Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ya hace un mes

Hello to all my lovely readers (if you're still reading this). It has been about a month since I returned from Buenos Aires and the transition has not been easy. I can't imagine it would be easy for anyone experiencing a culture show and I, particularly, am no good at transitioning. In a way I feel like I'm living this double existence, partly trying to be present here in Chicago and part of me wondering how life is continuing over there. I keep having these dreams about being back there, or secretly having never left. A large part of me was ready to return, and yet there are certain things I got very attached to; things and people I took for granted and very much miss now that I am back.

For one, I miss Spanish!! Last night I put on the radio to the Mexican station (even though I don't really like that kind of music) just to hear the commercials and feel more "at home."

Fortunately, I managed to find Fernet, the local drink, at Binny's liquor store, so, at least, I can get a little of Argentina on my palate. However, there just isn't the cafe scene here like there is there (in a non-pretentious sort of way). I'd have to walk about fifteen minutes to get to a cafe; over there, I'd have at least five options on my block.

Life is quieter and obligations are minimal. Sitting in the backyard is so peaceful and relaxing, and yet living downtown in a big city gives the feeling of being closer to humanity. I've been working very hard trying to write as much as I can, but it's hard at a distance; trying to find the words for things I can't see out my window, and in a language different than the land it's describing.

There is this overwhelming feeling of being hurt by Buenos Aires, matured or over-ripened. There is so much I have seen and felt that is impossible to undo. I wouldn't want to, but feel lost as to where these kind of experiences fit into my life here. In a way, I feel like I've fallen in love with my captor: stranger who has taken me away from all that is familiar, stranger who has made me feel disoriented and alone, why can't I stop thinking about you? This morning I was sitting in my backyard reading a wonderful poetry book by Cesar Vallejo, a Peruvian poet. What's wonderful about this book is that there is the Spanish version on the left side page and the English translation on the right. Anyways, a few lines of one poem really stood out to me....

Doblo el cabo carnal y juego a copas/
Donde acaban en moscas los destinos/
Donde comí y bebí de lo que me hunde.

I round the carnal cape and bet on hearts/
where destinies end up in flies,/
where I ate and drank from that which drags me under.

Saludos a todos

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Separation Issues

Hi! Surprised to here from me? Though I'm back in the states, I still have un montón (a ton, a heap) of photos and stories to share so I'll try to continue noting things in here from time to time. For now, here are some photos from my last few days down sooouttth.

Dar afección a distancia es como enamorarse con el agua;
Ondas se acercan al piel cuando la guardia esta baja.
La partida te alcanza
como el oso al salmon,
dientes finos y listos,
justo cuando el pez trata de nadar hacia atrá
con toda su fuerza.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Welcome to Atlanta

Saw a TV ad for the Oprah Winfrey Show upon arriving to the airport.
((Sigh)) Hello, U.S. of A.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Loca Loca Loca

The last couple of days have been a little nuts, between finals and trying to take advantage of all the things to do here before I leave and packing and moving yadda yadda yoda yoda....

Anyways, let me back up to some fun stuff....
Wednesday and Thursday I spent all day studying. I had an essay to turn in by midnight on Thursday, so I stayed in until then. Afterwards, my friend Fernando came over, we had a few beers, and then went out to this neat bar called Fran
ks. (See picture below)

So you get there, and you automatically feel like you must be in the wrong place. For one thing, it's not in a very chic neighborhood at ALL; mostly kind of lower-income residential. There are these big black doors and a little sign that says "Franks" with the address. The doors are locked and there's no bouncer, only a doorbell. We rang the bell, and the door opened, though we didn't see anyone open it. The door opens, and all there is is this narrow dark passageway, with a lit up old-school pay telephone booth at the end. In uppercase letters, it read TELEPHONE at the top. Fernando, his friend and I all squeezed in to this little booth, and I dialed a number (which of course I knew because I'm a cool cat). Then, we waited for something to happen. I was leaning against one of the walls inside the booth, and all of the sudden it pushed open and we entered this speakeasy-style bar: all of the furniture, the decorations, and even the suits of the barmen are 1920s style.

There, I met up with some other friends and the drinks were REALLY strong (beyond tasteful) and so we decided to go dancing (obviously). The best thing to do on Thursdays is go to Niceto, which on Thursdays is called Club 69: ie: awesome drag show meets 90s rave club. It was really cool. At one point these huge red balloons fell from the ceiling and then there were these cool green lasers all around that made you feel like you were a thief in a museum. I took a bunch of pictures but I'm a little short on time so I'll just put one for now.

Let me tell you, that man was a whole lotta woman.... I think I got home around 5.

On Friday I was woken up by Cody at noon to get together to study. We went to Palermo to study and got there at around 4. We picked this nice ice cream place with a pretty terrace and I was soooo ready to get going with my politics paper: I had my laptop, a big cup of ice cream, and....... a pigeon took a huge crap on my arm (which is a fairly good metaphor for finals week). After Cody was done laughing-til-she-cried at me, we got back to homework, and worked on our papers until midnight when they were due. Then, I threw away my books and we went OUUTTTTT. Details aren't exceptionally important. Got home around 5 or 6 this morning as well.

