Today is the big day. Last night was quite... whats the right word?... ETHEREAL, not because that's the nature of the human mind, but because it was the first time in my life in which I really try to stop time, the first time in which I realized each second we have is one more second we loose, the reason ? I was saying bye to family, friends, pretty much most of the people that became a part of me until this point in my life. My family blesses me, wishes me good luck, like other times before, but this time is so different, yet it is not the first time one of us has to do this, is exactly as different as before. One of my friends gives me a flower and tells me I should put it between the pages of a heavy book, another one gives me a hug and a bracelet, with the others we laugh about how when I come back we will party and get wasted, neither of us had ever tried alcohol.
But back to today, as I lay on my bed, just staring a the ceiling, I cry. it is 4 in the morning and I need to get ready, I get dress and as I pick up my backpack I feel how those ethereal memories become like a quicksand pit, the more I want to forget about them, the more they hold on to me, every step I take makes my feet feel as if each weights a thousand pounds. I stop, breathe and its only then when I am able to calm down and free myself from this weight. I head to the blue pick up truck which is waiting in front of my window, next to the pecan tree, from which I felt and got a bloody noose one and a half years ago.
Today I start a trip, a trip which changed my life the moment I thought of it, I have travel before, but I really didn't care about it, never really cared about traveling, never really cared.
Today, today, that's all I keep saying, because today is all I have, the past is killing me, because I have to say bye to all of that, and the future, it is like fog at night on a lonely road, even whats going to happened in the next minute seems so vague, I know it will come, I know its there, BUT I JUST CAN'T SEE PAST THIS FUCKING FOG! and then I realize not even today belongs to me, it belongs to my fears, my pain, tears and the last start of the early morning, today I am heading to Tijuana, I am on my way to crossing the border.
I sit on the passenger's seat, my friend is taking me to the airport, I forgot his name, I think it is Fernando, "so, how many years are you going to stay?" He had been to the US a couple of times before, this was not new for him, "YEARS!?, NO, I am only going for a year, tops" I answered, a cold shiver went down my body, "That's what we all say" a cocky giggle followed, I wanted to say something, even a simple no would've satisfied my urge to be different from everyone else, to stand out, but again, I could see pass the next minute in the future. "Are you going to finish school there? you would probably finish High School there", "No, I am just going there for a year", "OK", I could smell the sarcasm, that and the smell of the engine.
The conversation went on and off, he knew that all of this was overwhelming for me, just like the first time he crossed, "You are going to find a guera, and you are going to bring her with you" "hahahaha", He mentioned all of the reasons why one would do such a thing as crossing illegally to another country, I am sure he knew I was a little scare, he was just trying to help me find my reason or to reassure me I had a dream and that I should follow it, and all of this would pass, and I could build a house or buy a car, or a horse, or many goats, I agreed to many of his comments, but none of this were the reasons why I was doing this, the real reason I wanted to cross, and I didn't tell him this, was because I wanted to kill my dad, or at least to send him to the hospital, I didn't want an education, I didn't want a good car, I didn't want to work at a fast food restaurant and climb up to the management position, I wanted to destroy the dim image I had of a father. He had cheated on my mom since they got married, but in the last months, we heard he had a baby, that was it.
I got to the airport, I went into shock, I had never experience flying before, all I remember is saying bye to Fernando, walking to the ticket lady, showing her my flight info getting into the plane, and then suddenly, I was between the clouds, where the gods once lived, the place where my kite would soar, while I kept a hold on the string in jealousy, I ate peanuts and crackers, had some orange juice.
The plane had to make a stop near a beach, I don't know where but the temperature was 33 degrees, I could see the coconut trees, the waves breaking on the sand, people sunbathing, I had never felt the ocean, I wanted to ask if I could, but was scared to ask, some minutes later I was airborne again, for a bit I smiled.
Before landing at Tijuana, all I saw was dessert, everything looked dead, lifeless, depressing, not a bit of green for miles, I wondered how people could live here, on the airplane I saw a family, they looked scared, they would not let go of each others hands, had only a couple of hand bags, I was sure there were going to cross too, but I didn't dare to ask.
I found a hotel, the room looked old and I really didn't want to sleep on that bed, I saw a couple of cockroaches crawling around, took a shower and went to bed, I didn't cover myself. finally this day was over.