We make homes in the most unlikely of places. I am never where I thought I might be, would never want to be where I thought I might be. Because time has a way of surprising me, I always come to find out my plans or ideas of how something might unfold are pale and one-sided compared to the real way it is. I never could have made this up, never could have known I’d want to be here. It’s like my neighborhood turned itself inside out. There is always a power saw somewhere in the distance, a thick fog from the ocean. Thrift stores with their sign hand painted to the stucco sell third generation quinceñiera dresses, hand mixers, and hot rollers. I roll words around in my mouth like Cuernavaca.
There are more smells than before, more tastes that burn my lips. I’m in the grocery store handling tomatillos, fingers sticky and smelling bitter. I pretend like I know what I’m looking for, in what makes a good or a ready tomatillo. I only have one recipe for them, a roasted salsa an old boyfriends older brother taught me to make one summer at the house with the pool. Recently, several people have told me, life is very long. You don’t hear that often, but it is true. Nothing stays the same forever.
Lately, I get flooded with odd memories of how it felt to be in another time and place and I cannot believe how much there is to look through already. The river in Whistler, the coffee shop in Portland, the tattoo parlor when you got the crow on your ankle and I cannot remember now all these years later why it was a crow and why I didn’t also get a tattoo.
I almost forgot what today was. It severs my adult life into two pieces. There was you, and then there was everything else that came after. Life is long.
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