Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mexico City

I arrived here in Mexico City early this morning, ending a 14 hour bus ride from Palenque. My trip here is coming to a close, circling back to its beginning point and, on Thursday morning, its ending point, when I fly back to New York. As the bus left Palenque yesterday, the sun was setting outside my window over thick vegetation interupted by small farms. It was a beautiful sight, one that, then travelling alone, having left everyone else behind, allowed for some reflection upon Mexico and upon my time here, this past month. I fell asleep soon after the sun set, exhausted from looking at the ruins, from swimming in a gorgeous waterfall, and from being in that region´s intense jungle climate. I was awoken when our bus was stopped at a military checkpoint. A police officer with a machine gun boarded our bus, people with machine guns a very common sight in this country. He marched down the aisle, looking at the people on board, stopping at me. He asked me where I was from. I told him and showed him my passport. He inspected it very closely, giving me the evil eye while doing so, and for this period of time, I imagined my death in the jungles of Chiapas, some person with a gun taking me off the bus and that being the end of my story, an earlier end to my journey. It didn´t end that way, obviously. He handed my passport back to me and left our bus, the journey continuing.

It took us a long time to reach the bus station once we reached the outskirts of the city, it being morning rush hour. Slowly we passed buildings decorated with hand-painted signs, hand-painted political ads, hand-painted beer ads. The aesthetic of this city comforted me and I was so happy to be back here this morning. I called Chicle once it was a decent hour and brought my stuff over to his house, him kindly letting me stay with him. We got stoned at that early hour. He started the work he needed to do and I left to explore this city some more, looking at the galleries in Roma and Condesa.

I was by myself. It felt so good. I have enjoyed travelling with Bonnie and Caroline, but I like to be alone, and today, for the first time in so long, I truly was - exploring this foriegn city alone, no one to help me with the language, no one wanting to do anything deviating from the fancy of my own feet. At Galeria OMR, there was a really great show of stuff by Gabriel Acevedo Velarde. There were three short videos that were cute, moving, and really funny. One had his fingers walking on a tabletop, a sign held over the two moving fingers resembling legs, saying, "No Mas Drama," Verlarde shouting it as his fingers stomped up and down. It was really short and, despite its cuteness, got at a lot - it conjuring to me the stupid drama surrounding tables, human dramas over coffee, pettiness, and these fingers opposing that petty life, that smallness.

I left there, got coffee somewhere, got food somewhere else, and sat near the Insurgentes subway stop, observing all the hip teens hanging out there, dressed in their tight pants, their nice haircuts, and smoking cigarettes or not smoking them, thinking about my own life while observing theirs.

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