Sayula doesn’t have restaurants save 2 sushi places and a cheap Chinese. Seriously. I discovered that upon arrival as I wondered the streets in search of food fresh off the bus starved from nearly twelve hours of food and beverage deprivation.
I walked outward from the giant central plaza 4 blocks in each direction from every cardinal point and saw nothing. I began to ask people where one could find a bite to eat. The answers bothered me. I got everything from a ‘no’ to a ‘try Los Patios Hotel’.
I keep looking. I didn’t want to eat in a hotel. Where I’m from hotels have bad overpriced food. Surely there were restaurants here I just needed to find one. One. A single restaurant would save the hour.
It was approaching dusk and my feet were beginning to hurt. My right eye, recently operated upon, began blinking with sharp flashes in the low sunlight. People were reduced to wavering spectral images. I felt increasingly lost. New city. Nothing to eat or drink. I must have been wandering in a circle as everything was beginning to look the same.
I stopped and laughed at the absurdity. Surely this was what it must feel like reduced to a digital construct in someone’s unplanned novel which they were writing hesitatingly, erasing words, partially rewriting random scenes.
I began to think about writing something new myself. My next novel similarly will be about a quest. And I – just like in real life – would furnish every character with incomplete information.
Life is really like that isn’t it cousin? On the best of days it feels like we have a complete picture of what is going on in the world – in our world. But the fact is we don’t. And only grim reminders like today serve to reveal the universe in all of its terrifying wonder for what it really is; populated mostly with noncontiguous gaping holes in the information spectrum. As you stand before this separate reality you can plainly see it is only our insect brains that work frenetically to bind and thread all the pieces together to simulate a continuity that doesn’t exist in real time.
Juan Rulfo painted an otherworld reality in Pedro Páramo where spirits spoke to each other; spirits spoke to the living, and the living to the dead. He shone a light into a world without gravity. A world where words carried no weight; the consequences had died with the plaintiff.
He somehow managed to show (to me) through his (pre)magical-realism depiction of Comala – and its wandering spirit inhabitants – the many giant informational holes that exist our own universe.
My time in Sayula started me again thinking about reality in the terms of a massive series of partially intersecting subjective constructs; far from the objective universe we were taught in school.
Yes, cousin. Your world and my world intersects, but only in our minds.
Is that the nature of insanity? Or freedom?