Monday, April 27, 2009
My family, on my father’s side came to this country from France. They quickly settled in central Mexico and became a well to do family in the small town of Zinapecuaro. After the war with France (Yes, Mexico had a war with France, it’s were the Cinco de Mayo celebration comes from), given that French weren’t highly regarded during that time, my family adopted the Flores last name.
Having white skin in Mexico was a guarantee of position and status. The dividing line of color and features made it easy to distinguish who was who. Although this presents the easy option to forgo any moral or conscious stance, when you’re on the European side, it certainly does not remove the tragic nature of the conquest. Nor does it remove the obvious subjugation of a culture and a people to the forced semblance of integration which really meant you were the one saddling my horse and shoveling the shit. My Grandfather who was raised by Indians, the caretakers, the dark skinned, felt the growing urge to even out the incongruous rules that made it ok for you to clean up after me, but not to eat at my table with me.
This was the beginning of the wonderful divide that is my family, my heritage, my unraveling. I shouldn't’t have much to worry about, cuz between you and me, the dice were rolled, and I came out whiter than my brother, whiter than most in my family. But the crux of the matter, for me, is my heart. My heart has been seasoned by the dusty streets. Mis tacos de perro. The earth drawn heart that is open, pulses, and drips slowly in the delicious agony of its sensitivity. The biggest subversion of the human spirit is not its divisiveness, but rather, its inclusiveness. The rebellion of the Indian was not to fight back, after all, it was a doomed effort. The Aztecs themselves, just one of the many conquered nations, had foreseen their collapse and had predicted it to the day. The Indian and the European were destined to meet. It had been seen as an unmistakable marker in the future of the Aztecs. The seers had long ago known of the calamitous days that would lead up to the arrival of the bearded men. Quetzalcoatl was returning; The feathered serpent that represents the unification of Heaven and Earth and which is emblazoned in the Mexican flag was coming back on this day to bring and end to the days that once were.
The signs were all around us as they led up to the portentous day when the bearded ones arrived. The comet that hovered over the city of Tenochtitlan which lit up the sky with its surreal glow for hours on end, immobile. The deformed human being, that wandered about the outskirts of Tenochtitlan, showing his dog like face and bulbous deformities in a gleeful dance of revenge. The knowledge, with the accuracy of the stars, that on Good Friday of 1519 Quetzalcoatl would return from exile to stake his claim to his land and his people. On that day, the Aztec sentries saw the massive sights of the Spanish galleons and the armored soldiers as they landed on the sandy beaches of Veracruz. There were negotiations and battles; Manipulations and coups. It was all part of the inevitable events of the “conquest.”
The true coup was not in the subjugation of the people or the destruction of a culture by some marauding Spaniards who were hungry for gold. It has been told time and again: The story of the conquest as a collision between contending cultures, worlds, philosophies. In this version, the two worlds are represented by the misunderstood enigmas that were Cuautemoc and Cortez. I offer you a different version of past events: The true coup was in the planting of the seed of the Indian heart within the souls of this new way that is our modern world. My Grandfather would always say “I have the heart of an Indian.” This was no lie. The Heart of an Indian is that incisive part of us that does not use words but enjoys silence. It is the part that removes its shoes to walk in the dirt. The part that does not run for cover when it rains. The Heart of the Indian is the heart of the Earth. The pulsating certainty that comes when I feel the Wind God stroking my face, letting me know just how I’m doing and what’s in store for me next. Anyone who understands sacrifice and loss will know exactly what I mean. The Sun still rises for us, We are still here.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Here we have the Dreamer (Kurosowa himself), dreaming of a visit to a Museum. Van Gogh's work is on display. The mirrors begin to reflect upon each other and the events that transpire truly elucidate that ineffable quality of the Artists Passion.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Here’s where I am.
Here’s where I stand.
I thought you should know.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I had a suggestion. And I was thinking about it, when we were at the club. You see how couples, over time, have tendency to get stale. So you try to find things that liven up your relationship. And in that process you come up with this pattern of behaviour that repeats and becomes stale regardless.
How do you keep it fresh?
In the case of married friends that want to do "couple stuff". They're wanting to keep their lives interesting so their idea of this if going ice skating. maybe a round of miniature golf. "Let's go bowling"
Let's not negate the value of a good round of put put. Everything can be fun. But I think the critical point occurs when you bring your "home" attitude to the club, to the bar, to the restaurant. Even though you may be in a different background, the people, the character, and the thrust doesn't change. The moment remains the same.
Frankly, that's boring.
