Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ignore the Date Stamp; This Ain't No Prank.

Knowing what a crazy idealist I am, you might be able to guess the mixture of feelings the following fact engenders:

"Hubster and I have purchased tickets for a trip to Argentina for Fall 2007."

Let's wade into my stream of consciousness, shall we?

Yay we're finally going but crap we're finally going I mean it could be fantastic but what if our luggage gets lost and what if we get stuck in Chubut and what if we get robbed in Buenos Aires but won't it be fantastic for Hubster to finally meet my family but maybe he'll be nervous and they think he's a silent, serial-killer type and then they kick us out of their house where would we stay but maybe that would force is to interact even more with the culture and then we could experience the country as natives rather than uptight American suburbanites oh man we're freakin' GOING.

AHEM. Sorry. I let my crazy hang out there for a second. The closer I've gotten to this trip the more I realize just how many expectations I've heaped on this bad boy. I look at it as a touristy thing for certain parts (hello, BA!), but it's also a journey back in time since I hope to recover memories of places and people that are off the beaten path. I'll be reconnecting not only with family but friends with whom I don't really keep up. I'll see Chubut for the first time in 18 years. I'm going to see my cousin as a preteen whom I remember only as a four-year-old. My young life will be rocked by this trip, and I know I can't begin to understand how it'll change me. That is, if it doesn't all feel too normal. I'm actually afraid of this turning into just another trip. I want some revelation. I want the earth to a shake a bit. Why?

I couldn't tell ya. But I will tell you a little story to illustrate what I mean. I used to have this dream when I was young. I'm looking at a building and it's beautiful, built like a square mansion with Bavarian lines. I know I've been there before, and I think it's in Argentina, but it looks so out of place with their typical Spanish/Italian/French architecture. I keep staring because of its location - halfway down a dock that stretches from the shore into a vast body of water. Whenever I thought about it in waking life, I couldn't believe it was real. I had a sense that I'd been there before, but feelings are foolers, right? I decided it one of those crazy mashups that your brain makes when your consciousness isn't minding the store. If it were real, I figured it was in Bariloche because of the architectural style and the nearby lake. But then, at age 17, turning a corner on a bus ride from Buenos Aires to Córdoba, I saw my dream passing by my window.

I had tried to explain my dream to my parents once, but it didn't ring any bells until I hissed excitedly at my mother and asked her if I'd ever been there, right there, can't you see that building? Yes, she said. We'd shared a special dinner with family there (it's got a restaurant) and my grandparents kept asking me where the boats were so I would say "wada" over and over with my little-girl diction. It was real, substantial, a part of my life. Of the millions of memories I'd lost in the blur of my brain's longterm storage, I finally had one back. You can't buy that kind of elation (at least legally - heh).

It seems so trivial when I read over it. I guess when you've moved around so much, you really celebrate those little triumphs over impermanence. I've put a memory with an image in mind - I know that I once had dinner at the Club de Pescadores in Buenos Aires. Hardly the stuff of major life shake-ups, but I still feel more grounded knowing than not. I just hope I haven't hyped this so much that reality disappoints. I've got six months to realize it's happening and prepare for it. That's long enough to develop a more even keel, right?


Mair said...

yay! yay! yay! I'm so happy for your trip. That picture is kind of eerie. Is that really the place you are talking about?

E.A.P said...

Yeah, the coloring is amped up certainly, but that's the place. I found the picture on Wikipedia.