Spend a few moments thinking about the unforgettable places you've been. They can be close to home or far away, places you've been to recently or long ago.Choose one. Now freewrite about it for ten full minutes. Stretch your fingers, Ready? Begin writing.
So we finally got there. After hours of circling around obscure mountains, sprinkled with baby violet flowers and strange sounds and tiny roads that lead nowhere. We got there and it seemed worth it. Unusually cold for the caribbean, the 45 degrees that embraced my skin, was all I needed. Around a group of people you barely know, suprises are something of a pretty usual thing. And was I in for a suprise.
We barbecued. The giggles led on by chemicals where our icebreakers and I was happily dressed in all of my worthless autumn clothes. We never get autumn here. Autumn is a myth created by American imperialistic endeavors. Still, I like brown and yellow and orange maple leaves and squirrels. I wonder how come we don't have squirrels. We have mongoose, devilish little fellows brought in by the Spaniards to kill the snakes that inhabited this savage land. Sometimes it may seem like all the snakes survived and moved in into the capitol building, sliding into their shady enterprises and hypnotizing the masses with their vibrating tongues.
I had wine. Lots of it. Cheap and watery, just the way my wallet likes it. I also had a mission, which nobody really knew, just my best pal and accomplice. It was my detox weekend. The mountains would be my sanctuary and the coldness would be my guiding spirit. No more fucking pills, that make my brain shiver and my heart bounce out of my chest. No more idealized states of neutral emotions. Fuck neutrality, there is nothing grand about neutrality.
So I tossed away my last prescription and sat down with a group of mostly uknowns and my trustfull wine companions. After two days of being surprised by the way people enjoy their surroundings; a hammock and a hangover, where my salvation. The mountains spit out rain for hours and the mist was always present. But the foggyness in my brain had subsided and I was perhaps, once again, a little bit more of myself.
The mountains where deep green and the night was the deepest shade of black. Humidity filled the air with heavyness. Zombies attacked the screen that lit the house in the middle of the darkness, and I cooked in the fire, with a roof of stars and planets that shined with their light from the past.
I was given nuts to feed the little squirrels. The cutest little furry rodents I had ever seen. Being born an outsider but being raised as a mix of different caribbean cultures, I was amazed to visit Florida again. The little critters that ran around all of the backyards were amazing and I watched in awe how big the ants where, compared to ours.
I was given nuts to feed them and they would snatch them quickly from my fingers. One of them, perhaps too excited about its treat, bit my tiny finger, scaring me and making me scream to the nice old gringa lady that was hanguing out with me in her backyard, my grandmother's neighbor. I kept on looking at the squirrles jump from tree to tree and then I saw something I had never seen before.
Being born here and fortunate enough to get an outstanding education, my english was almost perfect for my age but the fear totally made me blank. I was suddenly the little puertorrican girl that couldnt scream snake. It was the tiniest snake, now that I think about it,but back then, it was anaconda for all I knew. After a couple of seconds of silence brought on by shock I screamed SERPENT! SERPENT! Because the word snake, escaped my entire priviledged middle-class-girl vocabulary. I was embarrased by my imprecise use of words, but I was not accostumed to thet type of fauna.
Once we had to stop the car and wait for a big land turtle to cross the road. Why did the turtle cross the road? To get to other side? I never got that stupid joke. Turtles are not as slow as they are said to be. One afternoon, laying on a hammock in the front yard, a flock of traveling geese flew by, they were all in a triangle formation, it was amazing. Just like the movies.
My father let me use the grass trimmer and as I cut the weeds and grass from the entire property, a million huge grasshopers started jumping towards the little tractor and on top of my thighs. It was somewhat scary but also very impressive. Now, I am a big fan of insects, their alien aspect is very attractive to me. They are beautiful, like psychedelic creatures that fly and crawl amongst us.
There was wide open spaces everywhere and nobody to be seen on the streets. It was almost a ghost town, I can't remember seeing anyone else but the front door neighbors... maybe we were the only ones there. Maybe that town never existed. But it did, because a little squirrel bit me there. Ive never been back there, but I've seen places like it, and still question myself what people do for fun there or if they even really live there, perhaps it is all but a trick.