Sunday, December 6, 2009

Guadalajara Postcard: Alex Espinoza

The second day at the Guadalajara Book Festival had me running around all over the convention center, speaking on two panels, catching up with my wonderful dear friend and mentor, Susan Straight, translating, translating, being translated, and code switching like mad.  I discussed Chicanismo and told an embarrassing story to a room full of strangers about being five (For some reason, five was a seminal year for me!) and placed on an exam table in nothing but my underwear as doctors paraded around and ogled me. I ate tacos with Nina Revoyr and Maris Silver, talked about huitlacoche with the cabbie who drove me back to my hotel, learned that there’s such a thing as shark repellent, ordered dinner in Spanish for our entire table, chatted with Luis Rodriguez, was told by Carolyn See that I am her hero, met a woman here, in Guadalajara, from my hometown of La Puente, California. I ate a ham and cheese sandwich, yogurt with papayas and granola, Belgian chocolate, cookies, two desserts, four tortillas, and a bag of the best potato chips I’d ever had. I drank many refrescos, bottled water, a glass of red wine, coffee, tea, and something brown and sweet from a plastic bag with a pink straw sticking out from the top. I talked about condensed milk, Ibarra chocolate, and my mother’s atole. Denise Hamilton and I talked about Ramon Novarro. Jervey Tervalon and I talked about New Orleans and Disneyland. Yxta Maya Murray called me handsome. I was told I have a shiny forehead and a warm smile, that I was a little on the short side but somehow manage to "still be “tall.” I Skyped with my partner in Fresno, waved at my two dogs who just stared absently at the screen, put my pajamas on and wrote this blog entry while looking out from my fifth floor hotel window at the glowing lights. I promised myself that I would return very soon. The day slowed down.

I'm tired but satisfied full in so, so many ways...



msedano said...

did you get into Instituto Cabañas for the wondrous murals?

Daniel Olivas said...

Alex, what a wonderful report! Wish I could have been there, but reading your piece helped.