Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! For now, I’ve returned from my Joiyssey to participate in the "revolution":I’ve been at many Occupy sites across the country:1st in D.C. Freedom Plaza I faced & challenged racism/white supremacy, sexism/patriarchy, classism, heterosexism & eventually was kicked off the island; then I offered workshops as I drove to CA:“Anti-Racism Geared for White Occupiers”; “NO DRONES” "Successes and Pitfalls of OWS"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coming Out & Dancing up the Moon

I spend the rest of the day mostly at my camper. I try to go swimming but the water is very shallow here. The tide has gone out and out and out and as far as I can see, there is no water, only revealed ocean bottom.

I clean up – there is popcorn and yeast everywhere, which is what happens when you forget to close the window and leave a bowl of popcorn underneath it – a popcorn snow storm! Popcorn in the upper bunk, popcorn in the lower bunk, popcorn in the cupboards, popcorn in the shelves, popcorn under the bed, the sink, the stove.

I take a short walk to the very, very tip of the peninsula and YES, there IS a tiny base at the end. I see the soldiers behind a fence and a couple of military-looking vehicles. Great!

I return to the truck and check the batteries for water. To my chagrin, they all need lots of water again. The water seems to be draining out the bottom. I’m horrified. I use all my distilled water that is left in the old container, after the new 2 ½ gallon plastic container split when we were topes airborne, to fill them and I put regular water in one when I run out of distilled. I figure any water is better than no water at all.

I hope they are not ruined. The system is running at 27-28 volts now that I’m in such great sun. hmmmm.

A womon and a man bring their cooler to the little cabana in front of my truck and hang out there. They have a child who is riding his bike around and around, closer and closer to the truck.

I sit outside to practice my Spanish. Jorge and I have exchanged names and his age. Once he told me he’s is 6 and I tell him, no, he must be 10, he is so big, he talks to me in Spanish. Fortunately for me, he doesn’t expect me to do much talking. I basically repeat the last couple of words he says, just to keep the conversation going.

He corrects my pronunciation very patiently and wisely for a 6 year old. Maybe because he so recently learned to speak, he has an idea how to teach me.

Before long, my new friend Chuyita returns with a young womon in tow. When she sees Jorge, she brightens and tells me he is her friend, as is his mom.

Chuyita introduces me to Sara, Jorge’s mom, and Jeso’s, Jorge’s uncle, and Narrda, the young womon who is also a friend. We sit on the broken cement benches and try to have a conversation as we watch the sun turn the sky and ocean pink and red.

Sara and Chuyita ask me bluntly why don’t I wear a bra. I ask them why do they wear one? I guess my Jewish self is showing out this tardes.

They look at each other and say something like to make our breasts look better. I tell them I’m sure their breasts look just fine, with or without a bra.

I try to talk with them about freedom – from bras! And how bad they are for breasts, especially if one is trying to avoid breast cancer. They are amazed. And I think a little in awe – or in, what a crazy gringa this time!

Sara asks me if I have a love somewhere. Ut oh! Here it comes! I tell her no but soon. Everyone laughs and she asks me if I want a Mexican. I say I’m open. She teases: “I’ll take any man” and I have to tell her, no, only womyn.

So I come out tonite to 5 people who live in this town. After the usual half afraid, half hopeful “do you ‘like’ me?” to which I ask “are you a lesbian? They laugh nervously protesting. So I say, “then, no, I don’t ‘like’ you”.

Sara asks me why am I a Lesbian? I ask her why not?

Then I say (I think) because womyn are beautiful, kind, generous, sensual, express feelings, talk – all the things I love about myself, I love about other womyn.

Sara tells me there is a lesbian who lives in town. I say just one? Chuyita promises to take me to meet Luna.

I ask Sara why does she love men? She tells me she doesn’t. But she doesn’t love women either. Okay.

Sara tells me if I need diesel, it is next to the soldiers. YES, I HAVE camped several yards from a ‘base’. UFB (unfuckinbelievable)

I then tell them my yo soy buscando para aceite vegetal usado (I am looking for vegetable oil used) and they seem to think there will be tons around. Wow, as Chuyita would say. I didn’t see that many restaurants but they must know something I don’t.

