Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012


Swigging Campari straight out of the bottle at 3:30 am. Wondering briefly if the shit they make this stuff from (we harvested some, an acrid bark, in the Bahamas) has medicinal value. A thick cough. The fluid’s building up in my lungs. Reggaeton is blasting from the speakers of the club next door. Outside, in the park, empty plastic cups are strewn under the trees and the grape and apple hut--it’s a Christmas tradition, grapes and apples mostly imported from the States, artfully arranged under a roof of heavy brown banana husks, the kind of thing you find on the side of the road, that cradles, too, the roast pig carcasses, their faces shrunken but intact--is strung with blinking colored lights. People are drunk and moving slower. Talk is slower, louder--they’re starting to sing along.

The piles in bags--our belongings--pathetic they look now, as I trip over them. Is it just that I’ve stopped sleeping? The world looks strange, not so much hostile as mismatched. It makes sense to be awake, profiting from the dark, unexpected hours. I’m singing along, too--era un imbecil, un tonto, de rodillas ante ti--I’ve heard this song a hundred times coming up off the street--y ya ves--I still like it. I take another drink and wonder how I’m going to feel when the sun comes up and all these people with whom I share the night are sleeping. Sigue tu camino, sings Frank Reyes. Y yo seguiré el mio. Adios, Luperón--I’m saying goodbye, half drunk on an aperitif. Y gracias. We’re not the same people who sailed into the bay, narrowly avoiding the shallows.