All these stories
Matagalpa Travel Blog› entry 18 of 47 › view all entries
weaving drunk on your words
In and out of
more space than the world tween your line
I'm on my way to the Nicaraguan embassy to retrieve my passport--now equipped with a you may pass go stamp. Tho there's no $200 collection as a right of passage.
& this town
This weaving thru people, streets, down sidewalks, goods splayed on blankets, hands imploring, passed a Spanish fortress 400 years old, & yesterday's hastily erected tin shanty--old sheet for a door... it would bring a smile to Athene's sombre countenance. Tho, from what I understand, her
'n what I have now is mostly story pieces as return missive. no sense trying to keep it all straight. Just more weaving
Like the round about way you make your way down a white water jungle river. The kayak or raft caught at times. When the water's in your face, 'n your spinning in the vor-tex(t). It seems the whole world really does turn. You finally understand the momentum.
& t[here] are no straight lines. just re-turnings.
Or in a bus. Me the only Gringa. And my Spanish not quite equipped to deal with the men with guns at six different stops. I'm on my way to
in a jam. enjambment. "of chorus: that's it there!"
& then in San Juan del Sur. Little fishing village on the south coast of this new country. New air carrying more care, and more stories, than I dreamed. The shanty squatter casas on the way are new signs. Children playing barefoot. Big big eyes. The same wary curiosity on each face. This town was twice hit in recent years: first the change in gov't bringing fewer and fewer well intentioned Internationistas on leave from the projects; then the merimoto after September's costal earthquake. None of the Costa Rican veneer to coat the care worn. Except, since they can't afford cars, mostly, they miss out on the fumigating exhaust of ill-repaired motors, & the air seems paradoxically lighter. I taste fish and damp cloth on the breeze, & firecrackers (not another war) assault my ears. The Nicas. Their t(hereness) is not recorded by cameras --not like my Tico host family in
smell touch taste sound. a presen/t/ce
where seeing's not the only story
'n mostly I think it's the hearing, that strikes me. The crack of the fireworks in
& the stories here crack with the same gun-powder startle
The night I left
a winter of sorts
& there was more: another cousin. Picked out in the factory where he worked. "Feefty ma-be seexty--how ju say? bullts?--si bull-eets. and heem saying 'why? why you want to keel me? we grew up together. in the same town.'"
Then yesterday. I show up at this little ocean-side village, heading for the Casa Quebec--highly recommended in my shoestring. It turns out to be closed to the not so booming tourist industry of post Sandinista 1992. But wait. It's okay, cause this guy Jacques (an ex pat who's been running the place) is still living here. Planning a scam maybe to bring
the one thing missing in central america is good food
Returning from a stroll down the port beach I find Jacques in post dinner fatigue pants, playing Nica checkers with another ex-pat (viene de Alberta) who's been here since the days of the Internationista volunteers, & has taken his do-a-good-deed-for-a-developing-country so far as to become its worthy citizen. He's married to a Nicaraguan. Hasn't seen the snowy north for five years.
I sit and watch the checker games thru the haze of their cigarettes. Jacques is usually losing when it comes to pieces, but he's gaining on the whiskey. They talk about the days of the election--the last boom in the service industry because there were foreign observers on patrol then.
& fuck Michael, part of the story went like this:
Der was all des new cars, see. Outside. Wid de foreign press everywar and on expense accounts. So, me, I was on de gaurd. With my AK 45. ("your AK 45?") Sure! Got everyting. How you say. Granod-es, oui, hand grenades. An' dem journalists. Der eyes like dis when dey see me. Dey all want pictures. So me, I pull out my fatigues. Whole set like des. And dey put zem on. Stand in front of de car wid de AK and I snap ze picture.
More guns than people in this country. And they carry them on their belts like the wild west.
& Jacques has lots of AK stories with a more contemporary Schwartzenegger feel too. One night Jacques is down at the beach on a drunk when robbers come to the Casa. Carmen, the Nicaraguan woman who helps him run the place, is left unarmed because Jacques has taken the hand gun they usually use in such cases. So she pulls out the AK, having never learned how to shoot it. Last resort, see. And "God! Eh. She'd keel all ze neighbours if she began firin de ting." So the next day Jacques takes Carmen out on a training mission to the field just beyond town. "Wear I always go, you know, to practise." But this time Violetta Chimero is in
Now, I'm thinking Michael. After all these stories. This tapestry. This weaving. It could be as big as the earth itself. I'm just working on one tiny corner, following the threads...
& when I smile at some of the shoeless children here, as I pass them on the road, well sometimes I think they have that cosmology you were asking about... reflected in their gaze.
i think about you during the day
when the sun is silver on the ocean
or bouncing off the surrounding
& i think about you at night
when my world is soft-shrouded
by the cloud net surrounding my bed
& my lips are naked.