March 07, 2024

Back from B.A.

And just in time too--I noticed during my layover in Dulles that the New York Times has discovered that the clubs have reopened. Whew--beat that one by mere hours.

Back to wide streets, large gas guzzlers, huevos rancheros, and snow flurries. Sleeping in my own bed, unpacking and cleaning my clothes, reading my mail. The most mundane rituals of returning remain my favorite.

My last day in Buenos Aires was that long, drawn out slow walk that says it's time to leave. Katie and I had been out at the Kiosko until the wee hours of the morning the night before, drinking liters of Quillmes along Avenue New-wavy day Hoolio, and so we woke up late, to an overcast, slow, humid Saturday, a day without anymore clean clothes, a day in which the city itself seemed to turn slowly on its own headachy hangover--the street performers on Florida just didn't have it in them. I ran errands--postres, leather bracelet, sandals for amigos. I ate fresh heladio from down the street and bathed in air conditioning. Almost time to leave, we had a Chilean meal of squid stew and shrimp stew, and then with nothing left to do until next time, Katie dropped me off at the shuttle.

It was quite amazing to spend so much time with her--someone I didn't know all that well before I left to visit her. But I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather explore B.A. with. I won't forget our six hour walk that first night--endless streets, still, hot air, our indie rock concert, then crashing Carnavals and exchanging smiles with tranny hookers, ending up in a square at three am full of light and kids playing guitars.

The trip was for the most part excellent--though of course with a very bad couple of days thrown smack in the middle. During those days, in addition to having the lyrics "momma told me there'd be days like this," nonsensically running through my head, I also couldn't help but hear Elizabeth Bishop's question peppering my brain (I had brought the poem along, but it had been stolen along with my journal). "Think of the long trip home. / Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?"

Reveling in the uncertainty of this question will last a few more minutes. Soon, I'll be back at work, opening the email inbox. The snow will accumulate, obscuring everything except "But surely it would have been a pity..."

Posted by jason at March 7, 2024 07:46 AM
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