THE PAST COMES TO ME IN SMALL BURSTS.
The kid I met when I saw Ginna off at the bus station in Trujillo. Osvaldo, who wore a navy blue school uniform and a million dollar smile, called me "Señorita Jessica" and introduced me to his family. When Ginna walked onto her overnight bus, he said, "Que triiiste," and touched my arm. As we walked past a statue of a saint on the way out of the bus station, he asked me if I believed in God. Then he asked for my e-mail address. I swear he was God, some small incarnation, come to visit me and bless Ginna on her trip. His family dropped me off at the combi (shared vans, popular public transport in Peru) stop, and we went our separate ways, but I never forgot the kindness.
BUT HERE I AM IN THE PRESENT.
I feel blessed to be with family, but I am itchy. No one calls me Señorita Jessica, or lliki-lliki (which means tiny-tiny in Kichwa) as Osvaldo or Fabiola did. There are no more llamas, or showers where there is a possibility of being electrocuted, or mamitas carrying something (a baby or potatoes? I never could tell) wrapped in bright textiles and slung on their backs. I could whine for a long time about everything I miss about South America and everything I can't stand about the United States, but ultimately I created this reality. When a friend of mine was debating whether or not to attend a gathering where there was some "bad blood" between her and the hosts, a mutual friend advised her to "paint harmony." She stopped, turned her head and asked coyly, "Well I wonder who was painting all the drama . . ." The problem (because there is always a problem. Like most other humans, I seem to thrive on them.) with this "paint harmony" advice is that I can't paint.
Until Next Time,