Chao Guayaquil


Out the window, the city lights of Guayaquil twinkle goodbye. The orangest sunset I have seen in years. Loads of unread texts in the family chat await, words packed with nostalgia, love and sadness. I am listening to Nick Cave, I had made a playlist with my favourite albums, his voice calms me down and helps me descending down my own mess. I know I have to write this down. I have rehearsed many lines in my head, exploring possible messages but also misunderstandings. I have kept on deleting words, erasing ideas, thoughts, and feelings. My biggest fear? Abstraction. That my words will be scrutinised when they reach the reader, with their meaning extracted and reassembled according to a rational logic while my reasoning follows the multiple contending and plural grounds that inform me. I am, after all, many.

I am returning from ‘home’, from the meeting point of many worlds, borrowing Arturo Escobar’s term: I am returning from my ‘pluriverse’, my crossing of worlds, my inhabitable place of transition, my in-betweenness. I am returning from being a sweet auntie — and now those words sound like a distant eco ‘tía, tus abrazos son tan suavitos, me hacen dar sueñito’ — , a serious sister who had to walk the talk and give love when her first instinct was just to reproach, the understanding daughter that patiently keeps up with their parents’ demands and insists on health related issues, the loving ex-girlfriend that always comes back to check if her old loves have still got their unparalleled aura of chaos and beauty. I am returning from cross-fertilising their worlds, with the love they feel for each other and that are unable to convey. A love that is probably lost in translation, melted into the curdled space that was once fluid and connected them. I am also returning from an intellectual place, again serving as a bridge, facilitating dialogue in an otherwise alienating environment. I am coming back from visiting many worlds.

I look out the window and there is only half-light by now. The winds of the plane have almost vanished in the darkness. ‘Love letter’ sounds on my headphones. I suddenly crave for cold weather, a glass of red wine and the warmth that words can carry with them. Conversations have the capacity to sooth our busy minds and let us depart back home feeling understood and held, elevated in our interaction with others. They let us descend to untangle the mess, learning about ourselves and each other in the process. They move us through the fragile fibres that have weaved our unique selves. They take us down and back up to our pluriverse.