Thursday, July 15, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Now I've made my decision to make America my home, to find adventure right outside my doorstep instead of 5,000 miles away. I decided months ago. In May. But it's taken this long for the sadness to fade into a hum soft enough to write about. Pollo and I have broken up--long-distance works only when one can see an end to it. I am quiet and private in that grief. But too, I quietly endure the heartbreak of leaving a country that was like a home to me.
Before I transform this blog into my big American adventures, I wanted to remember Chile a little bit more. I wrote this two weeks ago but never posted it. So here it is now:
Today, I watched Machuca, a movie about Chile in the 70s. The protagonist's name was Gonzalo. That is the name of my ex-boyfriend. I miss him, too.
It has been too long since I've had ice cream or croissants at Emporio La Rosa. The fact that it took me a beat to remember the name makes me still sadder. The ride on my bike from my house to Pollo's, regardless of our end, will always be one of my gladdest memories, that and once (tea) with Pollo's mom and grandma in their sixth floor apartment--tea and me eating too many toasted maraquetas.
I miss that language: "ya po, huevon" and "oye" and "ven paca huevon." I miss the dogs, oh the wonderful, terrible stray dogs, the rundown look of every corner store, the smog obstructing any view of the Andes.
I miss Kanke and the little house. I miss the Chilean whistle they do through their teeth and wave their hand around to say "impressive!" or "Wow! I miss horizontal lines at the pharmacy, and the less efficient everything. I miss the people, instead of automatic sprinkler systems, watering their lawns.
I miss Kanke's mom who would stop by with gifts for Kanke every week--magazines, statues, furniture, her gesture of love for her wild, beautiful daughter. I miss the light of the morning streaming through the little house, me, at my big window sitting down to write, incense burning a blessing on the window sill, the zorzal (thrush) sitting on the gate right outside, watching me watching him.
I just miss everything.
It's strange because my life in some ways isn't all that different here. I write in a room next to a window that looks out on birds, though because the house isn't mine, I don't have incense burning, nor the freedom that my own place brings. I have flowers in a vase and little notes to myself strewn about.
I am, as always, me, wherever I go. But I seem to have left a world behind, too, and I miss it.
But I don't regret it. Chile was a book that had to be written, an "I love you" that had to be said, a road that had to be taken.
So here's to the road taken...and to the many yet to come.
And since I know a bit of Spanish, I thought I'd share some of their best lines with you.
When a goal was scored in the semi-finals, the announcer yelled:
"Golllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll." You know what that sounds like if you've ever listened to the Spanish soccer announcers.
And then he said, "Gol! Gol! Gol! Una poema con tres letras!!!!" Which means "Goal! Goal! Goal! A poem with three letters!"
I laughed when I heard that one. I've never heard a goal described that way, at least not in English.
Then today, the announcer was in rare form. When the Spanish goalie made a great stop, he yelled, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the land where superheroes don't use capes and masks. They wear short-sleeve shirts and gloves to make stops like that!"
And when Sergio Ramos missed a shot-on-goal, the announcer narrated, "He arrived to write, in gold letters, his name--a legend--to pass on immortality.......and HE FAILED!"
And then when one of the Netherlands players raced to catch up with the ball and couldn't, the announcer commented, "He thought in some moment there that his legs would turn into motorcycles but that wasn't the case."
And finally, the best of all, when Spain won, the announcer had this to say, "Today we don't have the word 'winner' (he says winner in English). Today we have 'ganador.' Today we don't have 'a new champion' (also in English). Today we have 'el nuevo campeon.' Because today the World Cup is embroidered with golden letters in the name of Spain. And soccer lives and that passion lives in Spanish!!!!!"
I've got to say that if our English announcers were that poetic, I might find more time to watch sports...maybe.