So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

slavery to a pattern

We wrapped up all our thoughts we had ground over the summer like Colombian coffee beans, hoping to come up with a resolution that would make the future tolerable.

in an attempt to quiet my mind during these past few nights of unexplained insomnia, i've picked some less-worn paperbacks off my bookshelf. normally i'd re-read my faves, but i wanted something new -- "new" meaning something i haven't read 5 times.

i started with Jonathan Loved David, which i'll tell you about later, when it suits my homosexual-christian agenda, but not now...

the past two nights i've read an old -- well, i won't call it an "old favorite," because it was never really a favorite. it's just an experience.

The Mixquiahuala Letters. (if that words is upsetting you, it's pronounced something like meesh-kee-ah-wall-ah). the book came into my life as extracurricular reading suggested by my favorite lit professor. when i expressed to her my fascination with author Ana Castillo, we instantly bonded. in retrospect, the repressed (because of where we were) feminist in her must have been overjoyed to have opened the ears of a white male at the conservative christian college to a strong feminist voice like Castillo's.

i loved the book. it's comprised of 38 short letters from one lesbo to her best friend, over the course of two decades. i call the narrator a lesbo only because, if you met her, it's the first thing you would think. a single, 35-year-old artist who smokes a lot, loathes men, and obsesses over the summer she met her best friend. through the letters she re-lives their best and worst times together, their time apart, and their travels through mexico, starting one summer in Mixquiahuala.

when i returned the book to my professor, telling her i loved it, her first question was, "which path did you choose?" you see, the author intended the chapters to be read, not chronologically, but according to one of several sequences she outlines at the outset of the novel. the reader has three choices:

For the Conformist
For the Cynic
For the Quixotic

guess which one i chose.

go ahead, guess.

i chose the quixotic sequence, which cuts out about a dozen of the letters. i marked them off and refused to even glance at them as i read. i chose the same path the past few nights. partly because they were already marked, but partly because it was my only option.

and now i realize that despite reaching the final, hopeful end of the path i chose, i don't know how the story truly ends. i know up to the third-to-last chapter, but what happens to the women after that? i simply never read. i mean, i can't. i shouldn't. i'm not a conformist, and i'm definitely not a cynic.

i wonder, which would you choose?


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