Sliding Doors

(About the ability to change fate, Puyuhuapi & Medellin  – 26/10/2018)

Sliding Doors is an interesting movie. From, at least, the reflection is trying to make. The film alternates between two parallel lifelines, based on the two paths the central character’s life could take depending on whether she catches a train or not, and causing different outcomes in her life.

If you want to see the movie do not continue reading this post, as I will reveal how it ends. Otherwise, keep reading.

In April this year, in one of the most remote towns in Chile, I rescued a tiny little kitten giving her the possibility of survival (http://www.libonotos.com/2018/04/06/kitten-hero/ ). Her name was Felipa. I was very pleased to follow her thriving process and to know she was happy and doing well. I thought I did something good. I thought I made a difference.

Felipa on the day she was rescued

The couple who adopted the cat, David & Margaret wrote me few days ago. Over the past months, Felipa was doing very well, becoming a playful happy cat. But one morning, Felipa’s mood changed. Suddenly she lost appetite and playfulness. Her mood deteriorated during the day. In the evening, Felipa’s sight became lost, as she was not fully present in the moment. She did not eat at all. At that point, David & Margaret decided to go the vet first thing in the morning. For that they had to take a bus to the nearest town.

They decided to comfort Felipa in the best way possible until the morning. So Felipa spent the night at their room, in the bed, fully warm. That was the best way Felipa could spend the night.

When they woke up in the morning, Felipa was not in this world anymore. She could not make it through the night. Whitin 24h of the first symptom, she was gone.

Just like in the movie, where the two parallel lifelines that occurred (depending on whether she catched a train or not) ended up merging at the same point, the fate of Felipa could not be changed. Her fate was not to stay in this planet. God knows if that little creature will come back to this world or to another world, in the body of another cat or more evolved creature. But what is certain is that she accomplished her mission in this planet.

Perhaps I did not make a difference in her fate, just delayed by 6 months. Still believe was worth the effort. And I am, at least, relieved that I contributed to make her path to her final fate a happier one.

Be in peace wherever you are, Felipa.

Grinder perks

(An unconventional party in Santiago – 05/05/2018)

Is inevitable for a gay man traveling alone not to use dating apps when in a city. Although the selection of apps is vast, seems grinder is in the DNA of every country gay life.

Today for a person starting to socialize in the gay world is as easy as downloading a free app in the smartphone. What a difference from my first steps in gay world back in the 1990. Those beginnings are worth, if not a book, a good post. But let’s go back to today’s story.

After 6 weeks in icy and lonely Patagonia, it was time for some urban lifestyle and gay socializing. So I deployed my fishing net and turned on grinder upon my arrival to Santiago.

Perhaps is my age, perhaps is my mood… but it takes lots of non-transcendental entries before something interesting comes along.

That day it was particularly tedious… so when someone send me a message inviting me to a big party, my curiosity woke up.

The party was going to be celebrated in the evening, with an attendance of roughly 40 people in a location disclosed by whatsapp only 2h prior the start. And, although you could suspect that sex is behind every social gathering, it was not an invitation for a dodgy party. An entrance fee had to be paid and there was going to be a bar and music.

I wasn’t sure if I would go but was good to have a plan if nothing else happens.

Two hours before the start I got my invitation through whatsapp. I fought the idea of going. I imagined either a bad place or a party full of uninteresting people. But the fact was that by 10pm had no better plan so I said to myself ‘what the hell, let’s go to there’

Party was in a flat at the 16th floor of modern block. As I had to disclose to the concierge where I was going, I thought I could sense what he was thinking at that moment…. ‘another one’ …… Part of my was slightly embarrassed although there was no reason for.

Once at the flat door I tried to hear from outside the door any kind of noise either to reassure or dismiss the idea of entering. But nothing. So I had to venture and buzzed the bell.

What I found inside was, at least, refreshing. It seemed that two young men turned their flat into a weekend gay bar. Most of furniture was cleared and a decoration of curtains and lights was throughout the entire place. There was a bar, a DJ and even a cloak check.

‘People in South America are so creative that invent ways to make revenue’ – I thought.   So I went for a drink and decided to relax and enjoy the peculiarity of the setting.

As I chatted to the organizers, the whole thing turned to be more sophisticated than two young guys setting an informal bar. Almost one hour after my arrival, an older guy entered the bar. Turned out to be the manager. I spoke to him as I was in a talkative and curious mood. And he explained to me the way that bar was operated.

