Hot hands

I just watched Bedazzled while doing a quick soak of some beans for something or other. I didn’t really have a plan and I don’t have too many groceries around but I’ve had these beans sitting on the shelf for a while so I thought I might as well cook them up and see how I might use them. I was kind of tired and drained and probably wasn’t paying attention to all the details but it was a really good movie and the way it ended with that Sister Hazel song almost made me cry.

I wrote to Alejandro (Rosalba pronounced his name in the Italian way, Alessandro, so I started writing it that way, but on What’sApp he writes it as Alejandro) that his friends told me that the guy in this scene reminds them of me and his response was: “jajajjajajaa igualito.” At the moment he sent me that message I could hear some people laughing out towards the street and it sounded like it might have been Sarah. If it was Sarah Alejeandro was likely with her so there is a good chance he actually laughed out loud.

In the movie I’m not 100% sure I get why he asks this girl if she has a sister but I think maybe it’s because she reminds him of the devil? I don’t know if we’re supposed to pick up on that and I don’t know what clues we are supposed to pick up on that would make it clearer why he is asking this question. When it’s implied in a movie that two characters look alike in some way but that isn’t made explicit and the humour kind of relies on us seeing it for ourselves I think I am pretty oblivious: people look alike to me when they’re not supposed to, and people look different when they are supposed to look the same. I can see the same person in different clothes and think they are different people. Are we supposed to know what Elliot means when he asks that question? I hope so because it adds a really awesome kind of unexpected humour to the movie and especially with that Sister Hazel song coming up it’s kind of heart-melting somehow especially as it adds so much significance to the way the devil kisses him when she meets him. (I am trying to say these things without giving anything away: I love talking about movies but it’s hard to figure out how to talk about them without ruining them for people who haven’t seen them!)

For lunch I went back to Sana Vegana and had another amazingly delicious cheeseburger, and I asked for hot sauce, with it too, which made it even better, and I told them that really I have never in all the world had a burger as good as theirs. They brought me a delicious choco-banana ice cream on the house. Someone was selling fruits and vegetables there and I ended up buying some chiles and asparagus. After the movie I cut up a little bit of pepper and sauteed the asparagus with some potatoes and then when the beans were done cooking I threw some of them onto the pan and I put all of this into tortillas with some rice. It was pretty good though I realized I do not really have containers for storing things but I’m probably good just throwing the pot and colander in the fridge.

Right now I have this idea to play with screenwriting and with learning Spanish at the same time, kind of as the same project, learning Spanish through playing with scripts and learning to write scripts by playing with Spanish. Somehow it feels totally natural to do that and I think I want to try it: see what happens when Spanish is my working language for developing a concept for a screenplay. I think it will be really fun. I think there is a period where you are at a certain stage of learning a language where everything is still new to you in a way but you are getting better at communicating more and more of what you might want to say and I was thinking that could be a lost opportunity if I end up getting fluent without doing anything with the state of my Spanish right now. It’s a stage where you can still say all sorts of weird and silly things without being immediately aware that that is not how you speak Spanish and that means that you are capable of writing dialogue in a way you may never, ever be able to write it again in your life, once you get to a certain stage of fluency.

So I want to take advantage of it and capture the sorts of funny things I may be able to write now that at a certain point I may never be able to write again. There is a certain beginner’s mind that you can cultivate when you are at a certain stage in learning a language. Being in beginner’s mind with something so basic to expression as language itself can be hard to do when you are really fluent in a language or a native speaker but when you are learning another language and are still in the process of learning but have reached a point where you have some capacity to express there’s a certain kind of beginner’s mind that you can enter into that feels so helpful as far as creative process. Using a language you don’t know that well as a way of sparking creativity and rolling out creative output sounds like a really good idea to me. In some ways not knowing a language that well can be a strength rather than a liability if you leverage it in the right way and I think playing with screenwriting in Spanish is a great way to leverage my beginner’s mind as far as both Spanish and screenwriting. Right now I feel like I will write ideas in Spanish every day, come up with ideas for stories in Spanish, write dialogue in Spanish, and I don’t know if I will intend to turn it into a complete script, but at least I think that what comes out of me when I think about screenwriting in Spanish will benefit both my screenwriting and my Spanish.

The last couple days I have been thinking about the end of my time here in Ensenada. I think I’m about ready to leave, at least for a little while, to regroup or something, rest in a different sort of way, and then I definitely want to come back to Mexico before too long, but I am tired in a certain way and I think if I leave la patria for just a wee bit I will actually end up studying Spanish even more intensely than I am now. I’m tired. I went to Guatemala a few months ago right out of a really bad situation and I haven’t really had any time to rest, to gather myself, and I kind of miss certain things that are familiar, like a sense of family, and having friends around, and I think I want to go back to the US for a little while and stay in a familiar place and hopefully get a little grounded so I can come back to Mexico from a more grounded place which will make it so much more fun.

Right now I think my uncle in Las Vegas is the only one in my whole family that still gives me that comforting sense of family. I don’t even want to think about my aunt in California these days; I don’t trust her not to have shared what I asked her to keep confidential. I think she ignored my emails and pretended not to have gotten them. She offered me nothing at all helpful when I tried to express to her that a whole lot of dysfunction and abuse was going on and that is not okay with me. There was never an issue between us before but now there is this and it’s just not okay with me. Telling me to stay in my room and let it blow over and trying to talk me *out* of leaving the house where I say I am experiencing abuse just is not what I would have expected of her and I’m disappointed but I don’t know now if there will ever be a way to clear any of this up in any way at all.

