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In Between


A tired gate that swings open with a groan­ing squeak each time it’s used indi­cates the com­ing of morn­ing here. Then the foot­steps and loud voices of peo­ple find­ing their way to the parked cars in the park­ing lot next to my house. The park­ing lot that is like many lots in my neigh­bor­hood, part jun­gle and part functional.

This piece of land knows what time it is by the what lives in it. It is alive at dusk with birds call­ing to one another. In the mid-day the igua­nas and lizards make claim to it argu­ing with each other over fruit fallen from the trees or the best sunny places. At night it trans­forms again into the ter­ri­tory of pos­sums, feral cats, and rodents of all kinds orga­niz­ing and exe­cut­ing their well planned-out means of survival.

The peo­ple who go in and out of this park­ing lot are real peo­ple, who make up a neigh­bor­hood, and this place, the esta­cionamiento, makes up parts of their homes. I am the gate­keeper in this place. Liv­ing with my bed­room win­dow smashed up against the tun­nel in between two build­ings that leads to the lot, I am inti­mately part of the argu­ments peo­ple have as they walk to and from. I know who has gro­ceries and who has guests vis­it­ing. I am part of their lives as the light from the tun­nel makes it’s way into my sleep.

There are oth­ers who make up this human and wild place we share,the three fam­i­lies liv­ing in nar­row houses with slat­ted win­dows, Nando the drunk who washes cars and tells jokes, the work­ers in the neigh­bor­hood pulling their tools back and forth, the peo­ple who go between houses and cars and the other places in their lives.

This place is liv­ing as part of life that is some­where in between things. It creaks and shouts, full of the expe­ri­ences of igua­nas, abue­las, and gas trucks. It yields to its changes like I do, both of us observers of what it means to live in the transitions.

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