Sara pulls out her cell phone and plays a song she’s recorded with her son dancing. Chuyita wants me to dance, which I do, but when the second song comes on, I grab everyone’s hand and we are all dancing.

There are only 2 songs on the phone, so everyone gathers up their things and we go up onto the sidewalk where their car is parked behind my truck – they have driven over here even though it is probably less than ½ mile to their home – and Sara turns on the radio.

We dance through the sunset, the night away and the full moon up again. Before they leave, Chuyita tells me café instant at her pink house manana. I agree.

Soldados

Her house, tour, and coffee is complete. I invite Chuyita, and the girls, to come visit my house, where everything has a place but most likely is not in it.

She looks for her keys. I wonder what she is locking in or out and have a vision of my unlocked camper. There is an alcove in front of this room that holds a 2 burner propane stove, where she heated water for coffee and leaned out the window to first urge me closer.

Chuyita hands me a grapefruit and we walk with the girls down the road to my truck. It turns out to be a longer walk then they anticipated, I think.

When we get to my truck, I invite them inside. The girls, shaking their heads silently but firmly refusing to climb into the truck, sit outside on my stools I put on the sidewalk. Chuyita drags herself laughing up into the truck. She has asked me if I am retired, although I had to come back to the truck to get my dictionary to figure out what she meant.

She wants to see my fridge. Hers is overloaded with frozen fish. Mine is overloaded with sweet potatoes and pumpkin. I offer her a couple of sweet potatoes, she points to an orange pumpkin and a few more sweet potatoes, and I give her those too.

She tries to find a comfortable seat. The desk stool is too high and wobbly for her. She tries to sit on my lower bed but the upper bed is not high enough for her to sit comfortably. She finally lands on the little step stool, as the girls have the bigger stools outside.

She asks me what I do for work. I tell her I do political work, ending war, to have peace. I forget to tell her I’m a writer, a gardener. Grrrrr

She asks me if that pays well. I tell her no. She looks around at all I have and wants to know how I got all this then.

I try to tell her I sold everything in my apartment and my car so I can come on this trip. It occurs to me slowly that everything in her home would probably fit inside my truck – the part that is my home, and her table, chairs, fridge, beds, and cabinet not included, but her things.

She thinks I am selling everything in my casa-camion now. Maybe she can’t imagine someone having not only more stuff, but enough stuff to sell to make enough money to leave her country.

She wants the cup I have given her coffee in. Maybe this is how I will be able to live with even less.

She has had to ask me for coffee, as I don’t think to offer it - we just had coffee at her house, but I was not polite. I make her coffee and tell her I am using electricity from the sun. I don’t know if she understands.

While we are drinking coffee, she points out that a car has just pulled up and is idling outside my truck. Soldiers suddenly appear at the door. One is holding a huge, long gun in front of him.

They are clothed in, guess what, U.S. army fatigues. Imagine that!

I greet them in what I hope is a friendly yet calmly reserved way, and get the screen open so they can see us clearly. He says something to me in Spanish that sounds like where are you from. I say San Francisco and he says something else rapidly in Spanish.

I descend from the truck, tell him my Spanish is bad but I will try to answer his questions.

Chuyita answers them from her perch inside the truck. She says I am her sobrina, which I look up: niece. Hmmmm. They ask me something about my papers. I say I have them and do they want to see? He quickly says ‘no, no’.

Chuyita says more things to them. The head soldier asks me about the painting on my truck. I tell him my friend the amazing artist has painted it for me. I take him around and show him the mural and her signature: Phoebe Ackley.

When I return, the soldier with the gun jumps down from my doorway, his gun, now slung over his shoulder, bumping the hand rail in his haste to dismount.

As they roar off, Chuyita rolls her eyes and says something. I try to ask her if they are always around. She wants me to assure her that I am really okay, that I have my visa, no drugs.

I tell her no drugs, no alcohol, and one visa! I think she believes me.

