incessant ranting of a persistent love affair (about my country), 2019

2,043 word love letter hand sewn onto a fabric from my childhood home


So I’m going to go right ahead and tell you a story about love. You can consider this a long letter, a short story or a tedious rapport about a terrible relationship... but I feel that it is a story I need to say out loud. I am still not sure if it is actually worth telling, but I am writing it down and you will be reading it or hearing it. You can be the judge, whether we should share it or not. You can let me know whether you feel others have felt the same way or if someone else might want to hear me out. Because a love story can be told from many angles, perspectives and in many ways, since everyone feels love differently. There are different kinds of love and different things we love. For me, I feel I need to take this one off my chest... to love again. To love others and to, in a way, get on with my life.

This is one all consuming love. A relationship that has caused me so much pain and so much gain. At this point I debate which exactly I’ve had more of, and I still think that for me... I’ve won more than I have lost. But winning some battles doesn’t take away the loss of others. We started out from the very beginning. As I grew up, we both grew. We changed. We even went through adolescence and that rebel faze together. The thing is that I grew up, but you continued and still continue to rebel through life. When I was younger, I felt we had so much to do together. So many adventures to come. I dreamt of how much we could share. The beach, well actually too many beaches, the mountains, deserts, plains, snow, the jungle and so much more. I felt we had so many things to conquer. This conquest wasn’t like the colonizers taking and imposing themselves, this was a mutually beneficial conquest. I thought we could both be AMAZING. They say that the young are dreamers. That if you don’t believe in the impossible when you’re in your twenties you’re doomed to a life of cynicism and neglect. But, I’m still in my twenties and you’ve broken me. You’ve made me so anxious that I spend months without wanting to know anything about you and then you re-appear and have me wrapped-up in this all-consuming feeling of wanting more. You become the center of my life once again. I revolve around you. I can only think of you and I can only talk about you.

I wonder if this obsession is because I am an artist. Do artists really feel more? Is it that we feel more deeply than others? Is it that we do not know how to control our emotions? Or that our only control becomes producing artwork? Well that last one for me is completely false. I can barely work, I stress eat, and because you are literally tearing me apart at the moment I decided I had to start dealing with my stress through exercise. This is what maturing looks like for me... no stress eat, stress run. And it is all because of you. But I know others that go through this type of obsession and are not artists. I don’t necessarily want to take away the fact that others don’t feel as much, I just want to —perhaps explain why I feel the need to rant a little. I’m no writer, I am an artist, I am a person that needs to let go, drain and process information and has found that through typing word after word some of the stress goes away.

I started to feel this back and forth love relationship with you when I was in high school. I was slowly forced to understand the consequences of your decisions. I was being introduced to your good and bad side at the same time. I was learning to love and hate you without knowing it. As when one is a teenager and life starts to happen, I didn’t really notice what was going on. Life was literally just happening and I was understanding you were difficult.. but I didn’t know how long we could keep this up. I didn’t appreciate you enough then and I didn’t realize what was going to become of you. I didn’t know you were going to spiral down into the chaos that has become your current existence. I had already left you once, but I had come back. At that time, coming back to you wasn’t my decision... in fact, I wanted to stay away. I didn’t know you were toxic, you just hadn’t yet become my only obsession. At that time, it was my parents that had decided we should re-unite. We had always spent a few months apart, but it was different, I knew we would be together again. So after high school, I was meant to study University abroad... we always knew this was going to happen. My whole family had studied elsewhere. Me leaving for 4 years was sort of “set in stone”, but leaving had always meant there was going to be a reunion. We would both be better afterwards. You’d get your act together and be who you’d promised to be and me, well I would have grown up a bit and I would have a University degree. A piece of paper that is apparently needed to make all the incredible plans we had together actually happen. When we said goodbye it wasn’t definitive. It was temporary, our love could go on without it hurting me just yet.

