Pauline Mornet: Viñetas Mexicanas

The last time I was ill, a lover fed me bitter lemon on a silver platter. This time, my Dutch roommate rolls me what he coins ‘the best joint in all of Cholula’.

We lay on my bed under fairy lights imported from IKEA and I played This Old Dog by Mac Demarco on the ukulele. He told me that for someone with so much fire within them, I had a voice that could soothe the angels. I felt the embers glow.

We hiked up a mountain, crossing forest, wild horses, cavernous crevices into a great smog. I climbed up the rocks to the edge of the cliff, where no one dared to venture. I looked down into the abyss, heart echoing in my chest and I felt free.

When the daytime breeze fails to assuage my curiosity, I venture into the kingdom of midnight alone to listen to techno in poorly frequented nightclubs. I dance alone for hours, I close my eyes, the tribal beat reverberates through my bones, I open them. It is early morning and the club is closing. I go home and fall into the calmest sleep.

From my balcony, through the torrential tropical rain, I see a window glowing framed. A woman is cleaning her hair. I see her silhouette, framed by clothing hanging on a long piece of string across her rooftop. It is the comic strip aesthetic that I love.

In a decrepit living room turned home, he lives alone. His son has gone with his mother in another part of the village. They no longer talk. In the corner, I see a small nest with three minuscule kittens weeping because the light has woken them up. The floor is populated by fantastic animal masks that he has painted in many fluorescent colours.

At the foot of the pyramid, we ventured one Sunday afternoon to a rodeo. A bull is tied by its nose to the gate of the arena, having thrown his rider off his back. He looks me straight in the eyes. Terrified, traumatised. I’m sorry, I whisper.

I notice this stray dog, petite, dirty white, aura of innocence. I saw a young Mexican boy pick him up once and throw him carelessly into a pit. Out of sight, out of mind. I thought it had died that day but I still see it whenever I ride my bike past the desecrate pit. It seems to still be doing okay.