I ask her if the soldiers always come by. I think she tells me they are here, as in maybe this is a base? Oh great, have I camped outside the soldiers home? Grrrrrr… Gawd, they are everywhere. Young boys, superior because they have clothes, food, and a ride, with troubled eyes of trouble.

I’m going swimming. I haven’t had a shower since I left Santa Monica how long ago now? The water is calling me.

Chuyita

I decide to explore the town. I walk down the street and say Buenos Dias to the several folks I see up and about. A womon sitting in her home watching early morning tv calls me over to her window. Her home is adobe and cement blocks, low to the ground.

We speak and she wants me to come in and have coffee. Instead, I invite her to come for a walk with me. She says her English is limited and we know about my Spanish. I feel like I forget the simplest words when talking with her. She tells me her name again and again. Chuyita, Chuyita, Chuyita.

I think she is in her 40’s or 50’s, but I could be wrong. She has 2 children, I believe, and two granddaughters. Her niece, Veronica, who is pregnant and has a child, seems to live with her. She wants to know where is my esposo. I ask her where is hers? She does not have one – no necesito – and I agree more than she’ll probably ever want to know.

We walk around the town, which is very beautiful, simple, colorful with paint and bogenvilla, with most houses sharing adjoining walls or tiny dirt walkways. She has locked her door. We walk down the paved road, which I now see is the only paved road in town, until she directs me onto a dirt road that circles back to her home, and is closer to the ‘mar’.

She is wearing tiny heels, not really conducive to walking.

She points out the unidentifiable church and a very rich person’s house, which appears to be the auto mechanic’s house. I now see that we are on a strip of land, like a peninsula, jutting out into the mar.

As we walk, I complain about the car alarm continuing to go on and off. She points out a guy on a bicycle and says ‘huevos’. Oh of course, not an armed car but an announcing a bike pedaling around selling eggs!

Between the houses that line this side of the mar, we spot men, layered with clothes, tugging on piles of grey netting, traps, and floats, and several docks where boats are lined up, with statuesque pelicans, still and tall, aligning themselves along the boat rails.

There is one dock in the near distance where all the boats moored there list at an angle, a slant, a twist, ship-wrecked perhaps, or just waiting to go out onto the ‘mar’ or maybe for repairs! It is difficult to tell what is in use or finally used for the last time, for people here seem to have found additional uses for almost everything.

These fascinating boats would make a great picture if I had a camera, but again, my words have to be my camera.

When we return to her home, she unlocks the padlock and invites me inside. It is dark and cool. She calls me her friend!

She has a table and four matching chairs in this, her front room, a legless glass-doored cabinet sitting off the floor on cinder blocks with some bright yellow and blue dishes displayed on each shelf along with two small pictures, one of her daughter and the other her granddaughter, a tall white refrigerator that is probably from the 50’s, with the freezer door that opens on top and fridge part lower on the bottom.

And a very small colorless color tv sitting on top of the fridge. I notice a radio sitting on top of the cabinet. She offers me coffee – instant! I have already refused fish. I accept the coffee and we continue to try to have a conversation.

Chuyita wants me to put sugar in my coffee. I tell her no sugar. She asks me only honey? I say only chocolate. She starts singing “sugar, sugar, oh honey, honey”. Of course I join her “you are my candy girl”.

She knows all the words in what she thinks is english but indistinguishable to me. She, of course, wants me to sing in english only I forget most of the words but recognize the tune and we have fun singing.

Two young girls have joined us, Fer and Leonor, 9 and 7 years old, dressed in hot pink. They laugh at us singing. Chuyita puts on the radio and starts dancing. The music is great of course, in espanol, and she is having so much fun I have to get up and dance with her.

We invite the girls to join us but they become suddenly shy and say no.

The girls stare curiously and are trying not to laugh when I speak – in English or Spanish. I am able to ask them the simplest questions, where do you go to school, how old are you, do you like school, how do you spell your name?

A fly lands on her cheek an inch below her eye and I have to restrain myself as I get the urge to shoo it away as Fer does not blink. Now I stare fascinated. Even as the fly moves freely around and then takes off, Fer doesn’t twitch. She perhaps wonders why I am staring and I hope the horror doesn’t show on my face.

