Oakland —> Quito

December 27, 2013

There is only one road in Baja California.
One long two-lane highway,
long enough to curl metaphors out of dust
and paint worlds on your windscreen
out of speed-smeared insects and rain.

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It stretches as one would think, from beginning to end,
bouncing from ocean to sea, and then back again,
returning in a neat loop like a cul de sac.

It is baked into the ground by a merciless desert sun,
across hills dotted with tall cacti that grope the air in slow motion,
reaching for the cloudless sky
patient and desperate; searching for moisture.
They pop up everywhere,
as though planted by a scattered rain,
neat and evenly spaced.

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Baja California is a desolate place,
where people huddle in handfulls of thousands on the rims of bays,
At least thats what ive seen, on my willfull suzuki steed,
making minutes out of mountains,
speeding through the cold air,
armored against road rash,
weaving a careful seam around semis,
Looping through gas stations, and stopping,
just to look at the dust,
and confirm my inability to photograph succulents,

feeling the devotion and faith of its roadside altars.

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It is special, a sharp sign of our times, crowned like it is with its wall of racism and segregation, a wall to show the universe how foolish we are, a wall that the cacti and dotted sagebrush laugh at incessantly, a wall that stops the tumbleweeds like a sieve, making tough journeys harder, a blatant display of human hubris towards the natural flow of our inner animal, a wretched manifestation of shamelessness, discrimination and fear.

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But far removed, the desert holds an incredible silence and peace and the road remains indifferent. The people here seem sated in this drought, showing no thirst of metropolis, or rain; happy, well watered individuals, much unlike the ground that they walk; that earth which repels water, which is rock barely crushed,
hoping to become soil, but destined to be sand.
This land is fertile with people.

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December 12, 2013

We are travelling,

on motorcycles, from the city of Oakland, to our hometown of Quito, Ecuador.

Upon hitting the cool asphalt of Oakland’s pot hole ridden roads, we will cross the new Bay bridge, and, traversing the ridges of the San Francisco Hills, we will leave behind one San Francisco, in search of another, San Francisco de Quito. And the trip will be unexpected,

he says as he knocks on wood,

and we must be careful, and take our measured risks with caution, and promethean impulsiveness; we will bridge the geographic gulf of land, ocean and people, that divides our two worlds, in hopes of making two become one, of zipping shut a rift of mind, that makes that which is nothing but miles, seem like an unapproachable abyss of nostalgia.

There is no void there, there is no Darien Gap,

just bridges of land, homes of many,

roads made of asphalt, gravel and dirt.

and where there is no road, there is water.

jungles, mountains, seas,

and insurmountable leagues worth of sand.

there will be poems, pictures, and sounds, and i invite you to stay tuned, hold space, and think of us fondly as we zip through the roads, all the way back to where we came from.

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About dlofredorota

Born in Quito, Ecuador, I now live in California and work as an artist, animator, and musician.

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