(This entry was supposed to come out in June. My brother has been gone now for almost a month, but here is the story behind it)
I knew something was wrong even before words were exchanged. The air between us was permeated by something, something strong, by some kind of impending variable that I wasn’t able to place.
It wasn’t until lunch that I got my answer and realized that I wasn’t wrong to feel that something was different. In a grand reworking of plans and ideas, my brother had decided to cut short his stay in Peru and leave early for a trip Canada. He had a path to follow, and he was going to follow it. Unfortunately, that left me in a rather unclear position.
How could he leave? Not now, now after I came all this way. This can’t be yet another experience I get excited for, only to watch it burn before it even gets off the ground. This can’t be another disappointment. This has been my one great hope for years. This has been something I put so much faith into. This was my one chance to pierce the worm’s infernal armor, this hulking grey mass of apathy that has parasitically been feeding off of me for longer than I can remember. This was truly sloth in its purest form, pulsing and enveloping my entire being with its repulsively bloated body. Injecting me with a steady and constant dose of its paranoia, anxiety and fear based saliva that cripples me so deeply, I’m held in a state of paralysis. I can feel it now, writhing behind my eyes, displeased that I’m announcing its existence to the world. I’ve tried so hard to kill it, to remove its tendrils from my flesh and throw down my enemy. I thought I did it once, but I was wrong, and so I came to Peru to finish it off. But now that my brother was leaving, the opportunities and hopes of the valley seemed to be falling out of my reach. The worm was pleased and my body trembled with the thought of returning with the thing still attached.
How could I do this alone? How? When trying and failing to bring it down was what brought me to Peru in the first place? I had a glimpse of freedom, and just as quickly, saw it slipping away along with his departure. I felt abandoned in my plight. Another failed remedy. I don’t speak the language, I don’t know the land, I don’t know anything really, about this place. Maybe I should just leave when he leaves. Leave and forget this experiment. I want out.
I tried so hard to justify being angry, but I just couldn’t find it within myself to hold bitterness toward such a pure decision. How can I sit here and even feel the slightest bit of antipathy toward his choice? Toward him? How arrogant and selfish of me to be upset. Sure we had plans, but plans change. “How can you make this about you, you ungrateful pig.” were my exact words to myself I believe.
I can’t stay. I don’t want to stay. How could I, even if I wanted to?
“How could I do it alone” was the hollow question that resurfaced time and time again, even though I wasn’t actually seeking a solution. I was just placating a turbulent mind. It wasn’t until a moonlit ayahuasca ceremony that I got an actual and unexpected answer.
And the answer was obvious. “The only way TO do it…is alone. You’ve been carried and led for so long, this is you now. This HAS to be you; it’s the only way. You won’t find any relief or progress if you don’t do it yourself. You have to stay. You have to live.”. Reinforcing a previous ceremony (ayahusca wanderer entry), though this one had a focal point and left me with an image of myself, thrusting a trident through the worm’s heart, in a scene reminiscent of Michael versus Lucifer.
I had no idea what awaited me, but I made up my mind. I would stay. I would stick to my original plan and see it through.
The day finally came, and along with it, the taxi that would take my brother away.
The fact that I’d see him back in the states in two months did little to quell the emotional toll that rushed through me when the taxi finally pulled to a stop outside of the airport. I meant to get a picture, but I was too busy trying to hold it together. He brought me here, out of his own generosity, to help me with my issues, and even though he had to go, I felt so overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity I almost burst. He has done so much. Has always done so much. He’s the only person who can reinforce or shatter my world with a single passing mention. I was standing in Peru through his altruism. I had a chance, a real chance, to better myself because of it. And it’s something I can’t put into words, how much that means to me. I love you brother. Thank you…
As he disappeared into the airport, I took a breath and closed the door of the taxi.
This was me now. This was all up to me. I’ve never traveled alone before, especially not in a country so far from my own. There were no comfort zones. There was no one to rely on but myself. I had to do this, FOR myself.
As the taxi pulled off and I headed back to the city, I couldn’t help but smile a wide smile as a familiar voice inside my mind said, with an underlying tone of mischief…
“You can do whatever you want…whatever, you want”.
“You can love, you can destroy, you can create, you can learn, you can grow. You can lean over and kill this taxi driver right now if you want. This life is yours, and the choices are endless and solely up to you. You can live now or you can die forever…” said another.
My smile turned into a smirk of pure confidence. I wasn’t alone after all. My burning trinity, my left and right wings of personality, my Bathory, and my Memphis had shown themselves. Beautiful constructs of myself, personified as two separate entities.
My dear Bathory, in her tattered evening gown made of feathers and heavy chain, she broods and plots from behind her expressionless mask, whispering notions of pure indulgence into my ear. While my Memphis stands strong and calculating, as the obelisk of masculinity and strength I constantly draw from.
Combined into one, the world was ours. “Don’t forget, there are no rules to this thing….”
I laughed. Literally and out loud at the thought of it. (and also at my taxi driver who I do believe took some PCP while he was waiting for me.)
On my return I stripped the room in haste, folded the blankets, gathered my things and left. Seeing the room bare after it was so full of life a moment ago was rather strange, but I guess that’s life.
I was moving out of the room we shared and into a house a few minutes away.
I closed the chapter of the brother’s in Peru. This was my story now.
Live, travel, experience, Peru and everything that comes with it for two months by myself