Saturday, January 30, 2010

Looking Through the Eyes of a Stranger

My time in Honduras would be short lived for the summer of 2008. I was going back and forth between El Porvenir and Los Angeles. On the one hand, I loved the idea of a new identity, new setting, new beliefs. But I was deathly afraid of having to stay in the "pueblo" because of the lack of security and hatred felt our direction. I was the privileged American who so happens to have parents from Mexico. Constant target.

During my time in the States, of which I was without my better half, I focused my time to work, family, and friends. I worked at some garage accessory place as a customer service representative. It was quite uneventful. Every fifteen minute break, I would go on my cig break. When my hour break came, I would walk around the Chatsworth area with my medication and my food. I found it enjoyable and humorous that I would get a full break from my job and think about my life in Honduras. It was the time when I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude, and I absolutely loved it. I would see myself as the valiant and lonely Aureliano. As I approach my time to leave to Honduras again, I would think of when I would come back. At that moment, time was completely uncertain.

My time with my family was limited. With my family, the judgments come like air. We always yell, we always mock, we always call each other names as salutes. I have always been a perpetrator of this, constantly calling one of my cousins a "fag," but i never realize how ridiculous it was until someone pointed it out to me when I would call them names. I felt low and ashamed. Completely like a embarrassed. And that was why I chose to keep away. Avoid problems, insults, gossip. I feel bad, but it was the only way to stand it for the time I was there. I now miss my family greatly, but I could not stand the negativity. The great thing about my time was my nephew, whose face is a ball of sunshine.

I had a wonderful time with friends. Ana and Victor were my life savers. Every night we would go out and get stoned till we could no longer keep our eyes open. They would carry a lovely tool that would always work at hitting the spot. We would discuss things in our lives that were for those we trusted. "I remember the time the assholes at my high school..." Constantly opening doors into our own trust with other people. We were confined to that blue mustang with oue ideas, tragedies, dreams, and realities. They were also the only ones that felt my choice to go was a wise decision, and wished me good luck!

While I was living this life in the States, I was also traveling back to Honduras in an attempt to assuage my desires for Carlos. As soon as I would arrive, I would see him waiting for me at the terminal with his cousin waiting to give me a hug. I was thrilled to come back each time waiting to see how things were different. Prior to this trip, I had lived and been only in California, so this was quite exciting. We would return to the simple home where there was nothing but what we had brought with us. We would spend our time outside smokin and chillin, and inside playing video games. I couldn't help but think how life would be like for me if I was born in El Porvenir. I would stay home with my mother and learn how to cook and clean. When I would turn fifteen, I would be pregnant and ready for marriage. By the time I turned nineteen, I would have two children and be in the process of divorce. Life was much faster, but yet completely dull, simple and slow. More than half of the people had not left their homes, like myself until that point. How different could my life had been, but yet how frighteningly similar .

I remember looking at myself in the mirror at certain points wishing I would have a constant in my life. I didn't. I would return to Los Angeles crying until my eyes had no tears wishing that life were simple in Honduras and I was with Carlos, like in California. But things were not easy. Thing were changing. I didn't know myself and I didn't know what to expect anymore. I didn't know if i would always travel back and forth or if I was going to find something that would work. I was scared and lonely. My mind was in a haze and I didn't know how to feel or what to do except plan for my trip back to Honduras.

I am sure that was how Kerouac felt on his journey to Denver and San Francisco. One of my favorite points in the book is when he traveled through Des Moines, Iowa. He states, "I didn't know who I was---I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of the steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and the footsteps upstairs, and all of the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds." Being outside of your element in strange surroundings changes the way you view yourself. In a way it is as if the old self is completely changed. Your habits and routines change. Your life changes to the point of no return. What is left is trying to figure out who you are and what this new person is going to do from then on. All I knew was that I was heading for San Pedro Sula; Kerouac was heading for San Francisco.

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