I Can’t Wake Up Unless a Rooster is in Puberty

By Rotten Tacos

If you’re new to Xela, your ears have probably noticed something a bit affronting: it is fecking noisy. You wake and wonder if there’s a shooting range nearby. You mutter mild threats at the 6-year-old neighbor whose favorite game is “throw the ball at walls when the gringas are sleeping” (“Jorge, voy a enviar la fantasma de mi abuela para seguirte para todo tu vida si no pares con la bola”). You’ve considered clipping wires on the buzzsaw running daily at 6:30 am next door.

Like a good kid, I went home to see my folks for the holidays. It surprised me to feel that I not only really missed the noise, but I couldn’t really function without it. Home brought new meaning to the phrase “oh silent night”. I could hear clocks ticking 30 feet away and the absence of noise in my ears, just humming and waiting for a blast of exhaust or reggaeton. I overslept 3 hours every day and found myself spacing out because there was no abrupt sound to snap me back into reality.

No one was around during the day so I entertained myself by making frequent breaks to the kitchen to eat cheese. I sat inside all day having elaborate conversations with myself because the next most entertaining person around was a stuffed panda bear.

I tried to do my same Xela routine, but without all the things that make it “my Xela routine”. It cannot be replicated. Everything’s just as it should be working, just as expected, right on time. No one’s outside just hangin’ out. No one tried to run me over.

Compared to mono-lingual humans I felt so fluent I could have invented Spanish. I walked around while looking up, sans fear of poop foot. No one proposed to me, called me a beautiful mama, or meowed at me like a cat. I didn’t run into friends everywhere I went – and when I did meet old acquaintances, I had to put my best bullshit on to feign interest in curtain selection for the new homeowners.

I go home because that is where I am from and that is where my family lives and sometimes I like being in the woods without worrying about another mammal assaulting me and I want to eat Cheez-its.

I go home for the history and the nostalgia and the few conversations with people that know about that one thing that happened in 2002 and it’s still hilarious. I go back to wander thoughtlessly through the places I can drive to with my eyes closed.

Mainly, I go home to appreciate it, but know that I am happy that I don’t have to stay in the silent tundra. That noise of Xela is simply a reflection of the life that fills the city. It’s part of the chaos, and its strangely part of the charm that draws us into a place where life and people are little less predictable and a lot more open. We love the noise Xela adds to life, and honestly, I need a crowing rooster in puberty to get me out of bed in the morning.

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