Wednesday, June 18, 2008

voy a ir a colombia

I’ve definitely fallen off the planet in the last week or so, minus my rant about J. K. Rowling (who should not be compared to C. S. Lewis, not ever ever ever). My mom and brother came down to visit me before I, you know, leave the country, so I’ve got plenty of stories about that. And before they came down, I found out that Wilmington has alligators. Real ones, ones that like to cross the busy highway and float past people in a park. And the last few days I’ve just been kind of panicking about the trip, running around packing and avoiding packing and freaking out about things that I’m sure I’ve forgotten and just generally going off the deep end. So, the last two weeks:

I should tell you first that a really good friend of mine from high school is staying in Wilmington for the summer, which I have really enjoyed. In fact, a lot of this summer has felt like old days. All the girls left and it’s just been me and the guys—and I’ll tell you, even though I’m really excited about Colombia, I’m definitely sad I won’t be seeing these people for four weeks. I don’t think I could have had a better summer so far.

So since Tristan has been down, when his girlfriend came down to visit we all decided to go to this park. It was about 109 degrees like it’s been for the past few weeks and all I really wanted to do was jump in the water, and the only reason I didn’t was because near the edges there was green slime so thick I dropped a pinecone on it and it didn’t sink through. Good news. When we were crossing one of the bridges, we stopped to look at a bunch of turtles swimming underneath. About five minutes of that, and this massive alligator, like eight feet long, swam right underneath us. Just floated around down there, the turtles sort of scattering. And the thing is, we could have walked to the end of the bridge right down to the edge of the same water the alligator could have swam to the edge of. And then later, we were walking on a wooden path next to lake—and by next to, I mean we were nearly level with the water—and five feet to our left there went another gator. Just floating by like hey. On the way out of the park we saw a sign that said, yes, there are alligators in this park.

And this past week, I was driving around with my mom and brother in the car and let me just say this: first, people in Wilmington drive like crazy people, so much so that insurance in this city is highest than anywhere else in the state, which sucks. Well. I had just gotten gas and I was driving down this somewhat narrow road when, in front of me on the other side of the road, this huge submarine boat car pulls out, toward me. Now, crazy old lady crappy driver took the turn out of her driveway wide. As in, she pulled into my lane before she turned forty-five degrees back into her own. Had I stopped and let her pass, she would have destroyed the back end of my car. But instead, I had to monster truck off road it between a bunch of mail boxes. Pulled my car all the way off the road—actually, I just kind of drove into the ditch, but it all happened really fast. I only mean that ‘’pulling my car off the road’’ is much safer sounding than the actual Nascar evasive maneuver I had to pull off. And I knew, I knew my whole little car was going to get smashed into, but somehow, by maybe three inches, she missed me. And kept driving, probably into somebody else. But my little car is safe and has not been attacked and I’m still quite happy with it!

So now it’s Colombia. My actual flight is in around nine hours, but we’re leaving here in six. And I can’t believe it at all. Four weeks in South America. Here’s to making it, to learning Spanish, to becoming adopted Colombian. To flying for the first time, to not getting eaten in the rain forest or contracting Yellow Fever. To seeing the Caribbean, and being higher in altitude than I’ve ever been in my life (currently, I live at ten or so feet above sea level). This is for my story about fathers, it’s for language and how if I had my way, I’d say drop me in a country, drop me in another language, let me live there and be immersed in all of it, the people, the words, the life.

I’ll say this: I’m nervous for all kinds of reasons, and even now I don’t quite believe any of it. It’s sort of like you’re growing up, and all the while you’re looking toward the moments where you’ll be living, where you’ll be doing what you wanted to do when you had grown up or got to the point where you could, and that’s the thing. Getting there isn’t something you realize. I’m here. I’m at that point now, the one that’s only existed before in the things I’ve written. I imagine marriage will feel something like this. Suddenly I’ll be standing at the altar and I won’t realize when I got there, when a whole part of my life began. And I’m not sure now when I got halfway through undergrad, when I got to leaving the States for something bigger than the things I’ve done so far. I feel like I’ll wake up sometime later and I’ll have already published and I’ll have children and it just all seems so fast. Not too fast, and I’m not at any of those places yet. I only mean I can’t believe I’m already where I am now, and it’s only quickening, and maybe when you cross over lines in your life you don’t know it, you don’t have time to ask yourself whether you’re ready, it’s only suddenly you’re doing it and when did it ever happen, but you must have been ready because you got put there and you didn’t sink.

This is what that is, I think. I’ve flown past the starting point because it’s all now, happening is now, Colombia and writing and living are now and if all those waited for me to realize I was ready, now would be a perpetual holding, a waiting. But here I am, and next time that will be South America. And who knows after that, only that I began toward there longer ago than I know. So see you guys on the other side of the Caribbean.


nicolioliolio said...


does this mean i have to maintain posting for the next month all by myself?? haha

lagringalice said...

Oh man... here I am on mu bed (Scott's for the next couple of weeks) sick and without a shower. I know you all are late, but are in the air. I have been stalking your flights. Now Sara love, you are no longer in the US. You are probably over the beautiful water of blue and green. An occasional island here and there. Soon you will be in my country! I am so excited. You better be by a window enjoying it. I love you dear see you in a few hours!

sarawr said...

i'll be posting for sure! and when i get a chance, maybe tomorrow night, i've got some stories already =) miss you even more than normal miss nicole *sniff*