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The Great Escape

Although my life is hardly a prison, lately I have escape on the brain. It all started two days ago when Maria and I went on an organized bike ride and this woman named Cassandra casually told us that she had just bought a one-way ticket to Mexico and so this was the last ride she would be leading for a while, maybe forever.

All through the ride I couldn’t stop thinking about it. A one-way ticket? Maybe forever? How is she doing it? What about her stuff?  What about family obligations? What about the need to make money and contribute to the commonwealth through the rendering of taxes upon your income and purchases?

I was also jealous because, although I didn’t go this year, I would normally be in Mexico myself right about now.   For the last several years I have escaped the weather every February and decamped to Mexico City for two weeks of sunshine, Spanish lessons, amazing food, trips to the pyramids and salty, lime-encrusted beers.

And then, thinking of escaping to Mexico City made me think of my first Spanish teacher there, Berenice.  She taught us swear words in Mexican slang and said that her favorite verb was huir, which can mean to flee like from the scene of a crime like OJ Simpson but which also means to escape, to chuck it all and hit the road like Dean Moriarty. When I returned the following year she didn’t work there anymore and I haven’t seen her on any of my subsequent trips.

As far as I can tell Berenice made good on her escape. I do wonder from time to time though what happened to her and what her life is like now and if huir is still her favorite verb.  I wonder if she and Casandra will meet up on an organized bike ride somewhere. And I wonder which definition of huir she was really talking about.

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