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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(by Levon who is listening to Casi Te Envidio)

We made three promises to our friends in Mexico.

  1. That we would become fluent in Spanish.
  2. We would continue to learn Latin Dance.
  3. We would return each winter

Last year we began in Kentucky, camping first in an Arkansas state park and secondly on Galveston Island, Texas.  At the border we crossed by bus to Reynosa, boarding again for 33 hours to Veracruz, Veracruz. There we caught another bus for 7 hours to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.  It takes five days to reach the bottom of Mexico by land, now we know.

We were afraid, cautious of our budget, and unsure whether sustaining ourselves as artists was ever going to work.  Glued to the window of a rugged Mexico, the judder of bus wheels amidst foreign foliage, concrete rebar and hand painted words scrolling until we were too tired to peer any longer.  I slept, my fragmented memory wild on a Harlem apartment floor above sidewalk shouts and blowing trash, thin walled Virginia Beach motels full of drifters and winter salt, soup kitchen lines and clapping for nice strangers, a microphone in a bar over an out of tune piano.

In my pockets were tickets to redeem for backpacks, one key to a car in Texas and another to a house in Knoxville where someone else lived.  A phone that wasn’t turned on.  Crisp plastic pesos.  A cold hand containing Ashley’s.  My muse was determined to teach me resolve, when would it teach me stage presence?

In the Jan, Feb, Mar 2010 archives, there are extensive blog entries about what we found.  The good doctor, Edwin, and the American linguist, Jessica would see to it that our time in the hills of Chiapas would leave us promising to return for a season of every year thereafter.  They will be married this February 5th and we head for a hostel in New Orleans on Sunday for day number one.

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