I remember the warmth of the get-togethers with Felipe’s family back when we lived in Mexico City. They had taken me in as one of their own, and it felt natural to be part of their world even though I was originally an outsider.
On weekends we would gather in a local restaurant for breakfasts that would often turn into long leisurely lunches during which the brothers and sisters would talk at length about their former neighbors and classmates, about outings with their parents, family members that came to visit. Each of them remembered the events as if they had happened just yesterday, but they all differed on the details: the color of the neighbor’s car, the name of a classmate, the hotel they stayed in at a hot spring. Despite those differences I was able to imagine the car, the classmate, the family outing as though I had been there myself.
I would also take in the stories Felipe told me about his youth at home, about walking through his old neighborhood, where the house he grew up in has now been replaced by an apartment building.
He told me how much he looked forward to Saturday evenings when all of them would get a bolillo, the crusty roll inside which his mother had put a piece of chocolate. Just listening, I could smell the bread and the scent of chocolate; I could practically feel it.
I still talk with Felipe about these stories, though we’ve discussed them many times before. They’ve become a part of my memory; something of an appropriated memory, a stolen one.
My desire to delve into another world comes out of an intense and ceaseless curiosity.It’s also a longing to merge with something outside myself.
That same longing makes me want to see the videos of the artists we work with again and again. Just as in the stories I like to listen to, I don’t want to miss a detail. I want to be there, if only in my imagination.