It's always such a strange trip returning to the United States. Even to some place like California, where most people are aware of Mexico and attuned to its beat, and a good many are part Mexican themselves or culturally Mesoamerican in some fashion. It's still not the same.
Mexico is an engulfing maelstrom, a non-stop party, the journey down the cave. The U.S.A. is this orderly appointment on freeways, where everything is watched, guarded, measured, and mediated. The one true religion is buying things. The crucial point, of course, the question, is where the two merge successfully or not, and how that happens.
Each time I come home to the border, I'm happy, but I am also almost immediately freaked out. I stand in line with the transnational workforce, come near the customs agents, take a deep breath, and tell myself, 'OK, get ready, this is going to be weird ...'
* Above, sunset over San Ysidro and the Tijuana river. 5 Feb. 2011.