Tell It Like It Is

I tell my students about unreliable narrators, and it’s a wonder the earth doesn’t swallow me whole. If there is someone I trust less than the person I once was, I have yet to stumble across them. I believe if I did, it would be somewhere dark; grimy. We’d drink bad tequila at a bar with sticky countertops and I’d overtip the bartender. I imagine he’d be there, sliding more money across the bar in that infuriating way. Sometimes he’s the one I’m drinking with; sometimes he’s the one that saves me with a generic excuse about a phone call. Like the bus routes here, my feelings change from day to day.

People tell me they cannot wait until I start writing about my life here, about Mexico. They wait for the travel tips and tequila lists and I do not know what to say. I am never not writing about the state of my bones. Where I am is superfluous, not in life, but in the words that I will choose to write. I leave messages unanswered, go whole days doing nothing but reading and drinking tea. I would like to waste away, but I have never felt more substantial.

It is a blessing that there are so many words in this world, and yet there are hardly enough to explain the colour green. I think that most people do not spend as much time thinking about this as I do. When you are somewhere with no one you love there is a lot of space to think, to consider forest, and thrush and emerald and the insufficiency of it all. The way the bus sways and bumps and jars lulls me on some days; slaps me on others. Some days I get so frustrated by the movement I choke on it, and on others I almost miss my stop to stay in the seat just a little longer, hold onto the boundless joy of it all.

There is no way to explain this to someone who has not gone missing from all that they have, who have not known the ebb and flow of an afternoon in a place that doesn’t look like anywhere else. But still, I keep trying.

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