Often, talking about Mexico is like talking about an ex. The love is always there, but it’s too soon not to feel the pain. I keep talking to people about my time there, but it always starts to feel like I’m complaining. Every wonderful story has a caveat, or some other story washes up in my mind that paints a darker picture.
“It was awesome, sometimes I would be up before dawn, eating street tamales and drinking fresh orange juice as the sun rose on my walk to work. Until that day that the cops stopped and searched me…”
“It was great heading down to Colima, wandering through Atunquique, and all the little towns in between. Getting stuck on the mountain wasn’t so bad, just an expensive hassel.” In my mind I remember all the small towns that are just way points for drug dealers and all the stories of people being robbed in the middle of nowhere.
“Yeah, an hour to work was a pain, but you get good exercise.” As I think about the teacher who was beaten and put into the hospital walking the same route I did for months.
Time doesn’t really heal the wounds, but with my other loves I have been able to lose some of the sting while remembering the lessons, and holding on to that love. I will always miss the food, the people, the late night tacos, fighting without worry of liability, and the endless wonders that I saw. But for now, the pain is still too close, and my love for Mexico is shaded with the darkness of the country. I am torn between going back to what I love and what I would have to become to be part of that world.
It’s strange how moving to Taiwan is what really got me looking back on that dark relationship in my life. All the good times and bad, the faraway sting, the wound that still bleeds a little, and the wish that it had never ended. I will always be glad that it was, and who it made me into. I needed that relationship at that time in my life, but I am glad I don’t need it now. There is no anger, no hate, no fear, only a little pain and a lot of love. The only regret I have is for the one perfect joke I didn’t tell at the end.
Now that I’m getting over being sick, my mind is changing. I am stressing less, taking command more, and my brain isn’t swimming in snot anymore. Today is the first day I really wandered, eating from hole in the wall shops where the locals go, pointing at wonderful things, and starting to see through the fog I’ve been in. I’m looking forward to not fighting sleep constantly, to being able to hold things in my brain for more than a second, and finding people to fight with. I miss being able to work out, being able to run up a flight of stairs, and there is a mountain outside my door waiting for me.