I kind of made a joke to you last night when I said: "Do you want, the remote, a blanket, and some ice cream" when you sat down on the couch at the club. Because I found myself not knowing how to behave. What I was thinking was: You've got to take the opportunity to take advantage of being in a different scenario. You use that to allow yourself to behave in different ways.
Become somebody else!
Like that girl with the hair. I'm suspect that that's not how she walks around all day. right?! and yet when you're in this other Universe you allow yourself to be transformed and to behave in a manner which is maybe refreshing and unexpected. But you have to let that happen!
I think I said this to you on my Birthday: "How would you act if we were on a date?" "How would you act if you didn't know me?"
"How would you have fun with me?"
That's what you have to bring to these moments. You attack this moment in a totally new way, in a fresh way. You allow yourself the chance to giggle, to be goofy, to be somebody else, anybody else.
You know?! Let it happen. Let it take you. And I think if you do that then you get somewhere, then you have a good time, then you discover new parts about yourself. Like when we were dancing and that song came on and you were lifting your hands like: "Hallelujah!"
You let yourself get carried by these moments and you find that you unravel other parts of yourself and your sharing these new parts with your partner. Doesn't that make sense? As opposed to going to the club and talking about Laundry or Work or Bills.
The way it works is that in the old days, when you would have a ritual with music and dancing and it would last all night. The point of that ritual was that transformation. In those moments the spirit or the holy ghost or whatever you want to call it, took you over and you WOULD become somebody else. That's why people would wear masks. They would go through the chanting and the music and the rhythms. That process of tranceformation was refreshing, it was life changing. You would Learn from yourself. The spirit would come down and speak through you and you would have Revelations.
But that ain't gonna happen unless you allow yourself to become a vessel for this new thing. Whatever it may be. All you have to do is want it. That's it. Want it, be open to it, let it happen.
Get on the fucken ride, you know?!
Compare that to those chicks that were...they weren't dancing. They were just going through the motions of something they're already used to. that's why when they went upstairs, from the hip-hop club to the upstairs club, they didn't know how to behave. Because everything they were doing downstairs was a series of patterns and fronts that they developed over time.
It was an act.
As opposed to somebody else, who, is groovin, is thumping around and the spirit moves them. If they want to get down they get down and if they want to get up they get up an if they want to raise their hands they raise them. Its something that happens from inside or outside of them, from some other place.
It's not conscious. It's unrehearsed.
That's when your drinking from the nectar of the Gods
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Yes, its the place that was diagonally across for the cemitas restaurant. I went by there in December but it looked closed. Had a big "for sale" sign in the front. Lot's of CRAZY stuff happened there. I'll put up more "El Tropico NightClub" adventures later.
Like when the ghosts would pull my hair at night...
Thanks for reading!!!
The message I recieved follows:
this place use to be close to "cemitas", huh? I remember you telling me about this place."
Friday, April 3, 2009
A pilgrimage in reverse, we took a road trip from Chicago over to New York (during a ridiculously sticky heatwave), down to DC, (where, ironically enough, we stood on the outside of the Masonic Temple and its awesome architecture and where I wondered: Who the heck goes through these doors?!) past Texas, with a pit stop in Mexico City. We went all the way down to Cancun, (hey, I never said my pilgrimage was going to be ascetic and, dare I say it, celibate) some buds and I, in a 2 door dodge shadow. There, we partied and drank ourselves broke. We all had to be gainfully employed. And I took the first job I could find. which was as a...
...wait for it...
...wait for it...
... a busboy.
Getting paid in pesos does something to renew your faith in the American way, and in the fact that you have papers. I think I’m the first Mexican to cross INTO Mexico to be busboy. My first night as a busboy in Cancun had me running up and down the Dady Rock Restaurant. As my first hazing a waiter asked me to grab a small bowl of sauce for him, which had been dutifully placed on the service counter by one of the head chefs. They all smiled and waited for me to grab the scalding hot bowl. I winced and dropped the bowl. Everyone was back working, as if nothing had happened, and the waiter gave me an order to go clear such and such table and to make sure the ice cubes were still cold.
When the night was over the head waiter pulled off to the side, gave me the glorious sum of the equivalent of approximately 5 Dollars and sent me on my way, telling me me I needed to "hustle" more.
The next day I called an old flame back in Chicago. I confessed to her the error of my ways and asked her to send 300 bucks (U.S.) to get me out of this crap. She new I was feeding her bull, but she sent me the cash anyway (Thanks Gris!). We headed to L.A. next.