Dulce de Leche
It’s hard to know what to write: I journal, but that doesn’t lead to sharable projects, or I initiate projects, but don’t finish them. I’m trying to save my ideas for the right outlets—probably something that pays, probably not this blog. Who knows if anything I try will come to fruition. As a writer, I have a discipline problem. I’m working on it.
Because of my discipline problem, it’s hard for me even to maintain a daily journal. It’s hard to do laundry! I’ve been using Lynda Barry’s 4-minute diary-keeping method to store some of my memories. Sometimes my inertia still gets the best of me, but still, I’ve preserved some vignettes of Buenos Aires that I’ll want to keep with me.
I saw my breath on the 4th of July; it’s winter here. On July 10, I went to buy a comforter. “Lots of polar fleece at Arredo,” I wrote. I gave the box to my roommate’s cat.
On July 5, I bought a local phone plan, which took a total of four hours. Argentines have a greater tolerance for waiting, I guess, than people in the United States do. As for myself, I felt like I was on fire. I felt great when it was done, though. That night, I ate empanadas at a touristy bar-slash-restaurant that would not have looked out of place in Wrigleyville. My waiter’s name was Maní.
"¿Maní, como esto?" I asked, holding up a peanut. That’s what his name translates to: peanut. I don’t think he liked my question. It’s his mom’s fault.
On the first of July—the first full, 24-hour day I spent in Buenos Aires—I had lunch with a friend from college. Our waiter was gorgeous, and provoked in me the kind of immediate dumb lust that has caused some of the stupidest, most painful decisions I’ve ever made. Obviously I’m going back.
My friend told me that sometimes she questions what she’s doing here, what she’s doing at all. She thinks it’s a product of being in your 20s, not being in Buenos Aires. I tend to agree, and I share some of the same concerns. I’d probably feel uprooted wherever I was; I often feel as though my relationships, living conditions, and jobs go through a revolving door.
I also feel a particular sort of pressure on this time in my life; a physical pressure, like a heavy book closed on a flower to preserve it. This is an era.