There is a certain magic in the way that Rupac looks at night. Lost in the middle of the jungle, its gigantic stones looking to the East, it seems to be the perfect place where one could stay and nobody would dare to tell you ever to leave.
My brothers and friends are gathered around the bonfire we made inside one of the ancient stone houses. I have tried to walk a hundred feet away, but it feels dangerous among the vivid sounds of insects, a distant brook, and the moving leaves of the surrounding forest. After dangling my feet over the abyss for a few minutes, I walk back.
The morning after, I was among my brothers and my friends descending the path to the small town of Pampas, leaving behind the ancient stones of the perpendicular city that touches the clouds. The soles of my muddy boots were gone, and I preferred to descend bare foot. It was a three mile path beside a waterfall that transformed the light into a luminous rainbow.
Four hours later, I throw myself over my bed and tried to summarize the trip in my school notebook.
I have discovered this morning, in a forgotten drawer of my Lima’s bedroom, the brief sentence that I wrote about that weekend on a piece of yellowish paper: “We left to see the light and through the light to guess who we are.”
All the pictures that I took of that trip, including the zoom to a condor standing over a stone and gazing into the curious lens of my Canon camera, are lost.
But my memory is rigid. Among the ruins of Rupac, running down the muddy path towards Pampas, I discovered a piece of an eternal truth.
My brothers know how difficult it is for me to lie. Everytime, I prefer lying to myself.
Written after reading Henry James’ description of the horrors of WWI, and the execution of Nafisi’s student, Razieh, by the Revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran, in the book Reading Lolita in Tehran