Place Where You Live:

Merida, MX

A tired gate that swings open with a groaning squeak each time it’s used indicates the coming of morning here. Then the footsteps and loud voices of people finding their way to the parked cars in the parking lot next to my house. The parking lot that is like many lots in my neighborhood, part jungle and part functional. 


This piece of land knows what time it is by the what lives in it. It is alive at dusk with birds calling to one another. In the mid-day the iguanas and lizards make claim to it arguing with each other over fruit fallen from the trees or the best sunny places. At night it transforms again into the territory of possums, feral cats, and rodents of all kinds organizing and executing their well planned-out means of survival. 


The people who go in and out of this parking lot are real people, who make up a neighborhood, and this place, the estacionamiento, makes up parts of their homes. I am the gatekeeper in this place. Living with my bedroom window smashed up against the tunnel in between two buildings that leads to the lot, I am intimately part of the arguments people have as they walk to and from. I know who has groceries and who has guests visiting. I am part of their lives as the light from the tunnel makes it’s way into my sleep. 


There are others who make up this human and wild place we share,the three families living in narrow houses with slatted windows, Nando the drunk who washes cars and tells jokes, the workers in the neighborhood pulling their tools back and forth, the people who go between houses and cars and the other places in their lives.


This place is living as part of life that is somewhere in between things. It creaks and shouts, full of the experiences of iguanas, abuelas, and gas trucks. It yields to its changes like I do, both of us observers of what it means to live in the transitions.