My parents, being from Mexico, unconventionally spelled my name “Alexandra” instead of “Alejandra.” My mother would make the point that Mexico, in Spanish, was pronounced “meh-hee-coh”—meaning, the “x” had a “j” sound (the “j” sound in Spanish is equivalent to the “h” sound in English). Although, to be fair, the “x” in every other Spanish word has the “ks” sound (conexión, xilófono, etc.).
Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
I learned the answers to these questions when I was in the 9th grade. It was 1990, and They Might Be Giants had just released a new album called Flood. Up until this point, my musical taste was quite stunted.
Home is Not Always Where You’ve Lived the Longest
Although I say that I grew up in Los Angeles, California, I secretly identify with growing up in Aguascalientes – I spent all of my childhood summers there. So much of my family history comes from Aguascalientes.
My grandmother on my mother’s side grew up on a hacienda in Durango, Mexico in the early 1920s. After my great grandparents lost their home and surrounding land during the Cristero War in the 1920s, they re-established roots in Aguascalientes. My grandfather grew up not too far from Aguascalientes, and it was there that he met my grandmother.
“Every gun makes its own tune.”
— Blondie, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
“Ross” (*see disclaimer at the end) had almost been hunted down in an old hotel in Jerusalem, drank beer with a midget in Berlin, and slept on the deck of a boat on the way to Crete. He’d traveled the entirety of Route 66 and taken photos of every ghost motel and café. He nearly moved to Mexico to marry a girl. He owned an assortment of World War I rifles and vintage handguns. He’d read everything and met everyone.
NOTE: This article was originally published in LatinoMetro on June 7, 2012, three years ago today. Daniel and I later joked that I had unintentionally written myself into the article. Little did I know that I had literally written myself into his life. We’ve now embarked into a new chapter, where we collaborate on creative projects, as well as the great project of living life on this earth.
Several years ago, I ran across the written work of Daniel Reyes, when I started to get serious about my own blog – Chronicles of Undercover Mexican Girl. I was curious. Who was out there? Was there anybody else like me? Were there any “Latino” writers trying to make sense of their cultural identities, re-capture childhood experiences, document present-day adventures?