day basis, and I’ve never been more proud of anyone in my entire life.

One part of Cal’s “thing” is his strong desire for routine. The man has never seen a routine he didn’t like. When I first met him, it was the same chair at the cafe and the same route to and from the three places he went to in town. He’s MUCH improved since then, but with our impending move, he still has a bit of head-work to do. Said plainly, moving to Italy freaks him out.

Something we both do, and have always done, is to go away from each other for a while. Whether it’s four days in Barcelona for Cal, where he goes to his favorite expat haunts and gets his American food on at the Hard Rock, or Rome with my gay mafia for me, it is what has kept us sane and otherwise able to be with each other 24/7 given our work and lifestyle.

Recently, he has spoken of his desire to break out of this larger routine of going to Barcelona when he wants to get away – specifically, he’d like to try Madrid, a place he’s never been to. This is, in a word, HUGE. This is a big, big step. This is what is going to get us to Italy eventually, because once he knows he can go to a completely new place alone and survive it, then it will free him to go with me to “my” turf and check it out.

We’ve been checking on ways for him to get to Madrid, and we realized that he can take a train to Marseilles and then fly to Madrid on Ryanair. I’d love for him to go before my weekend with MK in Paris, because I don’t want to yet again be the person who’s running off and doing things while he stays here.

Today, just now in fact, I was checking out prices on Ryanair – and came upon their January sale. For the dates he wants to go, each flight was…

…are you ready…


With taxes and everything else thrown in, the total came to 44 bucks.

I booked it. He doesn’t even know it yet; he’s at his therapy session, of all places, probably talking about going to Madrid. It’s my Christmas present to him. I’m going to go now to the Internet point and print out the confirmation, and I’m going to buy a card and stick it in there, and I’m going to give it to him tonight.


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