As August of 2010 comes to a close, I woke up this morning thinking about the fact that it was at some point during mid-August of 2001 that I arrived to Mexico.
The exact date of when I was reunited with R again is lost. But I know that it was August of 2001.
At the time, I was working as an executive assistant in the sales department of a relatively large company in Chicago. I was also working as a server for a caterer on weekends.
I was at the office late one night, doing something that I dreaded as an executive assistant: Putting together sales packets for an upcoming presentation for a member of the sales team.
I snapped that night. What was I doing, literally on my knees, hunched over the packets, checking them over and over again to make sure that the pages were correct?
What was I hiding from? Why wasn’t I in Mexico with R?
I had visited R in Mexico in June of 2001, over the course of a long weekend. We had a lot of extremely painful and gut-wrenching things to say to each other face-to-face.
We did that. And R invited me to come live with him in Mexico. I said yes, but I kept putting it off, citing credit card bills and wanting to save money before I left.
In my situation, I now know that it was because I was afraid to come to Mexico and face facts about myself as an individual, as well as my marriage.
Years later, R told me that when he said goodbye to me after that long weekend in June of 2001, he was sure that he was never going to see me again. Even though I said yes to his invitation to come and live with him in Mexico.
He watched me go through the gate at the Benito Juárez airport in Mexico City. When I turned to look at him, he was already walking away.
There was a tremendous amount of damage and anger between us. I don’t blame him for feeling that way. At that point, giving R my word had all of the weight of a soap bubble in a thunderstorm.
And yet, my initial hesitation about moving to Mexico never tangled with a fear of physically living in the country. My physical safety was never part of the decision-making process in 2001.
While there was always violence in Mexico, starting from way before I arrived, it is definitively different now.
And the lefty-leaning liberals in the U.S. can talk all they want about U.S. media machines churning out biased pieces that are “ruining” Mexico’s “good name.”
There’s a piece of that in this whole mess, sure.
But the fact that I no longer go outside our house by myself after dark to walk down the street to the grocery store speaks to a whole other truth as well.
Right now the common thought is that as long as you don’t play a part in the Mexico-U.S. drug drama, you will not be touched.
But my feeling today is that the safety catch on that idea is already removed.
May I be completely and totally wrong. I truly hope so.
Time will tell us, won’t it? Time will tell.