Monday, May 11, 2009

Look...At the futbol game

9 May: Look
If you can’t feel inspired while you’re in the Peace Corps, well then what the hell is your deal? This is what I might ask myself. Sometimes I just feel dead.

So I say, look, you idiot. Playing Frisbee today with my host siblings, I didn´t look twice at the horses strolling by. Wait, no, look: Horses walking by, the glorious palm tree with all the parrots flying in and out, the cows that look like their made of cookies and cream. Now I’m sitting outside because my lights won’t come on. I discovered there is a bat living in my front tree, flying and out of its hole.

These are known as the one-year bleh blehs, or something like that. That shiny new gloss has worn off the experience, your work feels like work, you have your friends and don’t feel like meeting any more new people. There’s a depression in your bed where you sleep, and you just want to stay there.

It’s when you know it’s time to flip the mattress.

I’m going home for three weeks, in June, and when I think about it I get as excited as I was a year ago, thinking about going to Paraguay. I need to juxtapose. It’s like when you lose weight, and you don’t realize it until you have a before and after picture. When I go back home, I’ll realize how much I’ve changed. I’ll remember what an awesome thing I’m doing, what an opportunity it is. And I’ll garner energy, I think, and come back, continuing to say, “Look. look. look.”

10 May: At the futbol game
I went to the futbol game, trying to integrate, even though I want to put up my hammock and have a Sunday alone with my books, under a tree. Through the chain-link fence, over the field where the men were running with their legs like chopsticks trying to get hold of a hard-boiled egg, I saw the hill I used to walk by every day, when I lived on that side of town. The sheep were still there, dotting the hill like scattered cotton balls, and I thought of how the sun turned them pink in the morning.

Through the metal I looked at all the different shades of green, as the fields met some woods, where a palm tree pops out of the bunch every few dozen yards, leaves like the hair of the tallest guy in the room.

Ants walked up and down the ramps of the fence links, and down on the ground discovered my discarded ice cream cup. They gathered and then got milk drunk and drowned, and I looked at this until my host sister screamed Goooooal! with the same shrill with which one would scream Help! and my eyes jolted to her and then I looked up at the goal and clapped. The horses, which usually graze on the field when there aren’t people running back and forth on it, didn’t even raise their heads. They went on eating, as if the home team weren’t winning.

In the trees where those two parrots have a nest, behind the bleachers where men line up to pee, I heard a bird and looked up in time to see its body, silhouetted with the leaves, flutter as it sang, like it´s whole body was a little instrument with legs. The sun set behind it, backlighting the clouds into puffs of neon that hung still. The light cast over the store where we bought electric orange Fanta soda. From my seat I looked at the pastel sky, past the faces of everyone else looking the other way, to see if the men from our town would get the ball in the net more times than the men of the other town.

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