Saturday, September 14, 2013

Redolence of Mexico

It’s true when someone says they can never go back to their home country after being in the United States for soo long. I can’t count how many times I’ve romanticized the few memories I have before leaving at the age of seven. As such, I’ve held on to them because I don’t ever want to forget where I came from, the things I did and what it was like to be a kid. No matter what, I can never go back to how things were then because I’m not seven anymore. Family has moved on and even the houses and land I once lived in may not be there anymore. Least not like I remember them.

I visit these memories now mostly as a courtesy to myself. I’ve built many more on top of those and as I get older, they’re becoming more and more vague. Like anyone else, I do my best to keep reminders around me or visit certain places to keep these memories alive. Wrestling mask is one of them.

Before I was born, my father was a luchador. He never made it beyond the warm up matches that got the crowd warmed up for the main event because of a shoulder injury, and because I was born. I can remember walking toward the entrance of the stadium. Seeing folks sell everything from cotton candy, tiny luchador action figures to wrestling mask. I can remember being in our seats, up high, looking down at the ring and hearing the babble of the crowds.

But the distinct smell of the mask has always been imprinted in my head. Over the years, I’ve come across numerous mask of all kinds, but none of them ever smell like the mask I remember having. In a sort of obsessed way, I’ve been looking for the kind of mask that you can only get in Mexico, hoping that someone brought them up here and they’re selling them. To this day, I’ve never found anyone that has’m, not like the ones that remind me of my childhood.

Recently, I had a friend offer me an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. His dad brought back a couple of mask directly from Mexico. The kind of mask I’ve been looking for all these years. When I finally got them in the mail, I couldn’t help getting emotional over them. Not only were they the mask of two of my favorite legends, Blue Demon and El Santo, but also the smell took me back to my childhood.

The texture of the material, they way they fit and even they way the mask feels against my skin; it was just as I remember it. It’s as if a part of me that was missing for all these years reattached itself. Part of me wants to wear the mask everywhere, but another just wants the have them on display, but either way, I’m over joyed at finally having my hands on them. The nostalgia of a scent from a time long ago, instantly brought back after all these years.