Fallen Jacaranda blossoms squish to the sidewalk of tilting tiles, caulked daily by the wake of a dog-walking brigade. Golden, kaleidoscopic light treats the top of the hotel like it's deserving, like the whole street is. Every day absorbed here, I felt like I wasn't, but I still had a door to the rare urban nature and solitude afforded the eccentric and prosperous.
I return to the USA tonight in a metal tube that fails to desensitize about its capabilities of magic. Leaving one big set of kids to a pocket-sized one, I will unravel my scheduled ways and fall Jello-like to the ebb and flow of my family, the weather, the approaching holidays, and any expectations I am equipped to fill.
Hopefully, I can find solace in replacing new music for the hourly encounters with bandaneons on the breeze; snowy afternoons struggling to operate in Gore-Tex for walking miles over cobblestones in search of something someone made with intention; switching my weathered, repetitive options for new layers of warmth and color and shape.
I'm sweeping the jpegs and stickies of my experience together in sequence, easing them through the filter of process, because I am almost done with this chapter.
As I float the page over my thumbnail, ready to turn, I am slow and deliberate, deliberate, for I may need solace.
There was an all-to-creepily-typical movie arc in my connection to Argentina, to the city of Buenos Aires. I spent an autumn in spring; days grew before, and then they grew again. I went from embodying story lines as a child to creating them, extending the dramatic sense that I have my own Truman show in the bubble that is Earth.
The slap heard 'round the restaurant was the start of my time in country. My arms out, ready to hug in a new home, recoiled to protect what has never felt so threatened. It was a textbook sequence of honeymoon and rejection, and I was shocked I could still be shocked.
For the first time in years of this lifestyle, I felt a kind of fear that withered my appeal for people, the exact kind I charged at to intimidate when I took off alone around the world. Hating that fear and a lifestyle revolving around it, I repeated my mechanism of defense, offense rather, and charged at BsAs, accepting what was possible of desperation.
I did new things, explored neighborhoods at a jog, clung tightly to my years of high school Spanish to aid in the kind of communication that heals and forgives.
This also came with an acceptance and openness to what I thought I had already ruled out of my interests. I relearned and redefined to double-check my sense of self.
The balance I preach was the balance I struck and was also able to reflect upon like a good model, for those who continue to grasp for perspective. I met chance in the middle in my reach for emotional understanding of this passionate and complicated American country of immigrants and cowboys; it should have been a short reach at that.
And it was short, albeit poorly timed. Hence today, I am upset with time, just as I've instructed against for my students; it can't be warped. We can't even be upset with expiration dates as this is the lifestyle we've elected for ourselves, fully cognizant of the irony of these nomadic ways.
It's as if I lived for four months on my head and will just as easily reorient myself to my feet, possibly prepared and equipped for the rush of blood, and used to reactivating sleeping appendages without much forethought. They still tingle though, and sometimes I falter, like Bambi with amnesia and failing muscle memory.
We live very clear chapters that can be qualified and measured, compared to other chapters that may or may not build off each other.
A place with streets I couldn't even visualize became my next one, and hopefully one connected to the ones for the following pages.