Thursday, May 26

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My new friend Daniel has gifted me with a pearl of wisdom that should be cloned often. He tells me that his grandfather approached the slanted glass where magnificent cuts of meat were lined up and asked, “What do you want?” the butcher snapped at him, the good man replied: “Come back.” The invaluable intelligence of yesteryear, of the years bruised by the fields and the roads, intertwined with the intuitive greatness of knowledge in the buds, just as my grandfather Pedro Félix was capable of instilling a grace that exuded respect, seriousness and genius with just buttoning your shirt collars without the need for a tie.

I write these lines when I return to Mexico for the first time since the last FIL in Guadalajara in person, eighteen months that mean the exact weight of the word Return: I do not return the same one who left and I suppose I will not return to the same place. Shadows have accumulated for me and I bring flowers to the new graves of my brother Paco and so many other souls who vanished with the plague and I suppose I find closed not a few places where I roamed and also new unknown spaces. A perhaps improved form returns for those who try to write out of the desire to try to read unpublished paragraphs or renewed by an unexpected Hope with a capital letter and I will see again the footprint of a jacaranda that has not melted with the rains or the cough caused by purple bougainvillea that hung on the edge of a window where I got to sleep.

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I return with two or three new books under my arm, fresh from the oven of their printing presses with the desire to present themselves in the hands of the readers who are waiting for me and my mother is waiting for me, already out of the pages of a novel that I wrote for her. For the same reason, I will go to my father’s grave to promise him the novel that I owe him and I dream of the ungraspable possibility that I will see my children as children, where not a year or moving has passed them, swinging in a park for the direction of Coyoacán and if you hurry me, I dream of seeing the very thin silhouette of myself yesterday, when everything seemed like butter and the earthquakes that have not healed or the lungs that were left without oxygen in the unpredictable pandemic of the perdition.

I return to my place, to the potholes in almost every street, the smiles with a single tooth framed in gold and the delirious route minibus: I return to the hugs with the friends that I miss every day and the books that can only be found in the shade of the Tzompantli and the murals that seem to come to life, just like the graffiti under the bridges and the days of all climates, the downpours of acid rain, the street that is still intact, the insult of an unforgivable architecture and the jubilation of the stray dogs. I return to my old ways where I lost my serenity now wrapped in a sobriety where I appreciate how close I was to falling into an abyss in Iztapalapa and the labyrinth of Tepito where I narrated aloud a hoarse with tattooed bones on the fingers of the hand and the streets with ridges and the basket tacos and the tamale cake and the face of carnal and the sheets of Italian-style notebooks and the engargolado girls and the anonymous statues and the square that opens at the foot of the house of a Poet with a capital letter , near the endless avenue and the stations of all memories and the incredible landscape of snow-capped volcanoes in such a hot land and the amplified microphones of amnesia and the string of lies and the revelry of functional ignorance and the new names of corruption and the piped rivers, the stuffed lakes, the orange snake so weak when it comes out of the ancestral entrails and the holy smell of the bakeries and the skirt to the bone in times of the mi crominiskirt when it is no longer worth compliment and the eyes of a lottery seller with whom I shared a refund one day and the tables where trios or the harp with jaraneros roam or the palettes that confirm that I return to eat all the colors and smell the aroma of the biography that I have tattooed and the names of all the affections and the directions through which I have never lost to be able to murmur closer to a silence that in reality one returns because it never leaves completely.

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