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.