Thursday, August 27, 2009

a tuesday afternoon

Today I believe there is a story to be told, it all happened in the valley of Mexico, a place that used to be a lake. The story, or tale, all came to be in the mind and life of an individual, myself. A random series of events that, with time, flowed smoothly, oblivious to the self (my “self”) paying attention inside them. Thoughts and events that in the end came together and somehow rang in my mind like letters to a poem. Letters once my imagination put together, became a humorous, simple story.

I will start with something I believe important to the story; it is part of the context, a context unnecessary to describe yet pertaining something crucial related to my means of communication. This “crucial” became nothing but the motivation, the thrive and the spark of a destiny that either had sense (religious), made sense (logician), was given sense (utilitarian), or had absolutely nothing (skeptic). In the valley, where there used to be a lake, today, Tuesday august the twenty-fifth of 2009 I traded my means of transportation. It was to a smiling simple man with a big mustache that I sold my mothers fancy, air conditioned, Dvd equipped, sweet smelling, memory packed, inspirationally named SUV for a pair of 100% indigenous, leather smelling, hard-to-break-into, asymmetrical, beautiful, handmade, also memory packed, happy sandals. What was a hedonistic shame, a spiritual gift, and somewhere in the middle something that just happened ultimately became the spark of a tale.

What happens now I believe is what happens in life when we take our mind off something in particular, a singular stream of any type of experience. Narrated in a form that seeks to be objective (impossible), loyal (impossible), blank (impossible), a form that thanks to impossibility yields us the freedom to put the pieces together,,

I sat at home, looked at the clock (4 pm), thought about my day (great day), packed my climbing shoes, packed my chalk, walked towards a rendezvous point, it rained, I got wet, my hoodie fell to a puddle of oil and water near the sidewalk, I felt humidity creeping inside me, I saw a couple kiss below the bushes on the sidewalk, they giggled as I saw them, instantly thought I’d do better, I felt jealous of “that”, wondered what “that” meant, I imagined rats planning inside the sewers, a homeless man called me “guero” (blonde) and asked me for a cigarette, I answered I didn’t smoke, he didn’t believe me, I tried to look honest, he kept walking, he looked used to “it”, I disliked “it”, I kept walking, thinking, I saw small cars, looked for big yellow cars, didn’t find any, kept walking, saw a taxi driver frowning in front of his broken car, I sat with him for a little bit, both beneath a bus stop sheltered from a growing rain, he told me about how since last Saturday he has no water, about how every day he has to take a few trips to his brothers house to fill buckets with water, he told me about angry people, sad people, I remembered my big garden, golf courses also came to mind, I remembered playing with sprinkles as a child, the faucet running while I brushed my teeth, I kept walking, hummed a couple of songs, “mama tierra” among them (by Macaco), felt connected, felt responsible, felt powerful, got scared, kept walking, made it to my destination, hopped in a white car, kissed a beautiful girl and started travelling at previously impossible speeds.

As every other Tuesday I climbed, failed and succeeded all in the lapse of a couple of hours. I tried very hard in an attempt to be tired so that we could leave early, Mariana had homework, and I had to walk. I got tired quickly, with my forearms pumped, my fingertips on fire, and a smile on my face we left, Mariana to do homework, I to walk. There are a few details as a reader I believe you should know before I continue, in the beginning on the previous paragraph I clearly stated what I packed, but I forgot to mention some of the things I didn’t pack, among them money. As I kept walking, the night got colder and my feet got heavier, my mind thought about taking a bus for the last section of my trip yet only to stumble upon the fact that I had no money, so I kept walking. As I walked I did not stumble, but merely recognized the occurrence, or occasion, or location, that I was in front of a store that happened to have something I needed, a couple of pens and a blank paged notebook. I made sure they accepted credit cards and I proceeded to buy 3 black pens, a blank paged notebook with a beautiful and colorful frog on the cover, a black sharpie, a funny orange sharpie, a couple of blank cd’s (5 to be exact) I saw sitting next to the M&M’s by the cashier, the M&Ms (the yellow ones with peanuts), and a bottle of water. Once again I forgot to inform the reader that as I stepped into the store, humming and moving in accord to the tempo of happy music I realized a cop was behind me trying to tell me something. In a moment of understanding I knew I had to leave my backpack inside the lockers on the entrance, something I always knew yet had previously pushed it into a convenient unconscious. As I paid I realized a girl by the cashier had organized my objects into a bag, I also realized I had nothing to give her. I smiled and in a gesture of sympathy I dug into my pockets to surprisingly find a single, lonely, forgotten 10 peso coin, displaying tonatiuh from the Aztec sun stone on its front, and the telling of a story on its back, its center 65% copper, 25% zinc, 10% nickel, its golden ring 100% bronze. Without anything in my mind but gratefulness, without any thought of the potential benefit I could receive from that coin, without thinking the bus I could take home, without thinking I could give her half the coin and still have enough change for the bus, without thinking my backpack was in a locker at the entrance of the store,I gave her the coin, sled my earphones back to my ears, thought about everything I hadn’t thought off (except my backpack), and happily stepped outside to continue my walking.

I stopped at a park to ask about a book fair that was passing through, I asked if they would be there tomorrow, they said yes, I resumed my walking, I thought about the rats again, I thought about why I was thinking about rats so much, I pondered through answers, ate M&Ms and avoided the cracks on the sidewalk, accidentally stepped on a puddle of water, turned right on Miguel Angel de Quevedo, thought about how close I was, thought about how far I was, appreciated the silence the night brings to the city, I imaged the valley some time ago, the valley being a lake a long time ago, I remembered the taxi driver filling buckets, I remembered long showers, felt powerful, imagined churches being built on top of the Aztec temples, about the 31 days every year that the air is actually considered non-toxic in the city, about the estimated 100,000 children that die every year due to pollution, I thought about what we own owning us, about us really owning what we own, about not owning, about love, about my family, about the “city of hope” as Lopez Obrador spoke about it, about parents reading bedtime stories to their children, I kept walking, walked in front of a famous bakery, thought about bread, remembered I had no money, thought about maybe looking for money in my backpack, remembered I had forgotten my backpack, thought about getting angry, thought about being happy, started walking back to my backpack, realized the night was colder, my legs were heavier, thought about not walking back, fantasized about skating back, realized I had to walk back, fantasized about walking back, put on a new cd (dark side of the moon), roamed around endless reasons to be unhappy, roamed around endless reasons to be happy, tuned into my earphones as my heart surrendered to track number 4, thought about time, about patience, about all we create, all we destroy, about how the sun is the same in a relative way but we are older, about all that we are, about all that we trust, about all that we own, about everything there is, about the sun circling around pacing our lives, about time, about a gift, sneaking behind us to show its too late, I walked up to the locker, found my bag, It felt funny in my hands, almost dreamlike, I walked back, realized my shoes were rustier, the nigh was colder, the dark side of the moon was over, my heart was older, and my soul was younger…. (11:00 PM)