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La Linea Azul

October 4, 2009

 

10pm on a Sunday and the metro is still running, people are still riding, and too many are still trying to make a few pesos from friendly and giving passengers into many. No barefoot indigenous kids today, but plenty of others. A chavo enters with a guitar, the diverse stickers don’t display his taste in music or “style” but cover the many cracks and scratches. His guitar matches his faded and ripped jeans. His converse have no stickers to hide their wear. In a black short sleeve and with long black hair, his style is part choice part fortune: he is not one of the fortunate that dress down to look cool. After his first song comes to close he announces:  soy chico del barrio, te puedo robar tu celular, tu bolsa, tu cartera, pero prefiero tocar unas canciones. Tal ves no sea muy buenas, pero no te estoy robando. The second song, cada rosa tiene una espina. Before I slide my hand in jeans I know I only have 4 metro passes (totaling a mere 8 pesos) a two hundred peso bill which is suppose to last me another 3 days and two 50 cent pesos. So I start looking through by backpack, I must have a moneda de 10 o 5, algo mas que 2 pinche monedas de 50 centavos…I don’t. I hand him the 2 coins and I’m surprised when he utters a sincere chido carnal. We both exit at chabacano , I imagine he is on the blue line somewhere. He is about 10 yards in front of me and I see another person trying to accumulate some pesos: a blind lady, wooden stick in her right hand, transparent, plastic cup in her right. El Chavo del barrio, without hesitation pulls out his entire right jean pocket and places the several coins that he has earned through song in the transparent almost empty cup. We both walk downstairs, but he is able to enter the metro before the orange doors close. On the other side of the doors with my 200 pesos floating in pocket I think que me cuesta dar 200 pesos.

 

I finally get to the nativitas stop, walk for about 20 minutes, enter the large yard, say hi to Susan, the three year old dog, and enter my room. I turn on my laptop and I am immediately connected to another world. As my first day in Mexico becomes my 28th I feel more and more uncomfortable in “nice” restaurants, bars, cafés. I don’t know if its the divide between los niños bien y el chavo de banda that bothers me or what I perceive to be the total indifference of los de la alta clase…..

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