amyta, soul sistah.

Date December 16, 2008

This time last year I was saying goodbye to the only other blonde in Manizales. 

We were both bound for Bogotá and then on toward home.  Home being good ole Mississippi for me and where The Muddy River starts up in Minnesota somewhere for her.  We both acted tough on the first leg of the trip, laughing, eating and booty shakin’ through half of Colombia and then the hour came.  The hour when she boarded one plane and I boarded another. 

Truthfully, I don’t know if she shed a tear, but I reckon she did.  And me?  I cried like a child and missed her before she was gone.  I’m better now, though, I think.  Because instead of that teary goodbye, I remember six months here with her.

She ran my first Saturday run with me when I was training for the MS Blues Marathon and we laughed about how long it took us and the fact that our thighs rubbed together more than they used to.  She was my movie buddy and my translator and a picture of the me that I’d like to be someday. 

We’d sit over a dinner of 200 or 5,000 calories and talk about how the world beats you up sometimes and I promise, she seemed okay with it.  In her 30 year old wisdom she’d tell me about how the hurting helps you heal and how the healing makes you stronger and I envied her view of the battle.

Then there were times when she said all the things that I was thinking, but never had the nerve to say.  She talked fearlessly about lonliness and hopelessness and getting to know herself.  She talked about girls whose pants were too tight and boys that couldn’t think past what happens after dinner and she talked about how both of those things could keep a woman from loving completely. 

Then, inevitably some salsa song would come on and she’d be singing at the top of her lungs.  And if I was lucky, some Colombian man would ask her to dance and I’d sit and watch as she matched every step, her hips shaking like the wanna be Latina that she is.  She swayed and sweated and soaked away the world in Colombia’s finest boxed rums and sweetest smells. 

Un olor a tabaco y chanel
Una mezcla de miel y café.

And somewhere between the popcorn, the Spanish, and stories about boxers I found another sister.  A sistah, I mean, because that’s how she says it.  “You and me, we’re just different.  We’re ghetto girls gettin’ it done.” 

So, even though she’s stateside and I’m here, we keep dreamin’.  About trips around the world and starting schools in forgotten places.  We dream about boys that have their acts together and girls that aren’t afraid to be without them. 

We write obscenely long emails about bad decisions and horrific grammar and the effects of aspartame on the aging woman’s waistline.  And we remind each other that it’s okay to be crazy as long as you aren’t there alone.  And I’m not because she lives right next door.

Here’s to you, Ames, my Amyta la mexícana, de una moníta a la otra moníta.

I wish you were here.

2 Responses to “amyta, soul sistah.”

  1. Lou said:

    I enjoyed getting to know Ames. See you like really soon.

  2. Amy Laboe said:

    I love you so much. That made my day. I’m sitting here bawling with my mascara running… The most important thing about having gone to Colombia was gaining friendships, and yours especially. You are my first southern friend!!! Let’s keep dreaming those big dreams because eventually one of them will pan out and we will have the time of our lives. (Especially that one about traveling the world and teaching English.) You mean so much to me Ems and I miss you more than words can express. Have a great time at home and call me with the latest gossip.