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Recovery

May 23, 2012

It’s not about the future. I’m trying to change the past. If I revisit history often enough, it will change. East will never have met West, El Encuentro will never take place.

The rivers of the new world won’t fill with blood. La Araucana will never be written.

Managua. Somoza.

Pinochet. The Atacama desert.

colonialismo: disfrute desde 1493

Julia de Burgos would never be lying half-dead in the street, her lungs filled with fluid, her veins soaked in rum.

colonalismo: disfrute desde 1898

It’s like my father. It’s the trauma I keep revisiting. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Neruda in the garden, trying to banish the malevolent spirits in the night but i don’t know the words. I don’t have the poetry to make it happen. My mouth opens, closes, opens. A fit of aphasia.

All who have served the revolution have plowed the sea, Bolivar muttered, faced with the future.

And I know what I’m doing, what I want to do, means nothing to the people around me. I’m caught in the past, striking at the Gordian knot. And because that’s where I am, that’s where I spend my time, the present slips away from me. I spend my days retracing my steps over and over and over again, literally. In my mind, I am walking through rooms I haven’t seen in years, I am making right turns, pivots, looking for doors that are exactly where they’re supposed to be, but are painted shut.

I burst into tears, yesterday. Again. This is what I do. I cried and I told him I didn’t want anyone to love me, I didn’t want anyone to hold me in this place, to make demands, to ask promises. He repeated, “You don’t want anyone to love you…?” and I felt ashamed. How selfish of me, to lie like that. I meant it when I said it. The problem is I am changeable. Capricious, mean-spirited, I want to be unbeholden. There is something inside of me that would cling to everyone if I let it, I can’t let it.

I want everyone’s hands to slip away from me. To reach and reach and never grab hold, never grasp, never dig into my flesh. I can’t bear to be in one place, this place.

‘Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly
settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an
irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those
who remain behind you,
What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with
passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands
toward you.’ – Walt Whitman, verse 11 – Song of the Open Road

Leaving would mean: beginning again. Learning to fail in ways that don’t destroy me. Leaving would mean forgetting. Leaving would mean regaining my strength to come back and make a real go of it. I don’t think the truth will set me free. These things happened. What happened to me, happened. And talking about it only makes that fact more real. So why bother? It’s not a story that needs telling. Every time those hands are on me, I remember. Leaving would mean: relearning how to remake the past. What happened in the world, happened. I can’t change that. Can I change that? How much time is left?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Pareidolalia permalink
    May 23, 2012 6:06 am

    All of it. All of the time is left. And when it’s gone, we won’t be there to mourn it.

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