Cafe Hitch-hike



I watched the animated pic, Coco, about three weeks ago since the movie was set on the Day of the Dead in Mexico. It had an interesting spin on the ofrendas or the altars that are set for the deceased. The storyline has it that the DoD and the ofrendas are remembrances to the deceased; if no one remembers them (whether their image or belonging was at an ofrenda, or if they were remembered by someone), then their souls disappear. On the DoD, the souls whose families remember them are able to leave the spirit world and go to the land of the living to see their loved ones for a while.

Rafa took me to see it, to which I agreed for sure. For a Pixar movie targeting children, I was surprised it talked about death and what (may) happen afterward. I don't think any of the grownups in the theater had a dry eye when they saw the loved ones literally going through a customs checkpoint to go to the land of the living. Naturally, I thought of my Grandmother, my stepfather, Remy, and others, and how much they (would) still want to see us. They miss us, too? It touched a soft spot in me because it didn't really occur to me that they may miss us as well.

Another twist to this DoD story was they brought in alebrijes or mythical, combined animals. The main character Coco has a stray dog that follows him and is able to join him the spirit world. The dog then becomes colorful and sprouts some wings like an alebrije. The movie explained it as a spirit animal that comes to you to accompany and help you. I guess in reality, alebrijes aren't necessarily considered spirit animals, but as a dog person, it made me smile. Rafa mused that maybe Marley wasn't just my dog, but my spirit guide (which was a huge jump for him considering he hated dogs when we met, and yet I told him up front I had one).

The movie really hit me on a lot of levels. It made me really wonder what life was like in my Grandfather's mountain village in Central Mexico when he lived there in the 1920s and 1930s. I had visited where my Grandma grew up in South Texas. I was also able to use the U.S. Census to learn about the ag town where she lived. As it turned out, her neighborhood was not full of Mexican-Americans, but rather people from all over; to give a sample, a Norwegian immigrant family lived down the street from her along with a family from New York state.

Lucky me... I just about ran around the same places where my mom did (as well as my step-father) in our river valley hometown. I knew where she went to school, the parks where she'd go, and the places where she cruised as a teenager. When in my 20s, I got to see the ag town along Lake Okeechobee where my birth father and his family spent a lot of his childhood. I got to see where all of my people were raised except for my grandfather.

Speaking of lineage, I was able to get a 2-for-1 deal with a lineage testing kit. I got one for Rafa as a Christmas gift and one for myself since we both were interested. I'm sure I'll get a combo of Spanish, Indian, probably some African (thanks to the Puerto Rican blood), and God knows what else. I have to rub my inner check with a q-tip, mail it in, and then I should have the results in 8 weeks.

Yeah, Rafa and I still gave each other our Christmas gifts when we broke up, but we still aren't talking at all.

Friends. Ali and her hubby Wesley had a fine gathering the other day. Wesley was a little wary of me since Ali and I previously parted on abrupt terms, but I thanked him for opening his home to me. I said I was having a very tough year and I wasn't quite myself, but I added I was glad that Ali reached out to me. He really softened up and smiled. He said they were glad to have me back and missed me. It's nice that she's my friend, but Wes is open enough to talk to me and have a nice exchange as well.

I was so glad I was out. It was a very happy and intimate gathering with people they knew from their various activities. It was perfect for putting my naturally obsessive tendencies on ice. It was great because it stopped the questions of why? What if...? How come...? If only I... If only Rafa...

I then got to spend some time with Motorcycle Manny. He's a really kind guy with a smiling zest for life, but something is going on that I'm not quite sure of. When we hung out a few years ago, he was in the thick of money trouble and I guess he is all over again, or maybe all of that never changed?

I find it a little odd that he encounters that considering how much he works that that he gets really good tips. I don't have enough information about the logistical aspects of his life, but I've seen enough of that to know not to get mired in a guy's legal or financial troubles. I've seen so many people get screwed by their significant others' issues in that regard, and the one time where it wasn't issue was when the other person was loaded and simply wrote checks to make that trouble go away.

At any rate, I always liked his cheer and kindness, and seeing him at Xanadu Tech (when he worked there) always made my day a little brighter.

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