This is a letter I wrote to my friend Jon. He wrote to me first, telling me he would be returning to the states from Mexico after more than a year. He asked me what was going to happen to him.
Saludes Hermano...I wonder if you are back yet. Here is what will happen to you upon entering the USA:You will fly over huge cities and suburbs and contemplate the masses individually living their own little stories. Freeways, tall buildings, subdivisions, memories you know you know but havent been real in so long. A big black lady at customs with long fake nails will stamp your passport and be a little rude. An awareness will creep over you that you are dirtier, scrapier, smellier, than everyone else. Well dressed people on iphones will surround you, busily bustling on their way to somewhere else. Despite your selfconciousness no one will notice you. At this point you should do something really weird or out of context to be sure no is paying attention, like fall to your knees kissing the airport carpet or do a little jig or something. You may use the bathroom and stay in there for awhile, gawking in disbelief. Toilet seats, soap, clean mirrors, mother fucking PAPER TOWELS!!! and you will flush the toilet paper down the toilet. On the street there are new cars everywhere, there is electricity everywhere all the time, the night is not even dark. Things look expensive and cutting edge, like out of a future fantasy. Machines do the simplest of tasks. A cop speeds by, pulling over someone who hasnt fully stopped at a stop sign and you laugh maniacally. As they write a two hundred dollar ticket a black cloud silences your laughter, you remember the fear you have forgoten for the law. You'll go to buy cigarrettes and realize they cost six dollars, you settle for a pint of the cheapest whisky they have and keep it on hand in your pocket. You pay in tiny little american monies and get a tiny little reciept marking the end of the transaction. You travel to your destination strangley knowing the way so well, you pass things that make you want to weep with nostalgia, thats where I had my first kiss, that place makes the best chessy cajun tater tots in the land, etc. You will run to the arms of whom ever is expecting your arrival, run run run. Here you will cry, and cry. You will attack the dog and together roll on your backs kicking your legs in the air twisting around. Its the same house, the same smells. You know this place.
Every moment will wash over you bringing old but new sensations bringing waves of emotions you've never felt and can't name. I am still trying to name some of them, there is the type of anxiety felt five minutes before you see someone that you were once in love with and maybe still are, there is the feeling that comes from the eyes of your friends as they note how you've changed, the feeling of the distance and time you've traveled as you look in the mirror, shaking out sonora sands from your tent into the water logged soil of Oregon, losing your tan, never speaking spanish in your dreams. There will be the moments of exstacy, hugging your friends and not letting go for minutes,wild dance parties in the living room to the talking heads untill the floor is sticky with beer and your legs are too tired to dance, sitting in the sun on the front porch and telling stories for hours. Other things may slap you in the face like renewing your library card and realizing you have thirty two dollars in overdue fines, getting chastized by middle aged ladies in the park for letting your guatemalan street dog run free, smiling at a stranger only for them to turn away from you, people asking what the plan is, whats the next step? Who knows... stay open to each and every possibility, don't get tied down, be free. Challenge the pressure of the culture that wants us to DO something. Maybe I'll do nothing. Who the eff knows...
Te echo de menos.Meliza