Mexico City February 2009

September 13, 2009

Dear all, after a long absence, I am returning to The Green Lantern blog.  Many of you may not know who I am, but for those of you who do (and you may remember me as an oft-posting assistant editor of The Green Lantern Press) I apologize for my absence and hope to make up for it in coming posts.

For the moment, I am holed up in the apartment of a woman named Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee ( in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris.  She left for Lisbon Friday morning which makes three (3) days without face to face human contact with any non-stranger.

Apart from spending a lot of time watching Battlestar Galactica on the Internet, and playing standards and show tunes on Elisabeth’s magnificently untuned piano, I have been transcribing and rewriting my notes from a recent trip to Mexico in the hopes of eventually creating a book-length quasi-non-fictional journal of the voyage, its purpose, and its conclusions.

So I thought I’d share with you all a bit from today:

Colonia Coyoacan, Mexico City

Colonia Coyoacan, Mexico City

Mexico City, February, 2009

So there I sat at El Parnaso bookstore, waiting for Moramay, my guide to the underworld, who never showed, translating the first chapter of Genesis.  After I had waited a couple of hours and fully given up hope of Moramay ever returning, I left the bookstore café and walked all around a fountain that had a symbol of the sun on one side and symbol of the moon on the other.  Looking for language in everything, I found no answers.  I walked back and forth in the general direction of the Metro.  I eventually realized that I was walking through an area I had walked through that morning, lost, hallucinating, considering the possibility of attaining knowledge of good and evil.  As I was walking through these now familiar streets, I stumbled upon the closed up church I had seen upon beginning that morning.  Now, however, it was not closed up and its doors stood open, light emitting from its windows.  There was nothing for me to do except go inside.  I walked through the great doors and found a man in long robes and a congregation of worshippers seated, watching him.  Everyone was speaking in the holy language of Spanish.  Everyone listened, and breathed and sometimes repeated what the man in robes said, or spoke along with him.  A woman came around with a basket and I put 2 pesos in as a symbol of my interior goodness.  Eventually, the worshippers stood and formed a line to take communion.  Being a jew, I had never taken communion before, but a man put a hand on my shoulder as he passed me and beckoned me with his eyes so I followed.  Each worhipper received a small round cracker and then circled to the back of the room.  I was worried I would drop the cracker or lick the old man’s hand as I took the cracker.  But I didn’t.  I took the cracker, pretending to be a Catholic.  I couldn’t help noticing that Jesus is almost completely nude.  Only his penis remains covered.  It occurred to me that if a woman were hanging from the cross how sexual it would seem.  I returned to my seat, trying to follow the reading and the singing happening in a language I could barely understand.  A man siting next to me said, “Bonjour” and asked me in French if I were French.  I replied “No” in French and the man smiled at me sexually.  The whole time I felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

– Lily


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