The Haitian Trunk

Some years ago I finagled possession of a family heirloom, a trunk my step-father picked up in his travels in Haiti.  It is large enough to crawl inside and pull the barrel vaulted lid down on top of yourself.  I can’t say how long I have managed to hang onto it, or how I have done so without doing it any damage, or losing it in my many moves. Inside it I carry my past.  I have always believed that if I kept the thread of my stories together, I would one day unpack them and discover what my life is about, and lay out the blueprint, or the treasure map, to the story as I would like it told.

There are gaps in the narrative, and I am a shoddy record-keeper; but in the piles of notebooks, photographs, consecrated broken clocks, divine pocket knives,  fliers for bands long broken up, and letters from old girlfriends, there is a common thread-me. I picture myself at a desk, a dedicated funcionario, with an inbox on my left as high as the ceiling.  I process each item, evaluating it for its historical significance and narrative merit, then digesting it into fiction, nonfiction, or poem than placing the empty husks on my right-hand side in the outbox, where each item will be preserved, or discarded.

The Big Ring Circus, has become another Haitian trunk, full of evidence and artifacts. It is a narrative that jumps in time and space, leaving fingerprints of nearly a decade.  I found myself writing about bikes,  probably because I trust bikes to always get me where I want to go.

This is where we have arrived next,



4 Responses to The Haitian Trunk

  1. I’ve long since given up on making any sense of blessourhearts. I just can’t even imagine trying. I salute you for this, Juancho. Here you are. I am glad to see what happens as you sift through the contents of that trunk.

  2. In its brilliant and convoluted way, this post might be the best description of the dilemma the blog writer faces as a writer in general. Does that make sense? I will imagine myself such a desk and perhaps get a book going, finally.

  3. Ahhh, the 20th century Haitian trunk! 🙂 Imagine its being found in an attic someday, pre-BRC material, still waiting to be published!

  4. wait, now I have to give you my email? Just to flame this page? I’m just glad to hear “Haitian trunk” being used in a non-sexual way.