day 14

Today, we shall write in English.

I went jogging today, maybe I’ve yielded to social pressure, running is so in, you know. The truth is, autumn has finally arrived to Santiago and I really wanted to take a jog at sunset. Out I went, to Bustamante park, three laps around the park. I just started jogging and realized this was a far more popular hour to go for a run. I kept running into people running in the opposite direction. I wonder if I was running the wrong way. Maybe someone can tell me. I was running clockwise. I started to think maybe running in a certain direction was better for you in some sort of magnetic field way. Dusk really is the perfect time for it, though. The street lights turn on. I passed by the Valdivieso sign. 

That sign is so magnetic. I wish all the old signs in the city were still there. The Philips sign, the Cristal sign. The emotional link to advertising is so bizarre but I’ll talk about Mad Men tomorrow so let’s leave it at that.

I was jogging and I was jogging with my Columbia sweatshirt which made everything a little weirder. I’ve always felt uneasy about collegiate apparel in the US but in Chile, it’s stranger still. In the US it’s like you wear the brand, you’ve been branded, you belong to a class of people: Columbians. In Chile, I don’t think anyone even thinks you went there, most people would probably think you bought it at la ropa americana, AKA the thrift store. 

I decided to go out with my phone instead of my ipod because I’m really into talk radio lately, hearing the news, etc. I listened in for a bit and when they went to commercials I switched to oldies radio. They were playing a standards special, Rod Stewart singing “The Way You Look Tonight“, a Tom Jones/Amy Winehouse duet… My brain started going to this place where I was like some yuppie going for a jog in Central Park before going home to a macrobiotic meal and easy listening.

Enough, I stretched and headed for the supermarket with the 10 thousand pesos I had stashed in my little jogging leggings’ pocket. And that’s where it happened. I got what I needed, as healthy as possible, all that non- whole… crap and I got in line. A shiny little packet gleamed on the rack. I went in on it, it was non other than a Russell Stover Caramel Egg. 

It was the peak of weird. This feeling is very hard to communicate but what was this doing in Santiago? And, of course, the answer is not hard at all. I was in Lider, which is to say, I was in Wal-mart. The little supermarket around the corner, which is always full of a mix of the elderly, the insane and the artistic, is a branch of WAL-MART. 

There are no separating lines, it’s like in those David Lynch movies when you see this ominous object in unexpected places. “This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality: you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable…Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of mind itself. Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. Next stop….The Twilight Zone.”

Publicado por camila le-bert

Playwright and Actor Chilean and American living in Santiago, Chile

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