memories of that place / by IKB

Oh Sussy, what a whore you are! There is no reason to care! Oh what a filthy whore! And I thought … alas, birds of a feather flock together.

The air is calid here, possessing a sweetness that is reminiscent of the soft, sandy beaches of la provincia. A sweetness of those now-forever-gone days that I spent when I was but a child there. This was a faraway place, like America, though thousands of kilometers further. But the distance seemed imaginary. I was a stranger again yet the language and the smells were familiar. Another developing country, as those from the developed world are keen on always reminding countries like this one; the intent is clear though – you are inferior. Ah so full of potential; so many natural resources waiting to be exploited in the advancement of this nation. What it means to be developed is a whole different point; what are we advancing to? As a I child, I was much too concerned with more important things. I was mesmerized by the dialect of these hispanoparlantes.

Here too there is a María and an Andrés to be my best friends once again. The streets are adorned with the all-too familiar names that adorn the streets throughout iberoamérica. Here too is the familiar disdain for the Yankees. ¡Abajo con ellos!

I don’t know why I remember this now, after all, my intent was to write about how suffering is innately tied to the definition of humanity. And to explore that aspect that I prefer to call the mortification of the flesh; that morbid denial of the self that was signaled out and I divined to be a result of my abnegation of my auto-da-fé. One can waiver from the flock as much as one may desire, but one will always look back once distance has been gained, and although one shall not be turned into salt, perhaps one will discover a more horrible punishment.

Alas I am intent on remembering that time when I was boy and I was surrounded by egos. Perhaps my recollection was brought on by the fact that my coworkers call me Juanito, a diminutive of my name. My father’s family gave me my name and my mother’s family stripped me of it and baptized me from head to toe, including my talón de aquiles. I have always loved them and identified with them. One time someone from school called home and asked for ‘Juan.’ Naturally my Mother said, “Sorry, but there is no Juan here. Good-bye.” So this diminutive is of a name that is not really mine, at least I do not think it to be mine.

But as I was saying, my coworkers not only reminded me of my childhood, but of a particular point in it. A person’s life is a tapestry of memories. One collects them throughout one’s life and eventually, this is all one is left with, memories.