Entertaining the Unknown

San Jose Travel Blog

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November 4/92

San Jose, Costa Rica...                           


November 8/92 San Joaquin


Dear Michael




For four days I have had this page with its promise of "letter" in front of me.  After Michael--silence.  Not that I've been staring at my un-letter in perplexity each of the past 96 hours.  For the most part I have been studying Spanish, & generally adapting to the surroundings of Costa Rican society and the Costa Rican family with whom I am boarding  [I have enrolled in a two week crash course in  the language of Latin America  before wandering up to Nicaragua]



in the stillness

between the great-dictionary-shuffle, & manic gesticulations i stare at this page with your name as its heading

& i slip naked into the sensual white of paper blankness 

so much like cream  

its blue lines anticipating a thousand tongues


     [my tongue on your skin being

          a different story altogether

        where words just don't cut it]


And it seems like such memories are always in parentheses.  As if somehow those moments, that Sunday, our breathings and soundings escape the logic of a life sentence.  Inhaling and exhaling separately:  How you breathed my name when I caressed your body in the after.  Another cream between my skin and your's.  The smooth way fingers & thots glide into passion and instance.


But here I am now, in San Joaquin, Costa Rica.  Trying to put it all together.  A million fragmented narratives, each with a thousand parentheses.  "We"s and "They"s galore.  As in "Gawd! The lore that surrounds me." --Silliness natural in the face of such complex equations.  Making things add up never being as strong a suit for me as multiplying the possibilities. [Subtraction and division such tedious propositions].


& fuck, Michael.  my time away from my old "here"s:


  away from you; away from my family, my memories

          away from you

    away from my books, my studies

           away from you

 away from good friends and old winter jackets

               away from you


my time aqui   in this "here," it began with an earthquake...


               apocalyptic ellipsis


aqui: open your ears to this world and learn how thunder does not come only with dark clouds. the hearing of an earthquake; conductor of trembling.


 ...always maintained i hated stability...


                no logic/


                 no here

                     at all


& Oh ya,  they showed me a photo album, Michael, the day I arrived on their family doorstep.  No more than a "me llamo"  and a "buenos dias"  on my lips.  Pictures recording their smiles-for-the-camera.  Sitting together on a couch, in front of a tree, by cakes, the children after first confession just a short time ago.  Their faces, their thereness recorded over and over.  Each one a sameness of being with a camera-is-pointed-purpose.


...Except there, on that page, between the hundreds of me-on-a bicycles and me-in-front-of-the-oceans, there's "9:01a.m. eclipse total del sol. 11-6-1991."  Four photos of a television screen, framed dark and metallic against a blank wall.  [I stare at the page thinking "fingers are pressing buttons again"]  On the screen, barely perceivable, the moon moves.  The sun now a glowing crescent, getting  smaller and smaller until finally a moon blankness, known only by halo, takes being from all that nothingness.


     kodak to television to sky

how many negatives does that make?


...& they throw it all at you so fast. 'Til your head is spinning like those little plastic tops that used to spin around your little plastic arena.  Dizzy Lizzy & Tricky Nicky, clapping into each other and careening supremely in opposition:  "muy bien"s and "nosotoros hablamos"es  until "me llamo"   becomes "una mejor playa" somewhere near Montezuma.  "Zooma?" I'm thinkin'.  "Hah!  There's more than one eclipse  in this scape."


Then, at lunch this afternoon, I say "Si me gusta mucha"   "Yes I like it very much"  in my broken Gringa Spanish.  Patricia has served me fried ripe plantain, all the more sweet since it follows chili fried liver.  "Si?"  she beams at my enthusiasm, & proclaims plantain todos los  dias.


"So"  I'm thinking, "Aqui...  Here.  I get what I want.  Given to me.  Every day..."  & in a flash your name pops up.  Like a computer menu.  Reminding me of paper blankness, and its Michael-promise-of-letter.


Now, a few hours later, there is no white cream blankness.  Having been covered by my pen-tongue's wagging


tho, truth be told,

 i'd prefer the other story

     written on your skin


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photo by: Isoinspira