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Flashbacks, Forwards, and MetaFiction Attacks

In a week where everything has gone up and down and all around. I want to pause a la Woody Allen and tell you, "This has been a very odd week, indeed."

"What are you talking about? What happened?" asked the reader. 

I had a visit from my prior life in the shape of an ex-regional manager now friend. I loved talking and seeing my now friend, but moments of surreal flashbacks of my prior life popped in and out. I heard the language I used to speaking fall from her lips, "Yes, we made the day with a 12% increase," only now it sounded foreign.

For many years before I moved back to El Paso, my Spanish slowly shrunk down into a tiny space that almost didn't exist because of lack of use. I understood when people spoke in Spanish but couldn't always communicate with them. I felt the same shrink effects on my business language, the phrases she said, "SIM, LY, Decrease, Increase, Rally, were all familiar, I understood, but I couldn't quite communicate. The bits and pieces of business we spoke about in between catching up about family, trips, marriage, and shopping ( I definitely still speak shopping)  made me remember a life before writing, school, and teaching. A life I'm glad to have had and left.

"Okay, what else? That's not too weird. You hung out with a friend from Dallas. She brought you Sprinkles cupcakes, don't think I didn't see the photo! But what else happened?" The reader asked with a raised eyebrow. 

I heard from two friends I love dearly but unfortunately hadn't been in touch with lately. Things like life and all the dinners and work and kids and school and moodiness and alone time and significant others had gotten in the way. Both gave me news I was surprised with, shocked even as I stared wide-eyed at my phone, and I suddenly felt the weight of being an adult. The weight of growing up and not having the time for others. Paying bills and gas and and and and...uses the energy you have and leaves you simply wanting to turn the volume down on the world. Literally, where is the knob? Can someone show me? Realizing that others are looking for the same knob snaps you out of your bubble and helps you realize there many things happening at all times and it's just hard to keep up with them all. But it's important to try, because without the little strings of connection to other people bubbles become smaller, tighter, lonely places.

"That makes sense, I guess. What else happened?"

Another friend lost a family member. The loss of a sibling is something I don't even want to begin to imagine. My heart aches for her and also reminds me of that numb feeling right after someone gets that type of news. There is a raw ache in your throat from where it has closed. But, words still feel as if they want to push out and up through your chest and into the raw red flesh of your throat and out of your mouth. But, as each syllabal pushes and shoves against one another in the small cyllander space of the throat they just becomes a tight compact knot that only makes it impossible to swallow but your mouth and lips firmly sealed keep them from spilling out. That's what I remember. That's what I imagine everyone feels. That's what I imagine is happening to her. And she, holding all these words, leaves us all with just a few.The simple ones, of "I'm Sorry, My condolansces for your loss, I am here for you..."

"That's so sad."

I know! But I wanted to share because among all these stories that have happened this week (it's only Thursday) it  only made me want to come home. I want to take off my shoes, feel the cool tile against my warm feet, put on my favorite faded cotton indigo nightgown, talk about my day with my him, and hear about his day/week as we make dinner. Later, as I drift off with the murmur of the TV in the background I'll say a silent prayer for everyone I love. I'll ask that everyone be taken care of, for their hurts to be made lesser, their hearts be lighter. And as I drift off to sleep, and I feel his hand on the small of my back, I'll say thank you, because right now this is the stuff that counts. The stuff that makes life good before my mind starts flashing forward and planning and back and remembering and missing and dreaming and and and and....

"Focus!"

 Yeah, that's what I'm talking about focusing on the this stuff. The stuff that gets us through everything else that happens along the way. You know?












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Listas de Colombia

Number of hours spent traveling: 20
Days spent in Colombia: 29
Cazuela de frijoles comidas: 2
Tres Cordillera cervezas tomadas: 15
Shots of aguardiente shots I turned away: 6
Shots of aguardiente I couldn't turn away: 4
Veces que usé tenso equivocado en español: unknown
Ceviches I ate: 6
Days at the beach: 4
Micheladas: 10
Showers taken: 58
Sunblock application: 10
Usos de la palabra chevre: 5
People asked why I was a brown gringa: 4
Times I was offended by this: 0
Times people thought I was Colombian until I spoke: unknown
Apologies made on behalf of United States for Donald Trump: 1
Explanation of the El Paso/Juarez border: 5
Uso de la frase, "ese man": 20
Photos taken: 88
Veces que escuchú salsa: infinito
Ramen from Formosa restaurant eaten: 3
Max number of hours of speaking only Spanish before mouth and brain hurt: 4
New tattoo: 1
Book read: 1
Books started and left unfinished: 1
Reruns of CSI: Miami watched on AXN: 20
Ubers rides: 15
Chicharonnes eaten: 12
Jaras de …