I departed from Newark Airport in August 1996. My parents drove me. Jenn, who later became an anarchist, met me there to give me first class upgrades. So on my way to Phoenix I luxuriated in a large grey seat and later felt embarrassed about the “First Class” ticket on my bag. In Phoenix, we stayed in a house. I met Harmony there and we became friends. Harmony spoke about the patterns in the landscape when viewed from a plane. She was talking about the big picture
I explored Cuernavaca with all my senses. I walked. I took photographs. I bought postcards and I sent them to NY. I wrote letters. I included deliciously monotonous details in each letter. I watched life. I lived life.
I took a taxi alone through Mexico City to a hospital for a urinary tract infection. I spent the night in the hospital. I received 2 Iv’s of Ciproxin in my veins. The next day, I traveled to Oaxaca with my visiting mother. I spoke Spanish when my mother and I rented a hotel room in the Centro of Oaxaca City. I sat across from her at a restaurant on the Zocalo. I drank a papaya smoothie. I smiled for a photo. I held the straw as I drank. I did not buy chapulines, the hardened carcasses of grasshoppers.
I boarded a bus alone to the coast. I paid 24 pesos. I shared my oranges with the women on the bus. I marveled at the winding road. I drank in the green of the high territory between city and coast. I sat and sat for hours. I arrived in the evening to Puerto Escondido. I saw the Mexican Pacific for the first time. I stayed in a cabana on the beach with a woman I met on the bus. I fell asleep for the first time to the sound of the ocean. I paid for the cabana.
I adorned myself with necklaces. I pushed silver hoop earrings into my ear holes. I slid bracelets up my arms. I tied pieces of my long hair into tiny buns. I fastened each bun with a clip. I listened to myself doing these things.