I wonder if I will ever get so used to flies, or if I even want to.

My new friend, Chuyita, shows me her bedroom that has two made beds, also on cinderblocks, in it with fluffy deep brown, polyester covers, unlike my bed that remains unmade.

Only old, corners curling, water-stained pictures of jesus and mary with the bleeding hearts strategically – by the door, by the tv, by the table – grace her walls that are covered with what looks like beautiful shades of salmon-colored clay.

She points out the bathroom off the back of the bedroom, whose doorway, as all her doorways but the front one, is also covered with hanging fabric but through a crack I can see evidence of a skewed toilet seat cover. I do not ask to use the bathroom, nor does she offer it to me. Oh well.

In between the front room and bedroom is a little utility-type room/closet where some clothes are piled on top of a tall table and more clothes lay under the table. I have a quick vision of my clothes hanging across the entire back of my truck and know they would not fit in this room.

She takes me back outside where there are cinderblock partial walls of various heights of a room with no roof, empty space for windows and doors, and proudly shows me a plant she has growing there in the corner.

We go thru that room to the back of the house where there is another small room – and a couple more plants – attached to the back of the house, with a slightly slanted concrete or maybe galvanized metal table top, with a 4” lip around the outer edges, against the wall taking up most of the tiny room. I see a slight decline and drain on the back of the table when she proudly says lava something – for washing.

I believe her plants must be gifts, as they look like houseplants most likely native to Hawaii. I wonder if her daughter, who either is a policeperson or married to one and lives in Tijuana, gave them to her.

We return to her front room and she swiftly opens the freezer door for me to see it stuffed and overflowing with frozen fish.

Every floor is concrete and every room is spotless, immaculate, with nothing out of place.

Her house, tour, and coffee is complete. I invite her to come visit my house, where everything has a place but most likely is not in it.

Yavaros Day 1

It is still dark and I cannot find my cell phone clock but I can sense it is the right time to wake. I’m hearing womyn’s voices, FINALLY! Yeah!

I open the camper door and it is amazing – the east and west skies are both visible from this part of the ocean – maybe it is a bay – but I can see the horizon to the left lightening, getting ready to pull up the sun, the horizon to the right bright from the light of the full moon, while the rest of the sky is black with brilliant stars, or as black and starry as it gets with a full moon.

3 or 4 womyn walk by the road side of the truck. I greet them “Buenas Dias” and they return my greeting but do not stop to talk. I do not know if they are walking down the dirt road, which ends in about 100 years with a big boat and a small concrete building, to work or for exercise or to check out my truck & me.

The sunrise begins gentle and gorgeous. The same deep reds and blacks stretch across the horizon that adorn the sky at the falling of night. I hear a noisy boat go out onto the water and wonder if that is the womyn and they are fisherwomyn.

This must be a bay. There are no waves just a gently lapping onto the shore. The tide is definitely in this morning and I am camping about 30 or so feet from the edge of the water. I will put on my shoes and go for a walk in a few.

I am very happy to be here. Hermosillo was wonderful, but a city – where I did feel comfortable.

But driving in here last nite, in the dark, making dinner as the final red disappears from the sky, hearing the waves gently kiss the shore, the sea lions far away, guitars and singing in Spanish, I feel like I am now really on my Joiyssey.

I’m sitting out in front of my casa, on my stool on the sidewalk, sipping organic coffee, watching to my left, the giant red sun come up over the ocean, birds singing, diving, gathering their breakfast, while the water is gently lapping the shell and sand shore.

And I have internet! At least it says so. I THINK I emailed my daughter but that’s all!

I found this place in the dark - it's GREAT! Very pretty.

And someone’s car alarm is going off intermittently. There are like no human noises here, except the low hum of voices occasionally, and this damn car alarm off in the distance.

I have said Buenas Dias to another person who rides his bike this time on the sidewalk acera where I am sitting in front of the truck. He says something else, a question, and I say “Si” and hope it doesn’t get me in trouble.

The bathroom for pooping is the only problem I foresee here. Peeing in a jar is easy and then watering the bushes. But poop will be challenging. Time to get my shoes on and go look.