I woke up at 8 the next morning, because my roommate told me that our apartment slipped us a note that we had to be out by 10am. I hadn't started packing. They fortunately let us stay until noon, when they kindly asked us to leave.... I brought my stuff to Cody's house, but couldn't sleep there because it's a homestay. I decided to wing it until about 6.30 the next morning. I'll get to that in a minute. During the day, Cody, Nacho (from boxing class) and I went out shopping in Palermo and then to get waffles covered in dulce de leche. Dulce de Leche is incredible but uh.... they don't know waffles. (Still good though) Nacho went to work, Cody and I shopped around a bit more, got pizza, and then she and I napped at her place for a while. At about 12.30 that night, we went to El Centro to a bar to meet up with about 7 dudes from the boxing gym. I nearly didn't go because I was pretty tired from the past 2 nights of going out, but it was definitely worth it. When we all went to "cheers" each other (brindir), someone asked, "What should we cheers to?" and then someone yelled,

and we all yelled,


Oh, Argentina....
At who-knows-when-o'clock we decided to go to some techno club (in a basement with no name above the door). It was pretty funny to see a bunch of dudes who do Thai Boxing after drinking..... It also involved me trying to give the biggest guy in a group a piggy-back ride. I don't want to talk about it.
The club was also a real good time. Cody and I left at about 6 but I didn't have anywhere to sleep....

I texted my friend Javi, who said I could stay on his couch. When I got there we was watching Madagascar with a friend so we watched that until about 7 in the morning and then I fell asleep.

Sunday- to put it briefly- consisted of waking up late; book fair, concert in the park, and going to the movies with Javi; and me crashing at about 2 in the morning in the middle of some movie with Sean Penn at Javi's apartment.

I woke up at 11 today and met up with Cody.... she still had a paper to do on comparing art pieces so I went to a cafe with her and helped her with it a bit. She and I and Nacho went walking around taking pictures until about 3.30 that afternoon, when we looked at the time and realized that Cody had to leave for the airport. We went to her house and she grabbed her stuff and I grabbed my stuff and she got a cab to the airport and I got a cab back to Javi's house (he said I could stay with him until I leave which is super nice!).

I came to this cafe a while ago to relax a bit, though I still feel kind of discombobulated. (Is that how you spell that?) All of my friends from the program have officially left. On Friday night Cody and I went to the bar I used to work at, Wherever, so I officially said goodbye to all of them, as well as various other friends. Anyways, I'm off to San Telmo to meet up with my old roommate from Caballito. The last time I went to that cafe I had a Basil Daquiri and it was the bomb.

Right now at the cafe they're playing "Calle 13" so I'll leave you all with one of their music videos:

I leave Wednesday, we'll see if I have a chance to blog again before the big flight.
Over and out!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Brain Stew

I've been really bad at blogging lately. I've had so much homework and finals and studying and stress thinking about leaving and arriving and what to look forward to and what I'll be missing and what I have to do and who I want to see and I pulled a muscle in my right (dominant) hand and etc. etc. that I have completely fried with stress. Even if the assignments aren't that hard, I feel myself struggling to even achieve low-level brain activity. Politics is the worst. The assignments would be hard even if I was at my maximum capability. Discuss the 1982 debt crisis, how it began, and how the countries in Latin America were effected. Let me translate: MELISSA, THE WORLD HATES YOU. Just kidding... but it really does suck, though. There should be a law that art majors are exempt from anything economics-related. That'll be first on my agenda once I become ruler of the world: government without politics. (You picking up on the low-level brain activity?)

To further prove my point, I haven't even been able to make lists, which is normally one of my favorite past times. How do I plan who gets to fit in my schedule and who doesn't? Who I may very possibly never see again? Meanwhile, I'm trying to walk around the city with my eyes wide open, trying to take everything in. The problem is that living directly in the downtown of a big city is already sensory overload and emotionally-triggered hyper-awareness is proving overwhelming, to say to least.

My biggest "dilemma"- I suppose you could say- would be my crippling yearning for closure. Worst yet is that I feel entitled to it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

At a Distance

It's frustrating to think that returning to the states will mean such systematic monotony. Whether it's true, or every day ACTUALLY is what you make it- disregarding the northamerican workoholic manifesto- I still feel this pressure to take advantage of being here. Yet, I'm so close to the end that investing myself fully is tricky: it's this weird dynamic of trying to be present in the moment and fully comprehending that the departure is near.

I've been "seeing" this fellow for a bit here, whatever that means. He speaks using a more .... er.... complex vernacular. I never understand him entirely, but it never seems to matter. Breaking the stubborn language barrier is truly a remarkable thing. We speak a lot in "what ifs" so I get to practice the conditional and subjunctive tenses plenty. What if things were different? What if we had met each other earlier? Equally, there's something dreamy and unreal about starting a relationship that- from the beginning- is known to have no future. Who knows, perhaps the foundation of our connection is a mutual romanticism of the impossible. Is all affection based on some sort of disillusionment? He sends me poetry and kisses my neck when I'm not looking. I buy into less that I understand. As much as I try to trust these gestures as genuine, which they very well could be, the end is so near.... I feel sooo timeworn and burned that perhaps "the dream" can never become the reality; like parallel lines that go on forever but can never touch.