GUEST ROOM | A Journey of Reconnection

As you stroll down Thames St. toward the bus stop, your fingers instinctively reach for your trusty twenty-five-cent lighter to ignite your cigarette. The day’s toil has drawn to a close, and the sun has gracefully descended behind the familiar concrete jungle that is Buenos Aires. A gentle breeze playfully teases the smoke, nudging it back toward your face as you exhale, a subtle reminder of your journey to the bus stop.

Patience is your closest companion as you await the fifty-five, a bus whose punctuality is as unpredictable as the weather. Sometimes it arrives early, at other times fashionably late and, on rare occasions, it might not appear at all. In due time, you retrieve your Sube card, ready to hop aboard, standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, just like sardines in a can. Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” serenades your senses through noise-canceling AirPods, its lyrics cocooning your thoughts as you gaze aimlessly out of the window. 

Three blocks from María Cámpos, your hand finds the button to signal the bus driver to pull over. An eager anticipation fills you as you inhale the fresh air on your stroll to your second cousin, Mercedes’s, home. The last time you saw her, you were a timid six-year-old, grappling with a fear of the Spanish language, her brother and the world at large. Now, you stand on the cusp of concluding your eight-week odyssey through South America all on your own.