Hometown Parking Lot Blues

I wrote the following passage on a lunch break, just months after I had moved back to the United States from Argentina.


I sit in this hot, dusty parked car, listening to Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, daydreaming about being back in Buenos Aires. I watch a man across the way sizing up a truck like last night’s woman. His ownership is dubious; my indifference is certain.

My leg’s up on the dashboard of my black Honda. I look at it, notice how pale my skin’s become since I’ve gotten back. I’m white again, in more ways than one, and I begrudgingly am getting used to it. Thousands of tiny little hairs poke through my dry, sweaty skin, the partitions looking like glistening scales.

I feel a dull pain in my heart, like an old wound I’ve learned to live with, but have never accepted. It’s there, and its presence is massive and bold. But I’ve hidden it behind a steel wall of consciousness that I won’t let myself pass through. There is no door. It’s either I go on skirting the edges, toeing around, my head buried elsewhere- somewhere distant- or I crash into the wall full-force, eyes bursting and mouth wide open, with my hands tied behind my back and my body wholly permeable. I’d no longer have control over the wall, so it would crash down on me, bringing me into the world I know I’d rather live in. I fear the consequences, so I don’t dare lay a finger on this barrier, not to mention ponder it too long.


I dreamed last night that, for some strange act of generosity, my parents bought me a round-trip ticket to Quito, Ecuador. They knew how much I missed South America, so they thought a week in one of my favorite countries would do me some good. Plus, they’d found a bafflingly good deal on Cheapo Air, or one of those other budget airline sites. I took the ticket and rushed to the airport in my dirty car. There was no time to spare, to pack, or to let my friends know I’d be in town. Once again, my freedom and happiness were in clear sight; I couldn’t risk waiting another moment to just GO.

In Quito with my good friend's cat, Pulgas. Circa 2008.

In Quito with my good friend’s cat, Pulgas. Circa 2008.

P.S. While this dream of my parents sending me off to Ecuador in 2005 was completely and hopelessly delusional, I did return to Quito during the spring of 2008. I was able to reunite with one of my best friends I had made in Argentina, not to mention visit Guayasamin’s Capilla del Hombre, shop for artisanal crafts in Otavalo, and enjoy the amazing local cuisine.



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