Day 1


Madalena was my first guide. I walked with her to the grocery store. She introduced me to people on the way. I’d told her I was interested in knowing people who had been living in the town for the longest time. Slowly I start to understand the existing networks, the people, places, how life goes in Austin. The characters of the day in order of appearance: a chinese street vendor selling chicks, members of one of the families that inherited the farm land when the farm was terminated, and a Portuguese man from Açores who arrived in Austin in the 1940’s. I started to read Barthes’ Mythologies. In the preface he says that the objects of your reflexion are always guided by one’s own interests in that moment. Austin became sort of a time travel strategy. Things there take me to the past. To my past. The coffee strainer Madalena uses is like the one my grandma did, the mimeograph in the school reminds I haven’t smelled that smell since 5th grade probably. The porches of the houses are just like the one’s in my childhood neighbourhood. The family photos, the house parties that no longer exist. The friendly neighborhood life that isn’t anymore. The grandma that doesn’t want more parties at the house. The family fight over a son who died. This messing up with my memory a little. It seems like I have a lot more than I thought to retrieve. And there is other stuff too. Lots of deaths, from cancer, train, guns, lynchings. In my childhood there were only deaths by suicide and by old age. In my childhood there were no pet alligators or wild cats. I remember my grandma talking about wild animals at her childhood though.

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