Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Split Self

Life in two worlds
           Daily moods can interpret the dual life into two extremes. You may find me telling myself how lucky I am, how exotic and different and cultural, and what an opportunity of adventure that has escaped the boredom of monotony. The other hand holds the darkness of the insecurities, the failures that lie within the instability, the loss of control in decision of my own… Regardless, I am Sybil, the multi-personality deemed multi-cultured woman that happened this way from abuse of my freedoms, in spite of my freedoms, to split my entire life into two separate facets, in order to preserve thy self.
            Explaining my life is the difficulty, unless the specific questions are asked. For example, when I am in American I eat American food and when I am in Mexico, almost everything is accompanied with a warm tortilla and salsa. In it this subject can be detailed to the exacts of how the food is gathered, cooked and served or enjoyed – how much time it takes to prepare and what time of the day do meals take place. There are remarkably many differences in all aspects of food and how it is consumed between the two countries, but they both provide the same basic results of sustaining life. You eat and then digest.
             How I feel when I am in the States presently cannot be compared with my life when I was the cultural virgin, for that cherry is gone, along with the entire orchard. Life in the States has now been somewhat reduced, vacuum packed and freezer dried to be given longevity for future use. On the future visa-awarded holiday planned, that life will be thawed, heated, and prepared appropriately, releasing its aroma just as fresh as the day that it was stored… in theory. For now I sit on the internet with internet nets, pretending that I am living in this suspended state of self preservation.
              A bird in a cage at the window, watching life happen without me, afraid to go outside because I am in the town of los gatos and they are ready. Would Picasso find the ability to capture this hell? Who lives like this? Surely I know no one but us, and yet we are expected to carry on our normative societal standards of the community without interruption or alarm, because it hurts their ears to hear it… our fears. Few can understand what it is like to be stalked like prey, to have to run and hide and occasionally stand and fight... while raising children. As imagination can muster, the bravest warrior too becomes tired eventually from the constant flow of adrenalin and one day will expect an end to the battle. That end for me is resolution with immigration and is what webs the entirety of all the time warps into one drink of mixed poisons. When Ricardo is able to live in the USA, we can move away from my stalker ex husband, how much more clearly can that be stated.
               When I am in the States I dream fondly of Mexico… wanting to smell the sweet smells and the cry of sales and blows and whistles outside. I wish to hear the music and the people talking that I barely understand and find it easy to not try to. I find my mind living in Mexico in certain memories often, while in waiting deployment from the States. Maybe it was a drive up the mountain on our way to the park and I can replay it over and over in my head watching my husband’s confident smile from the passenger seat as he drives the children and I on our way to one of the greatest family adventures for the day, the kids laughing in the back of the van, the music on the radio, the windows down and the culture blowing in from the streets… I relive scenes of our life, of our time together, over and over and sometimes I feel as though I am actually there and not here. My mind can dwell for days in my home in Mexico, organizing my home décor, washing my clothes and folding Ricardo’s shirts and pants. I remember the broom, the mop, and the sink, and the smell of the soap and chloro in the buckets as I remove the polvo from our home, while preparing the meal that we will share that evening. Ricardo goes to work early and I kiss him with an I love you as I lock the door behind him and open that door when he knocks in the early afternoon. He bursts in like sunshine with a huge smile and arms out for the kids to jump in, every day. He hands me something, if it be roses or sunflowers, or a bag of sugar-cane, or warm tortillas… I am there with him in my mind, living in those memories. Every day that I am in the USA, I am in Mexico with my husband in my surroundings of my decorated home, living as it should be as a couple in love, equipped with the Snow-White song, and blue birds flying and squirrels jumping to partake in the fantasy.
          The door to the bird cage is left open next to the window, and instead of being devoured by the cats; I book a flight to Mexico. Naturally my whole self is engulfed with hormones of excitement to be soon reunited with him, my love, my prince of charmings, my husband and mate for the remaining days of our lives… the right arm returned, the parent to share in the accomplished growth in the shared perception of pride of the children. Off to Mexico we go as we pack our suitcases full of hopes of the best memory investments yet to come and all of the sudden I feel right again. The flow of blood returns to the corpse and would be the best time to ask me if I will organize your garage, basement and attic in just a couple days time as if I could harness the energy I could give electricity to a city. I am living again! I will soon be retuned to beautiful and undress from the costume that I wear while in the USA posing as the tired beat down woman in the robe with sunken eyes and greying hair in a bun – and metamorphism replaces her with the real me, the energetic, sexy, life loving me, the me that is supposed to be.
           AND then I have to say good-bye to my kids when I straddle the border and guilt finds itself another wrinkle to reside in. Although the anticipation does not fade, the responsibility and pressures grow, not overshadowing my need to be with my husband, but flexing my maternal instincts to repair the split life, condition and trim the ends – strive for a visa and hope for a home and a new beginning with a strong direction into contentment… in other words, to be normal.
           Mexico life is something that I have mastered, assimilated, culturally adjusted to... I cross the border and I exhale. Expectations have become normative standards; it becomes life and not a concept or postcard… with appreciation for more than the image. Never assuming that I am a Mexican, but holding my own self and where I come from with pride, I am the American in a strange land, with rosy colored shades. That comfort did not come without scars, without bumps and bruises, without a question to my ability to accept diversity in human existence. Left in the past like the innocence of youth are the emotional closures of loosing my own perfected customs of lifestyle. I am no longer a star status American in our town, but just another face that people recognize and are able to greet with questions about my personal life updates, and not to bother charging me more than they should at the stores and street vendors.
            Every minute is magnified in its appreciation when you know that there is not much time, and that is how we live now when we are in Mexico as opposed to before when it was assimilation. We are timed like mice in a maze, an experiment by the mad, to how well our hearts can uphold our sanity and our endurance for our marriage and parenthood. It is a sick experiment that surely the results go unrecognized. Conditioner is applied and the split becomes bearable… Ricardo grabs up my hand while we are walking down the sidewalk and in comparison, my own strong hand is dominated by yet a stronger hand, that of my husband…
            I love my days, my minutes, and my moments when I am with him in his country. I am beautiful in the mirror and in my being. Smiles and laughter and excitement rein the children and the television is suddenly not a staple in the day. We pile into the minivan and go – wherever, it never matters, because we are together, laughing and feeling life in our bodies. There is happiness in our marital bliss and our romantic passionate quarrels, we talk without talking, and we feel without touching, we know that we are a combined pair at those moments… not the solo sock that looks great but is useless without the other.
          Of course though, without a doubt, my children who are waiting in America for our return are in my mind all day, bumping off of my other thoughts that are circling around in my head, causing contradiction with the happiness because we are so far apart. Never has there been an ease in that, never a day that goes by without it, always the broken chain that could be really awesome if repaired.
          And then we have to say good-bye to Mexico and go back to the USA. Our residential timeline is a rollercoaster… we are living the life of split cultures, two residences, two homes, two places that are completely different in nature and attributes that are within the same life – Sybil, the dual-multi-split and then only to repress what is normal.

Thank you government bodies for the opportunity to be a phenomenon, it’s hot.

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