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.