“Rats” in a bad spot (or is it pretty?)

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Pretty spot/bad times-Juarez 2009

Juarez / October 2009

Murders continue.

Record year.

Day of the Dead is coming. Like every day hasn’t been that.

The streets have an eerie decay to them. Litter. Boarded up windows. Still a lot of hustle but the nights are empty and in the shadows are things no one wants to see.

I scurry, like a rat. back to the bridge. Busy looking over  my shoulder. Just being safe. I am not afraid. Ha! Terrified a little. Crazy thoughts in my head: when does this end? Who wins? What would someone say about me -and the work- if I got whacked tonight? What will this city look like when the “dust settles?” What happens when the death tally of the city exceeds the American’s “9/11?” It’s getting closer every day. The country is going for 15,000 in this conflict. When did the US ever have casualties like this (Viet Nam). Are drugs really what this is all about? If a person in the U.S. “tokes up,” a joint tonight, do they think about this cost? Ever? Would “peace,” here,  bring back good times or will the new times always have this edge of homicide? How much money would it take before this country wasn’t desperate to the point, now, of depravity? How can a river and a bridge be the divider between all this  misery? Why do I see so many people in El Paso, now, who are obviously refugiados, and they are middle class, and I walk through theses streets and the other “rats,” I see, are not?

Then, in the final stretch, I hit Lerdo street.

A pretty dress.

Dusk.

Pretty moments. Yes! There are still pretty moments!

I return to the boredom of El Paso.

A pretty moment embedded deep in the memory card of my camera.

As it always was…will it always be?

I kiss you Calle Lerdo.

I hope, in this city we love (and sometimes hate) there is something there for the rest of the rodents, as well.

I know there is.

Pray for peace.

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