On the way to the airport, suddenly I feel the presence of the Spanish, not just the Spanish but every conquerer, all of us conquerers, the conquerer as a force that survives in it’s heavy buildings and crumbling ledges. The taxi driver asks if we’ve been through this part of Lima before. I interpret keeping the notes of sadness I perceive in his voice to myself, not sure if they’re mine or his. The driver continues to skim the depth of this place us: a comment regarding bygone indigenous building methods, current poverty in the area, and mass graves near the cathedrals, a meter wide where bodies where thrown in during the war.

Through the window I see Indigenous everywhere. Faces that say: we fought, we tried and now this is what is. Crowded buses, loud trucks, society. My academic brain kicks on. The indigenous resistance must have been valiant. I try to recall the names of the great caciques. I can’t. The radio continues it’s steady parade of oldies in English indifferent to time, mood and geography. I return my gaze to the faces.

This is the place I love. I am not this place but I love it. A self-awareness of sadness manifests. I am sad. No, I just haven’t had any coffee I decide. And then I realize, we all drink to forget.

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