I AM A MEXICAN? I don’t think so.
I miss Houston. I felt at home in Houston. I lived there 15 years.
The other, Kim G, is taking a road trip from his home in Boston — destination Mérida — in a rattletrap pickup truck. As I write this, he is in the Old South where I was born and spent 96 percent* of my life. He headed to New Orleans today.
I miss New Orleans where I lived 18 years. I felt at home there.
I was not angry about anything. I just wanted an adventure, and I got it. Full bore.
I married a Mexican. I became a paperwork Mexican. I built a Mexican home. I learned Spanish pretty good. I have a feed bag of Mexican relatives. They all see me as an alien.
And I am.
Lots of Americans — Gringos, we call ’em — have moved to Mexico, retirees mostly. They all love Mexico so much, but they all head back over the northern border frequently “to visit.” I don’t do that, and I don’t love Mexico, though I find it very interesting and a good place to live, really, especially in light of America’s sad, ongoing disintegration.
I enjoy walking around the plaza, sitting at a sidewalk café, hearing a foreign tongue, living in a land where the government pretty much leaves you in peace. I love the lower cost of living, the superlative healthcare system, the roasted chicken.
I even like tacos.
But where is the rustle of leaves through Spanish moss as moonlight peeks through the pines? The gumbo, snap beans, creamed corn, genuine friendliness, fried okra, jambalaya, mint juleps, fields of peanuts and cotton, red clay roads and bluebirds?
Long gone … for good … for me.
* * * *
* The other 4 percent was spent in Puerto Rico and California.