In a passage from Jessica Anderson’s Tirra Lirra by the River, Nora has written to a friend from the confinement of her parents-in-law’s house in the suburbs, where she lives. She says something like, these letters were boring, but if I had really told the truth about what my life was like they would not have been boring. This is not what Jessica has actually written, but this is how I always remember it. So.
What happened was I waited for my friend twice, the second place in a passageway outdoors, near a grim man sitting outside a shop. Then he came bounding up, and tried to give me a present but I didn’t know it was a present. We ate and sat in some churches, and plazas.
We went on a walking tour of the city, which I didn’t understand, and then I left abruptly to meet someone else for no good reason. He wrote the next day which means it should be ok. But since then I am wretched.
Then, I ‘graduated’ from my school.
G and I saw the movie, in English The Life of Pi. She said she thinks the message was: in life there will be suffering, so it’s better to choose a nice story.
We took the bus to Guadalajara, stayed in a hotel and talked by the circular pool in the evening with our feet in the pool.
We took the train in the morning to Tequila township, toured a tequila factory and tasted the steamed agave. The plant takes 8–12 years to mature, and along the train line they were planted in any little pocket of space, as well as marching up and over hills. A buffet lunch and many ‘cultural experiences’.
This day, I traveled alone to M—. The city has a reputation for being dangerous (los narcos). At the bus station for this particular route they searched hand luggage and scanned persons with a metal detector. The city itself is soft and romantic looking. I went for a jog, then a walk, and all the plazas and streets have people sitting and walking. The hostel is tranquil and almost empty. All the doors open to the open air. I think I might be lonely.
I could watch scenery change all day, and think. The colour, the vegetation, the shape of the land. It is almost one month. What was left / the world in one thousand pieces / and one of them this pile of stalks / and one of them this pile of stones. I am distracted, and then there is what is left, which is simple but in the space between things.
(What was left is an album by Clare Bowditch)