It’s my 13th day in Mexico City. I did not feel so brave today, but I can pinpoint its origins. It feels like lifetimes have passed since I left Texas in August. The countless lives and identities we have lived before today, yet this moment is all we have. We can’t ever be sure what the next one will bring.
I went to reheat leftovers & found my food was stolen from the hostel/hotel kitchen. I’ve never stayed in a place that functions quite like this one. But there is an unwritten code amongst travelers and it was broken.
I scrawled a letter to the thief, telling them that if they were poor & hungry- it was wrong & hoped that they were nourished and enjoyed it. But if the person who nicked my food was just lazy or uncaring- I told them to “go fuck themselves.” I later left a postcard- apologizing for that tone along w/ a smattering of pesos if someone needed them.
I returned & two notes in Spanish had been written next to mine- rebuking the robber. The postcard & pesos still left on the counter. A shred of hope in humanity restored.
I wasn’t as upset about stolen food, it felt like a betrayal to my quest or whatever this half-planned and half-flying by the seat of my pants thing I’m doing. Perhaps that’s how life is supposed to be. We live on precarious edges each moment. We take waking up, sex, food, & limbs for granted. We withhold love from those we love or are “supposed” to love the most. We cannot give what we don’t have. And “I do not want what I haven’t got.” That’s a lie, & the name of Sinead O’Connor’s debut album. 😆 Still, there is some truth in that sentiment.
Stranger in a strange land. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Will I ever find a place that is home- which can contain these multitudes? “Have you forgotten? You are multitudes. You can never be contained in words or bodies, alone.”
Someone’s only pair of shoes had been stolen as well- and they were more of a Kmart blue light special rather than a blue plate special which had been taken.
I have stolen before- usually in the self-checkout line when I don’t feel like an avocado should be $4 and mark it as bananas. I’ve even stolen clothing from a place I worked at as a teenager. Not my most shining moments, so perhaps I don’t have a lot of room to complain.
Stranger in a strange land. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Will I ever find a place that is home- which can contain all of me? Whitman was not alone in containing multitudes. Sometimes the closest to multitudes I’ve come to are from a box of Whitman’s chocolate samplers. Then I look out of my rented bedroom window to the Ochre red Cathedral- which has greeted my gaze several times each day. Doves and pigeons are nestled in the rafters. Bits of grass and flowers growing from the walls and cracks on the city’s uneven pavement. Mexico City is literally sinking an inch or so each year. The colonialists dammed up the rivers and drove the Aztecs out. And now those descendants are reaping the ultimate Montezuma’s revenge. Even then, there is a place for all of us.
Mexico reminds me of China in a lot of ways- tribal, unconventional and lax with driving and jay walkers, yet a stickler for certain letters to the law. Guess we all do a bit of pick and choosing for what we believe, ourselves. And like China, and America, there are numerous people who are houseless. It gets overwhelming because you want to give each person you see some pesos. Again, it’s in the moment that we must make that decision and trust that just as it is no one’s responsibility to ensure our needs our met- it’s not entirely up to each one of us to meet everyone else’s needs- if it were supposed to be that way then it maybe it wouldn’t feel so impossible.
Leaving the metro in Condesa, I saw -walker laying sideways on some stairs, last night. A few stairs above was a man lying on the ground. I rushed over, picked up the walker, brought it to the man, asking if he needed help. He pushed the walker away and muttered something I couldn’t really understand. I tried to move the walker to a higher step- thinking that maybe this would be of better assistance to him. Laying on the ground, legs twisted, the older man pushed the walker away and let it fall down the stairs. I looked across the stairwell facing opposite of us and saw a middle-aged middle class male and female couple looking as dumb-founded as me. The male on-looker told me, in Spanish, that they had been trying to help him as well; but the man also refused any assistance.
There was nothing more to do, but let him languish in his squalor. He was railing against the thing that is his support, and I don’t blame him one bit. He has every right to be pissed and mad at the world and god. Haven’t we all refused the help of a tender hand? I tend to rebuke the help of those with forceful hands and words. Am I doing that now in my own way, by leaving everything and everyone I know behind, for now?
I have 5 days left booked at the Downtown Selina, and I am not quite sure where my next step is. Still in Mexico, but for how long will I live in impermanence? Until my money runs out, until I finally decide somewhere to settle down these restless bones and heart? Until my first book gets published? The answer will come. I will know in the moment when it’s right to make a choice. I can feel it’s getting closer.
I have a room to myself in a beautiful city from which I am writing this post with a cool breeze entering the window, sounds of cars and passers by echoing in the night as well. I am thankful for my blessings and the lessons- albeit a bit begrudgingly at times lol and I think that its okay for us to have those moments of doubt and reflection. We have been catalyzed into camps of yes and no, republican and Democrat, Christian and sinner. We are all stronger together as a nation, as one human race- and it will come, unfortunately I don’t see that coming, yet. It’s getting closer. That’s all that I can hope for and that is enough, for now.
There are miracles and lessons happening every day around us. I have not had the same experience as the man I met on subway stairs, but I understand the forlornness, the sometimes apparent cruelty and injustice of the world. Still, I have seen so much beauty to know that the uncertain times are the falsities. We cling to anxieties like tails of a paper tigers. Leading the fear along with us on our trail. One man throws down his wheelchair. Another man takes of his bed and goes walking forward.
I feel more certain with the words written out. The aloneness releasing me outwards and my heart opening again. The words of the ancients and of Eckart Tolle, Abraham Hicks, Tame Impala, LCD Soundsystem, Camus, and Rumi. An eclectic grouping of multi-media and dimensional beliefs and sayings. The confounding impossibility of being present in every moment for that is all we ever have. The next moment is getting closer, for which I am thankful. I am ready to be ready for it when it comes and take wing, like seedlings, like hope spreading out its feathers and flying, with the wind guiding and directing our paths.