When I was around six or seven, which was a long time ago, I had a maddening, nerve wracking, and blissfully intense crush, on a little girl 2 years older than me. Her name was/is Karen Otalora. She had green eyes.
When I was sixteen I once started walking into the night and did not stop until the break of dawn. I remember that about two hours into it I just started reciting Robert Frost’s “I have been one Acquainted with the Night”, over and over again and for the first time was glad and thankful for having been forced to memorize it in school.
When I was eighteen, in the middle of nowhere, in the army, under a cruel sky, I began to learn the extent of pain and cruelty that dwell in the human heart and mind. I also recovered hope and found God, or whatever it is that he has grown to mean for me.
At twenty-nine, alone in a little town in the middle of the jungle, next to a river and no electricity, I delivered my first baby. It was a girl. I still have a picture taken the morning after in which I’m holding her next to her mom with a big smile on my face.
I got married. Erika. Five years went by. I got divorced. Loneliness ensued.
Teresa happened. We laughed a lot. We stopped laughing. Were friends for a while.
At thirty six I was finally through with academia and study, I decided to go into the “real world”. Had the notion of changing things for the better.
Helena came along and we got on a roller-coaster ride for better or for worse. Crash landed in Guyana. Had to find my way back.
Politicians, schemes, budgets and interest groups. Grew somewhat jaded and very cynical.
I remembered the kid who had walked into the night in search of answers, so I quit everything and decided to find other ways of living life without sacrificing so much. It’s been three years now, and so far so good.
Bought a motorcycle, began rock climbing, decided to get a blog to write things up once in a while and began rediscovering what people are about.
Ilse smiled at me. I smiled back. I have to write her name three more times, just because it’s her, “Ilse. Ilse. Ilse.”
Ilse decides to travel. I decide to stay, and in doing so make it all inconclusively over.
I think that’s about it so far.
Update: Mariel appeared. I love her. We’re making a run for it.