I think she sees me as having certain problems and I don’t know how she evaluates me but I don’t think her knowing that I was going through depression helps me at all as far as sharing things that might lead her to suspect I was losing my mind. She wouldn’t say anything to me, she’ll be perfectly polite and friendly, but she has this nurse thing going on where she will act really sweet and like she’s listening to you but maybe really she’s just paying lip service and forming her own private evaluations about you. It’s not malicious. I saw her doing the same thing to her father and it wasn’t meant as being mean, it’s just her nurse stuff, but it’s like this sweetness that, when you’re really sensitive, starts to sound kind of condescending. Not intentionally but there is a subtle sense that she sees herself on a different level in some way and again I think so much of that is being a nurse and… well, when I share really important vulnerable things with her like I did, it’s clear to me now that I can’t count on her giving me a straight answer.

The last time she visited I had a really good time and we would comment on what was going on on MSNBC and it was really fun. She said some really nice things about me when she left, I don’t remember what, but I feel like we connected around politics and she saw more of who I was and then I thought I could trust her with more, but apparently not. There is this memory I have of the time she visited. I don’t remember the details. I remember her purse or wallet on the table. I said something about wanting to go out and buy something, or something like that, and then she made this very quick comment to me, which felt really strange and like she possibly meant something other than what she was actually saying. It was very to-the-point and out of absolutely nowhere she put up this boundary: “You’re not touching my credit card” or “you’re not going anywhere near my credit card,” or something like that. I am not really sure how it made me feel but it was bizarre and I had this strange feeling like it was coded language and maybe I was meant to pick up something deeper than what she was saying, because why would she tell me I wasn’t getting at her credit card out of nowhere like that? I had never asked for money from her in my whole life and really I can’t remember having ever asked her for anything at all and suddenly I am only making a passing comment to go out and get pizza or whatever and she has this one quick comment like, “You’re NOT touching my credit card.” I almost remember it with a motion of her grabbing her purse or wallet as she said it. What?

There is no other context for it, really: as far as all the other things I have ever talked to her about that comment is totally out of context and never made any sense. I had this strange sense, whether it was an intuition or not, that her words were meant to communicate one thing to me and another thing to my mother. At the time, I felt like she saw me as a capable person, and I thought maybe she was make a comment to me in the only way I might notice without being too direct in front of my mother, that, while my mother does not trust that I know what to do with money, she actually thought better of me, and I felt like maybe she was communicating to me that she believed in me in a certain way, while at the same time saying what my mother would expect to hear. Like, maybe it was a way of making a comment to me around… money and boundaries and how skill with money has a lot to do with boundaries. I don’t know. I couldn’t take in that she might actually think I would want to take her money so maybe I just came up with other reasons she might have said that, reasons that wouldn’t feel so bad.

In any case I felt like it was meant to get my attention in some way and I did not want to take that as a negative thing but after it turns out she kind of… does not see me as a capable person… does not see me as someone who has a right to live outside of an abusive situation, or does not take seriously my opening up about abuse, or… whatever… and probably does not keep confidentiality when I ask her to… it feels more likely that this comment came out of her not really thinking a whole lot of me, in some ways, and that hurts. Anyway, there is so much unresolved now and though visiting her in California and her visits to Massachusetts always felt like times of being with family in a way that was special because it didn’t happen very often and when she was around conversations just got so much more interesting… I don’t think I am going to feel that way anymore. So really my uncle in Las Vegas is the only one I have left who gives me even a little bit of this sense of family that… I can’t get a bit of anywhere else anymore…

And it’s been good to be in Latin America but you can’t say I had any chance to prepare for it at all before I came, I was just kind of thrown into it, and… now I’m tired. I just want to be around something familiar for a little while, something safe, to kind of rest and regroup, and I’m sure with a bit more of a foundation from the start being in Latin America next time (hopefully before too long at all) will open me up to so many opportunities that I haven’t had and… it will be good. I miss it already and I want to leave so that I can sort of find a way to ground myself so that I can come back, if that makes sense.

I’ve been thinking I might leave for Las Vegas a few days early. A couple days ago I started thinking of it like, I have two more weeks here. I’ll stay another week but when I think about staying two more weeks I feel restless. I can commit to staying another week and then next weekend I will start thinking about packing and departing. Probably I will leave at some point during that week. I want to help prepare the cabaña for the next guests. I don’t want to leave all that to the last minute. But I think once I start cleaning and packing I will want to just do it all at once and once I’m packed I don’t think I’ll want to stick around just waiting for my time here to be up. I think I’ll want to get on the road.

I would like to Parque Nacional San Pedro Mártir, a place that someone was telling me about at the party the other night, which I think might actually be where Alejandro’s father works. Jorge-Emilio told me that is a life-changing experience and the view of the stars is incredible and I want to go, it would be a great opportunity to camp, but I’m so… tired… it’s apparently a three hour drive but it’s so remote that Google Maps won’t even give me directions. It’s just way out in the middle of nowhere in Baja. I am excited to go, I’m excited about a lot of things. I want to go with a friend. Tears just came to my eyes as I was listening to Sister Hazel’s Change Your Mind, which is going through my mind as I finish up this entry.

“Hey, hey, did you ever think there might be another way
To just feel better, just feel better about today.
Oh no, if you never wanna have to turn and go away
You might feel better, might feel better, if you stay.”

I don’t want to have to turn and go away, the idea of that brought tears to my eyes, but I need to rest and regroup and… reconnect. This place in New York where I used to go comes to mind. I *knew* they didn’t hear a word I said. I just knew it. I bet on it, and I couldn’t have been more right! Now I’m wondering who’s gonna pay out? I’ve got hot hands apparently and I’m feeling like something unexpected and good just might come out of waking up in Vegas after all…

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