Rather than an informal thing, there was an organized structure behind it. The two young boys in the bar and him were working for a company. That company was hiring flats for the weekend only from standard people (imagine you have your flat and rent it for the weekend to an event company). So flat owners leave their flat sat morning. The company arrives at sets the bar and venue for the evening, operates the bar until Sunday morning, to clear and give the flat to their owners in the evening.

Owners don’t know what goes on in their flats and customers never know where the next bar is. The whole thing iterates and get clientele from the whatsapp subscription list plus any local guys in the vicinity found through grinder.

Rest to tell, is like any other gay venue. So there was a bit of everything for everyone. I couldn’t take pics of the entire thing as the hosts did not want pictures of the whole thing, but I managed to get a couple of snapshots.

                

It wasn’t the most amazing party I have been, but certainly was one of the most peculiar venues I have been and, therefore, refreshing. Besides that, I made a new friend and beautiful connection.

Kitten Hero

(Rescuing a fighter, Puyuhuapi, Chile – 06/04/2018)

I am on the conviction that there aren’t different types of life. Human life is no different than animal life. Life is life. All live beings are a portion of the primitive source. We all are one single life from which each live being is a portion. We all part of the same thing. We all are connected.

During my trip across South America, I have seen lots of street animals. So when I have come across to these animals, I could not help the impulse of interacting with them. I believe that animal interaction brings us closer to The Source, and therefore, make us more humans. We are more human when we get closer to that source.

And some species are so related to humans, that we (or at least I) can sense their emotions. When you look into the eyes of a dog or a cat, you can feel what emotion the animal is feeling. For that reason, although during this trip I have been helping and comforting people, I have also been comforting animals I found on my way.

Among all pets, I have to admit I have a soft spot for cats. Such a fierce type of animal (feline) in such a small size that makes it vulnerable as well… what a cute combination. The same way I like a man, fierce but also soft and tender…… But let’s go back to today’s story.

I found Felipa (that is the name of today’s cat) in the most remote place one could imagine. Puyuhuapi is a remote town in the Chilean Patagonia. Apart from snow, rain, wind and cold is hardly remote to find anything else in that town.

That evening we decided to cook our dinner in the camper van of my travel mates. We found a quiet spot outside town where we could cook, dine and drink. All with beautiful views of the lake front of us.

No longer after we started to cook, the smell of our food brought 3 extra guests to our setting. Bamboo and Fiona (two dogs) and Felipa, a small fragile kitten. Leaving aside my soft spot for cats, it was obvious Felipa was in a more fragile situation than Bamboo and Fiona. The dogs were grown up and look relatively healty. Felipa looked rough and shaky. She was tiny.

Poor Bamboo was so cute but scared of human touch… Obviously some humans hurt him and he associated human interaction with beating. It took a lot of work for Alessandra (my travel mate) to overcome that fear and make the dog trust human touch.

Fiona, though the biggest and more grown up pet, was a selfish needy animal. Always trying to get in between any of us and the other animals. So someone had to constantly distract here so the we could take care of the other two: Bamboo and Felipa.

Felipa and her fragility melted my heart. I could see she was struggling. So I focused on feeding her with the leftovers of the tuna cans. At some point, jealous Fiona tried to attack Felipa and steal the food from her. The reaction of such a little kitten was admirable. She hissed and show her nails out, confronting a dog it was at least 6 times bigger than her.

‘Oh, She’s a fighter’ – I told my travel mates while we watched the scene.

At that point I decided I could not leave her alone.

So after the dinner, I took Felipa in my arms with me and decided to bring her to the hostel I was staying. Something will work out. Hostel owners might love having a cat around. But hostel owner’s daughter hated cats. She had kind of mental breakdown conceiving the idea little Felipa was around.

‘Oh, Felipa… things are not looking good for you’ – told my little kitten

Took her out with me and asked around in town until someone told me there was a house with a couple having lots of cats. Despite the vague indications, I managed to find it.

David and Margaret were the owners. They were living with another 8 cats. I did not have to say much. When they saw Felipa, immediately took her on board.

‘If there’s space for 8, there’s space for 9’, they said.

And just like that Felipa jumped free towards the food bowl. Brief after, she comforted herself in a warm place, under the stove. And a big cat in the house greeted her.

Seeing that, reassured me she finally found a safe place she could stay. And just like that, despite how fond I became of that little kitten, I let her go. I greeted David and Margaret, thanking them for such a generous gesture.

Turned my back and left. I could swear that I felt the connection with such a tiny creature. That our energies were synced. I felt the closeness. That we both were connected to the same source.

That night fluffy paws were in my dreams. And a big smile in my face. And I felt a bit more human.