Well apparently you were sick and no one that wanted to help you could do so. You needed to go through everything you’ve been through. You needed to destroy me and everyone who’s ever loved you over and over again. Every year you required more and more attention. Every year you metastasized. Every time I visited you I didn’t know if it was going to be the last time, if I would be back or if I even wanted to be back. It hurt so much to see you like this. The uncertainty you made me feel, killed me slowly. You were no longer how I remembered, you were no longer what I was promised you were going to be. You made me grow a sort of elephant skin. Being tough was the only way I could get through you... but again and again you came back. You knocked on my heart, you gave me a glimpse of what could be and like a blindfolded innocent child I returned and gave you my heart. But when you truly broke my heart for the first time, I detached. I couldn’t deal with you anymore. You had become poison.

It wasn’t only me telling myself you were no good for me. It was so many people that surrounded me, it became logical to hate you. But hating you was even tougher than loving you. It was exhausting. I had to find an alternative. I had to find other dreams. I had to not only detach from you, but from myself... because you had always been such an important part of me. I know this is all sounding very dramatic and super intense. I’m just trying to explain what I’ve felt, the fucking emotional rollercoaster you have put me through. I have laughed and cried at the same time because of you. You have made me feel things that I have never felt with anything or anyone else other than you. And I know I am not alone, I know you have others. You are like John Travolta in Grease... an asshole who is pretty attractive, and who captivated the innocent and not so innocent then left, got old and fat but we still remember you singing, dancing and shining in the dream-like summer love story you sold so well. But our story didn’t end a few songs later. We kept on going.

As I thought I released you, as I thought I got over you... I had to come back. I still don’t know if I fought enough to keep you away or that my destiny has always been you, but we reunited. This time for more than a few months. I remember when I was going back to you it felt like I was losing. Like I was giving up. So many people were telling me it was a terrible mistake, that everyone is running away from you. I was being told I had alternatives, but none seemed promising at the moment. I convinced myself it would only be a few months, that I could then get my shit together and leave. Find a better option. Find a more promising substitute. But as I spent time with you, I remembered all the reasons why I loved you... even more than all the more pertinent reasons why I hated you. But isn’t this the definition of true love? I was once again wrapped in this love-hate relationship that I could not escape, that I was slowly surrendering into.

I re-discovered your beauty, your landscapes, your climate and your people. I saw you with a different light, I saw your attributes and your oh so many flaws. Through rediscovering you I discovered myself. I found that no matter how terrible you are, I am a part of you, just as much as you are a part of me. I discovered I also owe you. It is because of you that I am who I am and where I am. It is because of you that I have traveled, studied, lived and loved. But I have never loved as unconditionally as I have loved you. I realized that what I hated about you was a virus, but you were and are so much more than that infection. I realized I had to come back to you to detach you from the illness that had taken over you, but I could not do it alone. I recognized that what makes you the most magnificent you, few people know about. I understood that this attribute is your most criticized and most celebrated feature, I realized that this trait was, is and will always be: your people. I saw the brave, the relentless, the peaceful,

the loving, the generous, the welcoming, the happy, the caring, the beautiful and the grateful. I saw others as well, others that are not so great, but they are not enough to shadow the rest. I discovered that my obsession with you was that I wanted everyone to see you as I do, to see in you the promise I felt we had twenty years ago.

I discovered that, for me, there is no loving anything else so deeply until you are well. At least until I see you on a path to success, where we can both work together for our future. I found that my focus was on you and only you and that I could not deviate, just because it is all consuming. Our entire relationship made me realize it wasn’t about you and me, it is about everything and everyone that is you and me. I discovered that you have been my only true love that has broken and put me back together so many times but that it is my time to put you back piece by piece. It is my time to find all of those who’ve loved you, but are still heart broken... because you broke so many hearts. It is the first time in so many fucking years that I feel actual hope. It is the first time that I feel we can truly make this work and make it last.

Please know you cannot break my heart. I can’t make it through again. I want you and what it means to have you back. I want no substitutions. You aren’t optional. You are nature, love, family... You are my future. You are hope. You are Venezuela.