NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday December 2nd 2020

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Archives

RETURNING CHAPTER 4: A Split Decision

By PATRICK CABELLO HANSEL 

We hope that when two people “cling to each other and become one flesh” their journeys flow together into one tender, complicated and true story. But we know that life doesn’t work that way often. In order for Luz and Angel to be truly together in their life now, both of them must undergo journeys that the other may never know, let alone understand. 

Angel fell back asleep next to his sleeping son. Luz entered a dark space in the bookshop with a strange man named Harald. The wonders that Luz saw made her ask herself over and over if she was dreaming. What Angel saw in his dream was all too real. 

Luz’ darkness was not darkness at all. The small door at the back of the store led to a space full of tiny lights, in multiple colors, that illuminated beautiful carvings on the wall. As she walked into the space, the carvings—of lions, eagles, gigantic trees and humans of all shapes and colors— seemed to speak to her. Not in words, but inside her, in the universe of her brain and soul where there were no limits. 

She turned and said to Harald, “This is so beautiful! What is this place?” 

“Ah, child of light,” Harald smiled. “This is not a place at all. It is more time than place. Although to be exact, it’s not really a time either.” 

Normally, Luz would have thought that the man who spoke these words was nuts. But in the warmth and light of that space, it didn’t seem strange. She had started reading The Chronicles of Narnia to Angelito before bed. Although, to be honest, she was more thrilled with the adventures of the four seekers than her son was. 

“You said that you’ve been waiting for me?” Luz asked Harald. “What did you mean?” 

“Well, to be honest,” Harald laughed. “It’s more like this that has been waiting for you.” 

And with those words, he spread his arms wide towards the whole gallery of beauty. 

“Take all the time you want, although time doesn’t really matter,” he said. “I will call you back when you are ready.” 

Meanwhile, Angel’s dream unfolded. He was walking down Lake Street, but instead of it being a cold, slushy winter day, it was a hot, muggy evening in summer. Salsa, hip-hop and Norteño music poured from a few cars that drove by. He could smell the sweet smoke of barbecues rising from neighbors on 18th and 17th. It smelled so good, he could almost taste it.

But then the smoke turned. It wasn’t the smell of hamburger fat dripping onto the coals, but the smell of wood burning, of garbage, of tires on fire. The music was louder and louder: people screaming, with sirens racing by, gunshots ringing out, the sound of breaking glass. Men with shaved heads leaned out of cars with no license plates and cursed. He started to run in the dream, run and yell for Luz, for Angelito and Lupita, for his mother and father, but the only faces he saw were hidden in hideous masks. The street was on fire! 

The worst thing for Angel was that he did not wake up, and so couldn’t tell himself that it was only a dream. He fell into a deep sleep, dreamless and weighed down. 

The best thing for Luz was that she totally forgot about school, about her part-time job at the arts center, about money worries and family worries and any worry at all. It was, as Harald had said, as if time really didn’t matter. 

And the strangest thing is that neither one of them remembered to pick up Lupita from day care… 

Share this with your friends:
  • email
  • Print
  • PDF
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks

Leave a Reply