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Another Incubation
April 2, 2023

by Alejandro Anaya, text, art, photos

As I get closer to my April birthday my ability to see my life from the outside has increased exponentially. It is as if I have "zoomed out" from my day to day perspective, and have begun to see the big picture of what has happened in my 18,246 days of being alive to date.

Last week my wife and I were visiting Puerto Vallarta pre-celebrating our anniversary and my reaching the fifty year mark. During a dinner there, something strange happened to me. I began to perceive my surroundings as if I were reading them in a novel. It was as if everything were being narrated:

"The warm beach wind found us at the window of a small Italian restaurant, waiting for the pizza we had ordered. We had decided against a festive celebration. There were no people singing their congratulations, just the music from the 80s in the background and our eyes reflecting how grateful we were for this trip."

I then remembered the story my father told me, 15 days before he died, about my coming into the world. The doctor at the Clínica Torreón was sure that what my mother had in her belly was a tumor that had to be removed. When my father sought a second opinion, the diagnosis of pregnancy, delivered at the hospital in El Paso, Texas, was even more surprising, since, because of a kidney ailment, my mother had had her tubes tied. Due to the danger in continuing the pregnancy, labor was induced and I was born in April, instead of May. Consequently, I spent a brief period in an incubator.

The novel that was being written in my mind continued:

"The child who had come before his time, now as a man, had to return to the incubator, only this time it was a mental and creative incubation. He had to be locked up in a less than fulfilling office job for 13 years to dream his new life, a life which became more evident as he approached his fifties, a life which he now had."

"After the bill had been paid, the waiter from the little Italian place came back and explained that the restaurant wanted to give the man a complimentary chocolate flan. Surprised, the man turned to his wife, but she had no part in this gesture. It seems that the universe wanted to remind him that he had to celebrate not only fifty years of life, but also his second exit from the incubator, the rebirth of the artist that he was as a child, who drew and made his own comics, who invented his own characters and stories."

Returning to San Miguel, I remembered how much I loved these cobbled streets and the cool mornings that invite me to have a coffee and draw.

The novel continued its narration in my head:

"The clouds turned gray and flooded the sky to give shade to the newcomer after the incessant sun of the beach. The wind cooled and caressed his skin to receive him as an adopted son, who already felt like family. 'Here is your home,' barked the dogs in the street, chimed the church bells, and, when night had fallen, sounded the fireworks, exploding there aside of the moon, watched recently over the sea, but now seen in its true abode, after another incubation".


Alejandro Anaya is a visual artist and writer, originally from Torreon who, for almost four years, has lived and actively participated in the San Miguel community. His collaboration with Lokkal is part of his philosophy as a storyteller, and his commitment to share his discoveries and reflections on this beautiful part of Mexico, with all who seek to live a unique experience in our magical town.



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