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  • Day of the Dead is when -according to ancient beliefs- a portal between our world and the world of the dead opens. This is also the biggest Dia de Plaza of the year in the city of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, when people sell or trade tons of goods for the "ofrendas" (offerings): tables full of flowers, food and alcohol to worship our ancestors.
  • -Sit here, Xito- The cab driver helps a blind old man who holds a clay comal to get in the car for a collective ride to Nundiche, where grandma Xixi Adelaida is waiting for me...I would later find out that "Xito" (uncle) is the respectful way to call an old man in Mixtec, and also that this man is my grandmother´s cousin, so he´s totally my Xito.
  • On our way to Nundiche we pass by a Santa Muerte (Holy Death) altar full of flowers and candles from worshipers that are constantly reminded of their mortality by this female folk saint. I always feel a weird vibe on Day of the Dead...When we get to the town a chicken is pecking a dead dog on the road that was just ran over.
  • Xixi is sitting in the front porsche of her little house, she complains about the neighbours as they pass in front of her carrying orange cempasúchil flowers from the church to the graveyard:

    -They say they´re going to pray but they just go to church because they don´t have anything else to do!

    She´s been grumpy and depressed since her son Pablo´s death.
  • Little hunched figures move like Pac-Man ghosts in a labyrinth: old ladies in the cemetery decorating the graves with flowers.
  • It`s only me and Xixi so she cooks a delicious Mole while I arrange the ofrenda on her table with a photo of her dad, fruit, alcohol and beer. Then she lights the copal and starts blowing the smoke until the smell fills her little room so the scent will guide the returning souls.
  • I take Xixi to the graveyard so she can put flowers and light a candle in Pablo´s grave, she walks very slow and talks nervously about him:

    -Even when he was totally hungovered, with his garments ripped apart, Pablo would come and visit me: "Mom, I brought you some tortillas, I brought you some beans". And I don´t even have a photo of him to put in my ofrenda, I´m going crazy!
  • We go back home before it starts to rain.
  • I walk to the cemetery at night where the storm left some candles alive. I hear my mom´s voice in my head:

    -One day when I was a little girl and we were in Oaxaca on vacation Pablo brought home a rabbit he hunted, he was really proud of offering this to us, all he had was whatever he could get from the mountain, that rabbit was all he could give to us, his siblings from the city. Your grandma Adelaida always made differences among us depending on the color of our skin, your aunt Lina is white so she was her favorite, I am brown so I was the ugly one, but Pablo...he was the savage, "el indio", he never felt that he was worth my mother´s love or our love, I don´t think he could ever heal those wounds...No wonder why he drank himself to death.
  • The next morning I have to take Xixi back to Mexico City so I quickly clean up the ofrenda and open a bottle of beer from it.

    -Did you asked permission from my dad?- Xixi asks.

    -For what?

    -That´s his beer.

    -Yes- I lie.

    A substance covers the mountains, it looks as if there was a sparkling white sea hiding the villages beneath, it´s the fog that embraces this land and one day will take us Mixtec -"People of the clouds"- back home.
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