- Simplicio Villarreal
Updated: Apr 11, 2022
Do people feel the world in the same way I do?
I think about this as I look at the woman who is sitting in front of me reading and sending emails, immersed in what she is doing. She, her computer. As she reads and thinks of the contents of all those paragraphs, could it be that she is also thinking of who she was when her hands were busy with crayons or bubbles in a bath? Or is it only me who sees interposed with all these happenings, images of my life when I was an infant, when I used to wait for my mother to finish her work at the waiting room of her clinic, when I had only a few rolls of tape that I used as wheels that would roll until they hit the wall in a fierce competition of which would bounce the farthest. The tick tack of the time on the wall, always going in long, slow and steady strides.
I was still wearing the early years of my childhood not knowing that more than twenty years from then I would still be thinking of those brown tiles and rounded windows, of the heavy desks and metal drawers that contained the information of people who mostly unwillingly and almost fearfully had to to pass through those doors to see why their arms were suddenly red, or what was that black little dot that wasn’t there just a few days ago. I didn’t really knew why all those people had to go to see my mother, why were those couches always full while the ones at home remained empty. I didn’t know then anything about a city named Calgary, or a country called Canada, when the world wasn’t as big as it is today and I could only fit a few names in my mouth, could only see a few roads in my eyes, and if we needed lemons to give more flavour to the vegetable soup we needed only to open a metal door and head to the patio where the tree had shed its lemons and splashed the floors with a yellow that meant nothing then, but now, as the expresso machine finish a brew and the two bald men talk about a construction site, I can only focus on the green leafs of my past bending down heavy with flavour ready for the dishes set on the table form times when the word was a garden full of orange blossoms, parrots on cages, meat being marinated with cumin and a few organs of a sheep hanging of the branches of a tree after having chased it on the open fields in a broken white jeep where my body bounced inside its door-less skeleton. And there I was, thinking that that was it, not knowing how vast it could expand, as frightening as the thought of walking to mars blindfolded, that is how the present feels now, an open universe of only starts shining far in the past. And the buzzing of my manager telling me how my life looks like for the next few weeks reminding me that I am sitting in a table sitting next to a woman who is sending an email to someone or something so far removed from my reality
Where is the off button for the reel of a movie I left behind, and why am I thinking of this now? How strange it feels to know that I was another person, I feel hopeless at the though of not knowing how to apologize to my past, to the child that I no longer am. Now I also have to wave goodbye to parts of the last seven years of my life, staring from the first time her mouth said “tu as de la magie dans les yeux” and naively I believed in that magic that I kept safe in a place for latter, but now I have lost the keys and the memory of where I left it. Years go by and I’m still looking for that magic in some ray of sun reflecting off a window or in the swaying shadows of a tree at sunset. And are the branch the ones moving or is it the wind showing itself by the effect it has on the trees? I think of all these things while I also play back memories of coffee shops in the morning, music video shoots going past midnight, as I have to cope again with letting go, and the things I’m supposed to let go off are stronger that the ones that keep me together. And every-time I am walking down a path towards the sound of a guitar in the early morning a butterfly dazzles me with a slow motion dance that turns my head to somewhere other, and there I see a creek or a water fall, and the roads seem wide open, except, when I turn back to look for the one that was leading to music, I find it filled with tall grass swaying as if trying to make a wall, and I can’t seem to find a tool to brake it open because here my manager pulls the strings of where should it be that my life will go. A manager, manager, manager, manager… What is the significance of one having someone to be managed by, and how to accept it without risking to loose an evening of preparing salad while drinking wine and pushing aside the banging of a voice telling me nothing of that is real.
The woman is still typing her answer back, more people have come looking for coffee, and outside the early sun shines trough the pines that are tuning the windows into flickering images of the hand of my mother washing her clothes on a Sunday night, wrinkled form all the lives that have been saved by them, and in the distance Cat Steves sings something abut a train that I must have missed. And in the window I can also see the face of my nephew only a few minutes old, purple and still carrying the insides of her mother in his skin, I see people gazing at this miracle as they go back to feel they are a family. And now I’m thinking of how years before that little creature, his grandparents used to bring me cake and food for my birthdays in kindergarten, and then I see me doing the same with this new life. I see the people who have given meaning to every step I have taken up till now, as I sit in this chair waving them good bye, contemplating all the distance I have placed between me and the love I was given.
How do people do it? How does one take steps without seeing fragments of their past in every window? How can they so easily contain these tears that now run down my face as I feel the weakness of not having yet found a path, as I stretch my hand only to feel it empty, reaching out to see if the tall grass gives in, if I can find in there something real and not only glimpses of what can only exist inside. I don’t have the strength to put back together these crumbs that used to be a marzipan.