Ivy (1992)

Through the passage of time I will say what I am and what I have been, two opposites, two presence of lights that never go away, the lights of the garden that illuminated the nights of my childhood, our secret gatherings: they were the reminiscence of the party, of the first party that I wanted to have one day and my father took me, on a gray afternoon, without light but with splendid chiaroscuros, to the hardware store in order to by the color lights that would forever hang in the vine, as if it were a giant Christmas tree, like the kind in which I wanted to hide in the corner in order to get myself lost in its branches, inside the moss and the ornaments, where every light was the doorway to a new world of corners, flashes and secrets, and I wanted to hang from a branch, to disappear, or live always as a light, always present, as the testimony of something  that I never knew what it was but that I knew was important for it to exist; the end of a party, when everyone had left the courtyard and everything had remained outside, illuminated without any one to see it, and this is why as a child when I would come out to see it it would seem magical and sad because in a way I intuitively felt that I was in an unseen place, and it was as if I didn’t exist, and I was there, but sometimes I wasn’t there, because I would not consider myself neither spectator nor witness nor anything in particular, while other times I would be aware of being there and being the only one who could save that vision of that place for the world, and that made me feel important. Since that time, the garden was a place that I visited at important moments. Some nights when after dinner I would go out and and would walk into the terrace where there was an oxidized and moldy plug that Dad  had installed years ago, and it always surprised me that the plug did work and that the lights of the garden would appear from within their hiding spots in the thick vine, as if they had been waiting for this moment for a while but always hidin in order to emerge the next time. I took my friends there and had them sit around the garden to talk about what we considered to be the most important topics in life, but I never explained to them that I decided to do those secret gatherings in the garden because that was where those lights were and because they had witnessed the events in my life. Later I became a teenager and a suffered like a fool, falling profoundly in love with someone who never loved me nor cared to listen to me, but that is a different story— nonetheless I was bringing this onto myself in a mixture of pride and my belief that being romanting is a favorable artistic condition as was the wishful pain of the avid falling in love, and so I would consume myself in my own thoughts, I would suffer for days on end next to the phone, but mostly I would go to the garden and even though I was so  corny I never spoke to myself out loud nor did I ever talk to objects; rather my conversation in the garden was more of an endless walk in circles when I was returning from school and I would still see the sun projected onto the grass: as the day progressed, the shadow of the roof would slowly eat the sun away until there were only a few stains of light on the ivy and then nothing, but right after lunch I would run to the garden because I had to arrive in the moment in which there was still some sun,  because that reminded me of the moment in which we would finish classes and come out of the school, when the playground was full of sun and during which I would shake with nervousness because every single day without exception I would swear to myself that I would finally talk to the girl that I had a cruch on, but I never did that and aside from the stomachache caused by my nervousness I felt not frustration but a kind of profound sadness for myself, a kind of self-pity that irritated me but which I was unable to abandon completely, and after our exit, when the girl had left, as well as my friends, and the playgrounds were left empty, full of that sun, I would also walk around them just as I would with the garden, which seemed to me as a page of a book where a story had been written but which had been erased and left as a luminous white page, only with the reminiscence of my memory and the photographs of the school yearbooks, and then when I would go home in the car, with the hellish heat of the traffic in Mexico, I would think about how it would all vanish one day, even my compassion for those lost moments, which in reality was the only more or less tangible thing, and then when I arrived to the house the gardenwas the only place where I could go to feel closer to her, and sometimes on Saturday mornings I would look for her picture in the schoolbooks, and then I would look at the photos of my older siblings during the seventies and I would notice how they were also in those sunny playgrounds, present only in those photographs that if I had been younger I would probably asked if they were emanating light, but I saw it all lost and I would be afraid to hear them say that they had hated school and that they were happy that it was over for good for them, and I would then question myself and would tell myself that there was no way I could betray that past, that it would be lost forever if I did not do something to get it back, because I could not believe that those sunny courtyards, that this sunny garden could just vanish with all that had happened in them, but then I finished school, our house was sold, we moved to an apartment, and my mom convinced me to leave the oxidized lights in the ivy saying that they were useless and that I was going to electrocute myself, without understanding my fixation with them, and in the end I had to let go because I was not even sure what they meant to me exactly nor what the hell I would do with them, so in  any case the guy who bought the house must have torn them from the wall, because even though I never went back I learned that they had paved the garden and everything had changed, and I felt as if a distant friend had died. And then I left Mexico and many years went by without my returning, and it is possible that I may never return; and now I live in a city where gardens are beautiful but they are not private at all but instead they are all exposed, and sometimes I see a light that illuminates the bushes of a garden and I think  of the lights of the vine in my garden, and then I approach that garden with the hopes that something might happen but nothing ever happens, and then I think that it is not my light anyway, or that I have forgotten how to deposit secrets in the lights of a garden.