Do you ever speculate about how certain life experiences may have impacted others way down the road. Say your first real crush, the kind with butterflies, the kind that makes you want to masturbate for the first time when you didn’t even really know what masturbating was, is a Mexican-American boy. You’re in 5th grade. You hear his mom in the background yelling things to him in Spanish as you sit on your parents’ bed on the rotary phone so you can have some privacy.
And then you’re an baby adult and you find yourself wanting to go live where they speak Spanish, kind of inexplicably. No one around you thinks speaking Spanish is particularly cool or necessary because you’re from the midwest of the US where people are pretty white and some pretty racist. Whatever about that though, you go study in Spain a semester in college and when you get back to the US, you know you’re not done. But you’re 21 and you have no idea what to do with your life, so you graduate with your MFA in poetry a couple years later and move to Buenos Aires. Why? Just to go somewhere where they speak Spanish. Even though your Spanish is pretty shitty.
And when you run out of money because it’s actually pretty hard to get a job in another country, especially when you have no idea what the fuck you are doing, you move to Portland, Oregon, meet your best friend @kindstranger, and less than two years later, are moving with her to Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Now it’s because both of you want to live somewhere where they speak Spanish. For me it was also a chance to work on my poetry book in peace, in a quiet fishing village on the southern coast of Mexico.
After that, I never came back to the US to live. I knew I needed to stay in Mexico, like I had found it, or it had found me. Back to where I started in this story, is it possible that my first crush, Richie Casarez, who was also first kiss with tongue too, though we didn’t do it too well at age 12 after the last day of 5th grade, that that experience had brought me to where I am? Was there something driving me from the inside that I wasn’t aware of?
I’m not a psychologist, so this is purely speculation, but it seems like there could be a connection, especially considering how other experiences in childhood quietly impact you. People seem to think about it more when it involves trauma, though it seems like it could also apply to other situations. Not that it necessarily matters. My personal mythology is interesting to me and maybe people that know me, but that’s about it. To me though, as a diver into the oceans of the self, these little connections, feel like a kind of real magic.
When I was a freshman in college, I took a creative writing class and our final project was to not only turn in a portfolio of ten finished poems, but to analyze them according to meter (despite the fact that we weren’t writing in any particular meter per se) to better understand our own personal (writing) rhythms. This feels a bit similar to that exercise, looking into my personal history to see if I can find connections that answer questions about who I am.
Now back to my original speculation about how I came to live in Mexico permanently. It probably does go a bit further, because it isn’t just that I live in Mexico. I remember the moment when I started having fantasies about finding a Mexican soulmate and living happily ever after. It was after I had casually dated several guys here in Mexico, and I don’t know, that’s what happened, that’s where my brain went. Was it the Mexican Spanish that was re-registering from my childhood that was bringing back the butterflies subconsciously? Perhaps in part. The culture? Young Richie Casarez, did you have that big of an impact simply because of your role as the first person to give me real butterflies, the first person to put your tongue in my mouth and make me feel all melty? It could be.
It's impossible to know if it's true or not, but it is still interesting to speculate. Either way, I am seriously happy I ended up here, living in this beautiful country with my favorite person ever, who happens to be from here too.