Just read Elena Poniatowska's Massacre in Mexico (La noche de Tlatlelolco). I read it in Spanish, and it made me realize how foreign Mexico is... At some points, I couldn't understand 1 out of every 4 words! A lot of it was political, so there were lots of names, acronyms and nicknames I had no chance of getting, but some regular words would escape, me too. Living there next year will be completely new and exciting, I feel: I wont approach it like an Ecuador, though the spanish will make me more prone to enjoy my time learning. A year ago I was in Ecuador. Paul and I got there on April 11 in the early hours of the morning. A year is so long, but it is going to be longer before I can be back. I have been defending that to many friends lately.
They have started to ask, in emails, on Facebook and on MSN, "when are you coming back, when will we see you again" in droves, like they had co-ordinated the onslaught on my nostalgia and my regret. The thing is, the ones I can talk to, I don't have too much trouble with. I miss them, but it is manageable: the infrequent chats and emails do enough to assuage my memory of them, and my obligations to staying in their lives. Its the others that kill me. The kids. The fact that I know exactly zero about what kids like Jessenia Munoz, Alexandra, Francisca, Freddy Vinces, and others are doing. The fact that I left Titi so distaught a year ago and nobody, NOBODY, has been able to tell me a jot about how he has been doing since. I don't know if Alexis is back at Tarqui, or if he is following his dream of switching to a trade school. I don't know how Luis Bravo, or Miguel, are doing. Jessica Montiel, and Johanna: total misteries. It drives me crazy to not know. Knowing isn't really a matter of exchanged sentences with an intermediary, either, it is a matter of contact: the content of my chats and emails can't re-assure me that my friends are ok, or that they are happy, safe or content. I couldn't recite to you the latest news in their lives. It is just the contact that means something to me right now. Just being able to touch them, however impersonal the brain-to-fingers-to-keyboard-to-internet-to-screen-to-eyes-to-brain-touch actually becomes, it is at least immediate, it involves the two of us. Being away is unforgivable, and I feel guilty every day. But then I remember how completely alone and wounded I was to leave Ecuador the last time, after having been there almost a month. It was not enough, it wasn't what I wanted to do. I gave myself just enough time to go in, feel frantic, catch up, feel angry, and leave before becoming fully reconnected, which in regards to some people, was good, but in regards to others, was agony. I dislike living anywhere in that sort of context, but I guess I'm doing it again to myself this summer: a blitz tour of everywhere, without time to set down any roots. It is going to be geographically exciting, but potentially colturally alienating. Also, a blitz catch-up with some important people is planned. I think it is because I NEED to re-see those people, that I am allowing myself to do it in such an unpermanent and impractical way. Ideally, we would share more complete adventures together, but I don't know when life would allow for that, so this summers short versions will have to do. It will be one LONG and complete adventure with Paul and Muddy, that's for sure. We need to give ourselves some new environments. I speak for myself, but Halifax is getting old. Muddy is running out of things in our yard to tear up, but the world is still completely new to him when he gets out on a walk. I want to see a whole bunch of places I don't have to miss once I leave. What a luxury! I hope it works.