06 September 2008

Miss me?

So I´m writing this from Peru, where I crashed the VIP lounge at Lima´s international airport.

Let me tell you, no one crashes a VIP lounge like Sable Crow.  One of my new besties, Florence, was flying fancy-class back to NYC and she had a pass, so we just pretended like we BOTH had passes and now I´m eating chocolates and drinking free water like the rich kids do.

I feel a bit like an interloper, and spent the first five minutes on the computer determining just how much a membership pass would cost if I was confronted and escorted out by Peruvian armed guards.

It reminds me of the first time I went to Emporio Armani.  I was in high school, and I´d gone with a couple of my girl-friends to San Francisco for the day and I convinced them to go into this store I´d read about in GQ.  We walked into the EA on Market (a former bank, natch) and the two of them were so uncomfortable.  Our shoes were dingy, our clothes clearly of the Gap variety, and my girlfriends´accessories obviously well-worn.  We looked out of place, and though I knew I didn´t belong either, I was at home.

A small bell tolled somewhere as we came in and my friend said, in mock announcement, ¨Your attention please!  The middle class have arrived.  Please hold on to your bags.¨  To this day, nearly 14 years later, I still remember how angry she was that I´d convinced her to come into the place that so challenged our self-esteem.  We laughed so hard, for different reasons.  She laughed because she saw how delighted I was, and she reveled in the act of teasing me about my pretension.  I laughed because the clothes and music (yes, I remember the song:  The Cranberries´ You´re So Pretty) and atmosphere were intoxicating, and I knew that I wanted THAT to be my world.  I was a lanky kid from Elk Grove with acne and a bad haircut, and all I wanted was to be as handsome and as well-dressed as those men I saw in Emporio Armani.  Surely THEIRS was The Good Life.

I´ve thought a lot about dreams and destiny in the last week.  As I mentioned, I´ve been in Peru seeing some of the most amazing sights my little eyeballs have ever tried to describe to my brain.  I´ve also seen the lowliest poverty I´ve ever encountered, and have had more than one good cry (alone in my hotel room, of course) about a world that lets me prattle about Emporio Armani and forces families to live like dogs in mud huts beside railroad tracks and unpaved roads.  There but for the grace of God go we all.  I can´t describe the feelings of helplessness and frustration that I´ve had, which in themselves are discouragingly entitled emotions.  


There´s so much work I have to do.

I´ve got a lot to process in the coming weeks, and some of it will be done here, Dear Reader.  So I beg your indulgence now, and ask for your forgiveness in advance for anything I say that´s a revelation to me, but that´s obvious to you.  In return for your efforts, I´ll try to make it funny, like any good tragedy, and I´ll put lots of pictures up of far away places and exotic foods.

I keep looking over my shoulder.  I´m convinced that little Peruvian woman in the uniform is watching me.  And I´m almost certain I heard a little bell toll somewhere.


WeezerMonkey said...

I think you could walk into any place and be at home.

I am also giddy that you remembered that The Cranberries were playing at EA. These are the kinds of things I remember, too.

I'm so excited you are blogging from abroad! I look forward to Perusing more. ;)

Joseph said...

Remember those trips to Versace et al. we would take, down to South Coast Plaza? I try to tell my friends how much of that opulent world I witnessed in college, but they can't really understand it when I'm wearing Banana Republic daily.

Julaine said...

Just wanted to say hi after too long and that I am terribly jealous of your exploits in Peru.

Diabolina 3.1 said...

CANNOT wait for all the processing and pictures and words. i have missed you so. i will call you tonight.

i kiss your heart.

Maggie said...

You need not got to Peru to see people living in grinding poverty. Working in North Sacramento I was shocked to see poverty on par with where I lived in El Salvador. We're talking people using their backyard to do their business because their landlord would not fix the sewage line. I would imagine that similar situations exist in LA. What have several elites of South America told me about that level of poverty? "Those people don't take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them. They chose to live that way and could get out if they really wanted to." Yes, really.

amber said...

sounds like it was a good, but thought-provoking trip. hope you enjoyed the beauty of the country as well as the sad and ugly side. interested to hear your thoughts on everything.

Lynn said...

It's amazing what indelible marks new and interesting experiences make in our heart and our brain. The lasting effects are immeasurable. Glad to hear you are enjoying yourself in Peru; seeing beauty in tragedy and tragedy in the beautiful; so intertwined, it is hard to tell them apart sometimes, no?