Person 6: Giulia

Today I am visiting the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MAC) in Santiago, Chile. After looking at all the artworks I stop in MAC Café for a rest and té. Being in the beautiful building and surrounded by artworks is making me feel inspired and I realize/remember/own that I am an artist. I think about my projects and remember this one, LMEC, which has been dormant for months.

The past few days I've been struggling. With being ill, with enthusiasm and motivation, with confidence and awareness, with many things. I have forgotten some of my tools for feeling good, thinking positively. But today in the cafe I remember LMEC and realize that this project is art, my art. It's experiential art, temporary art, performance.

The guy who served me in the cafe speaks English, so I decide to ask him to do LMEC with me. I could ask one of the girls who work here, but I know he speaks English and that will be easier in terms of getting "back on the horse." I am already nervous when I realize that I am going to do this. It's an "old feeling" I realize I haven't felt in a while. Recently I've been re-watching Game of Thrones while I've been home sick, and I recall an inspiring Ned Stark quote about being brave, which I write in my journal, and get up to do this.

But the fellow is gone. In the bathroom, or something. I pay my bill and the girl who helps me speaks some English. I made brief eye contact with her when I walked in, and it was good. She is friendly and seems kind. I ask her if she'll make eye contact with me (in English, and also testing my Spanish) and she says "yes" right away. She asks me what it's about, and I tell her we'll talk about it after.

I set the timer on my phone an we begin. (I'm out of the habit of carrying my the gym timer I usually use for this exercise.) During our eye contact she speaks once, and looks away once, aware of customers entering the cafe. But we continue. We both smile once. I enjoy this feeling, this connection. I forget to note the color of her eyes, or anything in particular, really, because I'm just enjoying this experience.

At least a minute passes. I know it's been longer than 60 seconds and begin to suspect that I set the timer incorrectly. I check it, and sure enough I didn't actually set it.

After the eye contact we talk about it a little, I share with her why I do it. I ask to take her picture and she consents. We exchange names. Her name is Giulia (Julia), she is Italian, and she lives here in Santiago. I give her a card for the blog and we hug when I leave.

A pleasure to meet you, Giulia. Thank you very much for getting me started again. I really needed this.