I was going to post a blog about our gardening this summer but I am so depressed about Rafa Saavedra’s death that I have to postpone that.
It’s weird because part of me just needs to make this post Spanglish, because that is what Rafa wrote, that’s what he lived, that’s what i learned from him.
I remember going to a cafe in Mexico City and finding Moho magazine, a literature magazine full of very disturbed stories, not all of them good. Saavedra’s story “Vomito en el Freeway” (I vomit in the freeway) impressed me so much. He was a citizen of Tijuana in what TIME magazine has named MexAmerica, the informal country in between Mexico and the US where people speak between English and Spanish with no trouble at all. I was taught it was sacrilege to mix languages together, pocho was just a never, but Rafa didn’t care about that. He’d cross the bilingual border over and over, didn’t care who’d follow, but he would always hold out a hand in case you wanted to join.
It pains me that such a great writer is now gone. I’d even dare to say he influenced my writing so much. At one point he was my favorite writer, in college when I’d love reading “El problema de enero” (The problem with January) every end of January like religion. I really wished I had met him in person, maybe even taken an awkward picture with him.
He was one of the first writers in Mexico to cross the cyber border and make a place for himself among the vines of the interweb, nestled between what is now modern blogging. A true cybernaut. You’ll be missed Rafa Dro (that was his DJ name, because writing was only one of his passions).