When I went to Colombia, people got in lines everywhere I got up to speak to have their picture taken with me.
I have a picture from that trip which is still on my iPhone of the mayor of Monteria taking his picture with me. He is wearing a pink shirt.
The children are having their pictures taken with me. In the background, there are farm animals.
At the airport, I sign the form saying I have not seen any farm animals.
In people’s houses, the floors are dark wood and the kitchen is a fire in the back room and a table.
In other people’s houses, the floor is concrete and children sleep on the floor on mats.
In other people’s houses, the floor is dirt and everyone sleeps on hammocks inside when it rains, outside when it’s not raining. Under trees when it’s sort of raining.
Most of the children have no shoes. As a child we sang, All God’s children get new shoes to wear. Are these not God’s children?
I am here in Nebraska, and I remember going to Colombia, and I remember the tropical feeling there, and the way the women around the green pool you could not swim in cut the cocaine.
In Nebraska, I think it is mostly meth.
Here at Residency, it is mostly beer. Because Nebraska has a lot of corn and people sleep in beds and the longing is for more dreams. If I lived in Nebraska, I would grow sunflowers.
But, I live in California, and I have a hammock, but I don’t need to sleep in it. I sleep indoors.
If I were in Colombia, just like I did before, I would say good night to the women cutting the cocaine by the green pool. When the people lined up to take a picture with me, I would smile in ever picture. I would stand up straight. When they said, You look so American, I would smile and try not to show my teeth.