Tuesday, January 09, 2007

of busses, and voices, and quiet.

so here we are.

have you ever thought that the world was too big? that there were too many corners and crevices and cracks, too many spaces to fill in with light before you could catch it all in the lenses?

every day is an adventure. every second, even, because it´s all in another language. a foreign tongue. nobody tells you, before traversing across miles, over oceans and mountains, through cities with cracking pavement and all that nonsense - nobody tells you how hard it is. life is hard, we know that. college is hard, too. classes, yeah, but the people. people are hard to understand. but living in another country where you could hardly claim to be bilingual, where the culture and the politics and everything else is totally different, this is difficult. but so totally amazing! oh. it´s fantastic how hard everthing is. i´m not drifting through each day, completely oblivious to my own breathing. here i have to contemplate each step.

a las avenidas de zamora y brasil.

there goes a car
another, but with a boy, maybe sixteen, seated in the back. he looks tired.
three busses, one of which i was supposed to be on.
[how do i say this is spanish? who should i ask? he looks nice. the one in the yellow sweatshirt. he has a long nose. strong. maybe i´ll ask him.]
step into the street, across -
there! there is my bus.
and there is the city. flashing past, through open doors. i am standing, praying to the floor with my toes that it will not let me go, and watching the street as we drive, me without a seat, without a tongue, without a voice.
around corners, clinging to the bar that will keep me inside, away from the pavement, above the crushing wheels. who would notice if i fell? would anyone stop the bus if i tumbled out, into the street?

(¡más libertad!) scrawled in red on the plain concrete sides, spilling their crumbling mortar into the street. the graffiti here means something. la voz de las murales.
sitting. three people, travellers. a beautiful woman, tall, wearing striped purple and blue pants, made of wool. indigenous. her lip is pierced. no, it is a scar. (from what? her blood was spilled for some reason, her mouth mangled. she was in a fight, when she was nine. maybe ten, but regardless, her older brother pushed her down, and she bled. it is an elegant scar, clean and straight.) her eyes follow the tumbling body of a four year old boy, con mullet. he is laughing, rolling on the floor of the bus. the eyes of everyone on the bus are drawn to his laughter, bouncing off of the dusty walls, but his eyes are attached to a box, which rests on the head of his father (his father? i don´t want to assume, but he shares the same nose, and perhaps they are a travelling family of gypsies, riding on busses across continents, wearing purple striped pants and singing songs about little black birds and rejoicing in their simplicity. no, this is too romantic. their bodies are tired, and they do not rejoice because it is all they have known. but it is enough. so maybe...) the man has curly black hair pulled into a ponytail at the base of his neck, and brown boots. the box has holes. in a former life, it was used to transport tangerines. but now, now there is a sound coming from the box.
a kitten!
there is a small brown kitten climbing out of the box.
the woman sees me staring, watches my eyes follow her son, her lover, her cat. she blinks, and continues singing.

live here with me. voiceless.
i have never known what it is to be voiceless.
everyone should realize this someday.
in america, many have been silent for decades. their families
quiet, ignored, questioned.
we should all be made voiceless for
to understand the quiet.
we live in it.

"for beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us...
and so i hold myself back and swallow the call-note
of my dark sobbing. ah, whom can we ever turn to
in our need?"
-r. m. rilke

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