The last time we met you left such a sour taste in my mouth I thought I could have been happy if I had never returned. I never wanted to return.
Last time I visited her, she was dirty, violent, she was the place where my best friend died. I have tried writing about her many times but I can never finish putting my thoughts into paper. How do I forgive a city for the amount of feelings condensed in her geographical space?
2175 days ago I left. For 6 years I happily stayed away, buried the parts of me she held, out spite. 2715 days passed until I was moved to come back for love and loyalty to those who taught me so. I came back to her preparing myself for the worst. I came back with my armour and shield, full of sarcasm and cynicism. I vowed she wouldn’t break me again. Not like last. Never like the last time.
I used to imagine Caracas as an ex-girlfriend. A beautiful girl that hid her bruises with cheap makeup while everyone knew her boyfriend hit her; but even though everyone knew it, she still wouldn’t dump him. I was expecting to find her broken, bitter and dangerous – just as I left her.
Six years after I decided not to care about her anymore, I came back to her.
Caracas feels emptier, my generation is missing, most are gone looking for luck elsewhere. I can count on one hand the familiar faces that still live here. Many have found the courage to start anew in faraway lands while others have found the courage to stay and brave the storm. The streets are cleaner, the air is warm, life has just simply… gone on.
It was in the chaos of her streets I realized, that I don’t imagine Caracas like an beaten-up ex-girlfriend anymore. I can still see her scars and her bruises, she almost has to sit because standing up hurts, but she doesn’t wear as much makeup, she smiles faintly and underneath all those layers, there is a warmth and a dignity I thought forever lost. It was here that tor the first in 2175 days – I found a glimmer of hope.
In a time where my heart was bitter, Caracas – home- gave me hope again a returned a part of me I had forgotten, it’s a feeling I can shake off and it makes me want to dance barefoot – everywhere. Like an ex-girlfriend, she managed to give me a peace I had been looking for and didn’t know. The place that sucked the life out of me somehow managed to give it all back.
I learned we can always love a new place, fiercely, but hat the places we have loved – just like the people we have loved in them, are indelible and will forever hold a part of us. We can build walls, and layers around it to bury them and forget them but I now know we shouldn’t; a thousand dreams will come rushing back when you break through all of it and all of a sudden 2175 days feels like way too long.
Caracas now feels like a window, one that shows the Avila Mountain and let’s in that sunlight that darkens my skin and the breeze that carries the sounds of macaws and parrots across the skies.
We don’t really know sometimes about the path we walk, or why we are meant to live and experience the things we do but I am grateful now for the 23 days that allowed to me forgive the 2175 days before them.
Caracas now feels like a possibility, and this changed everything.