For those of you who missed my doodled scrawl about going overseas, I´m currently in Salta, Argentina (that´s in the North); a place I´m going to pop the bubble of silence surrounding absent posts.
I´ve had a blocked ear the last week. In all its seemingly trivial beauty, the stuffiness with which I feel I´ve been off-balance and walking underwater has undermined many an mighty experience, and even threatened to numb one of the most exquisite sights known to mankind; Iguazu Falls.
Self-imposed exile from serious writing was employed; surely I couldn´t capture with concision the surreal feel of unfathomable falls of water, nor the endless toil of buses, night after night after night, with this hideous handicap.
Today, my friends, I enjoyed two whole minutes of clear hearing. So I´ll indulge you with a little story from a bus ride.
There I was, on a 7 hour stop in Posadas, backpack swaying, precariously positioned on a local bus back to the station. The little bottle-blonde girl sitting next to her mum kept looking fervently at the young dark-haired boy behind her (who in turn stared out the window), eyes wide with an intensity of still nervousness that seemed strange for her age. Of course, the first thing that struck me was not the look on her face but the look of her face – dark kohl eyeliner rimmed her young eyes, red lipstick stained her lips and foundation smeared across her chin compelled me to stare. For a few long moments, she stared back at me, utterly concerned. Promptly, she turned back to her store-bought goods and dove in, pulling out a pink sequinned mirror.
She checked her face, then checked again, with the demeanour of an aged destitute dear trying to cling to some semblance of youth… not a 6 or 7 year old.
Unsatisfied, she began applying more mascara, shitloads of shimmer, (checking behind to stare at me, aware of me) then finished her session with lashings of lipstick. I felt deep disappointment in her dismissive, disinterested mother; perhaps even perplexed incredulousness at this saddening scene.
You might argue it´s just the whimsical wants or a fanciful phase of a young girl´s childhood – but if you´d have seen the fierce focus with which she ¨needed¨more make-up, you too would be unnerved. What this spells for her future is not foreign to me – I see years of yearning for a prettier tomorrow, for bolder beauty, for something. Once again, the inane engendering of girls is evidently failing a child.
That one I will remember. More to come.