Ok ok ok ok ok. I just have to do this. I haven't felt like writing a normal post, because I do not feel normal. But I think that if I don't write now, I will stop again, like I did in 2009, and then I won't write for a year. And I'll regret not having documented my travels. But it's hard to do this. To write about something that isn't loss. That's why I stopped writing here in 2009. January. But I regret it. And so...
I am sitting here:
I am back in Barrio Norte, my neighborhood, after a few days at Tay & A's apartment in Boedo. Little known fact: Tengo was born in Boedo, not in San Telmo. Ok maybe that's not a little known fact here in Buenos Aires, but I didn't know it until yesterday. I sprung for my own private room. I never do that. But I'm only at the hostel for four days, and four days isn't enough to become friends with roommates like I've done my past two visits. And I haven't been alone since I left Los Angeles. It is so nice to be home though, here in my hostel in my neighborhood in my sometimes city. [Not that it's sometimes a city, but that it is sometimes my city.]
My life here consists of walking around a lot. Of drinking cafe con leche and eating facturas with dulce de leche from Medialunas del Abuelo. Of drinking late into the night with friends, of sleeping past 1pm, of reading on the terrace, in cafes, in parks. Of taking the subte, which smells terrible and which is now almost completely covered in graffiti. Of distancing myself from the north just enough to induce perspective shifts I would otherwise never achieve. Each time I've come here, I've suffered a massive change in perspective. I say suffered because usually these experiences are painful, either because my realizations are themselves painful, or because the perspective shift is born out of an experience I have to leave when I return to the United States. Each shift is life changing though, in the most important and necessary way.
My first trip: love and travel and distance and fear. My second trip: acceptance and relinquishing control. This trip: well... death I suppose. Death and motivation. Or desire. Or whatever is going on in me that is trying to figure out just exactly what the hell it is I'm doing. All trips: color. So much color.
Argentina is currently in the midst of an economic crisis. The peso is worth less than it's ever been worth when I've been here. 6:1 on the black market. Accompanying this change is an excess of garbage on the street [due to a fight over salaries, according to my hostel papa, Alberto], and an excess of graffiti. It feels like New York City in the 80's. And ok, I wasn't alive in the 80's really, and I certainly didn't live in NYC then, but from what I've read in books and what I've seen in the Basquiat documentary, it's very similar in aesthetic. Different sentiments though. Still violent. Still desperate. But there is a history here that is different than our history in the north. The history that drew me here in the first place. Appropriate then than I am reading Mario Benedetti's book of short stories, The Rest is Jungle & Other Stories.
Other things I've been doing: eating D's babaganoush, sleeping, seeing The Hobbit in 3D [ugh], eating Argentinian pizza, meeting friends of Tayla. Christmas, though that will have to be a separate post. Here are some extraneous photos. Imagine whatever narrative you please: