Medellin – Tuesday 21st May – Waiting for a friend in Parque Berrio

May 22, 2013

Parque Berrio is bustling this Tuesday afternoon, as if it ever isn’t. Throngs of all Medellin loiter. I sit right next to some teenagers; to show no fear, interest, or discrimination. Of course it doesn’t work. I am painted that way, no matter how unshaven or ill-dressed. That is the privilege of the privileged; to imitate without ever becoming. To show how rich we are by how low we can go. I call it the Limbo effect, as it is a game to us, bending over backwards to see how low we can come. The fun is in knowing that we can always stand back up. Do I want to give you money for food? Do I want my shitty old DCs shampooed while I wait? Do I want to lend you my credit-less mobile for a call? They know the answers as well as I do. A student with no money is no excuse here, where the homeless lounge creatively on midday sidewalks, mere obstacles for the working class and warnings that this can always happen to them. But excuses are what neither of us wants or needs. It is in the game, the mental battle of who will break first and we are both young enough to recognize it, the humour we co-create in this awkward cultural clash…but they must see past it all, mustn’t they? They must know that the small games of everyday life lay the foundations for the future? I should be a warning as much as the homeless on the street. Lives cannot be made on quicksand such as I.


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