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When Time Slows Down

In America, all I could ever think about was time.  The way the numbers looked on, let’s say, the clock in my room, or my phone, or my computer.  Or in a brightly lit classroom.  How much time I needed to get to class, to eat my lunch, to do homework, to get ready for a party.  To know what time it was so that when it was a different time, I could move on, not within.

And I should say something about infatuation.  The moment when time must stop.

I am here to talk about the kind of love that lights the world from the ground up, the kind that starts in dark places and seeps into the light like a fog that quietly covers the ground, lingering, lingering.  And it seems that, from a distance, it could choke you if you get too close, but you don’t realize until you are in it that it is too late, and that being lost in a haze is like being surrounded by something that is both around you and within you, untouchable to the core.

I guess infatuation is kind of like that, a choking kind of feeling that makes you feel like you could cry at any moment, the lightest bit of restless urgency, or a view from a high window that vaguely reminds you of something you can’t quite put your finger on.

It’s like the city Valparaíso.  Or Viña del Mar.  Where colors meet a newness that never cease to keep its residents in awe, mesmerized by the realness, by the able-to-be-touched sensations that live amongst them in a city filled with street art, stray dogs, greenness, dirt, food carts, a zeitgeist for what the West would call a country on the rise.  A place where tiny streets spill into more streets and more, winding this way and that, familiar, foreign, wrapped up into one.

And who wouldn’t be infatuated by sprawling hills upon hills that begin and end with each other, that roll within and amongst each other, for miles on end until you think that the view around you is the same city, must be, connected to the very core.  And one has looked and forgets to look back; love.  And what is time but a thing that allows us to wander among the things that make our heads spin, around and around.

So you walk through the fog and let it consume you for the moment until you find your way out of it.  You look back and see that the fog has dissipated, and that what is left over is an invisible testament to what was there, for a moment in time, and, because of that, will be there always, claiming its stake in our puny idea of a timeline that makes up our lives.

I stare at the time, painted on a wall of a street whose name I do not remember.


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