Chapped lips smeared with yellow mayonnaise on the 29th of July

29 Jul

I have found that a sudden shift from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern is hardest on one’s lips than on any other part of his body. Less than one week ago, my lips were basking in the warmth of summer, lathering themselves with cold ice cream and sweetened iced tea during moments of much-needed respite… They laughed effortlessly at the passing fluffy clouds and blew jovial bubbles in any swimming pool.

Then, suddenly, they found themselves, through no fault of their own, gasping for air and moisture on the cold, dry asphalt of the Chilean capital city. They quivered in frigid fear as they were carried out of the SCL airport, blowing clouds of water vapor into the sky, and they began to feel themselves contorted in ways they hadn’t for a long time in efforts to utter a language not their own. The chapping began almost immediately, and even an occasional application of Chap Stick was not enough to reverse their decay…

As they sought familiar foods in this foreign landscape, they were shocked to find that even their old amigo mayonnaise was not what they expected. She  was completely yellow, almost like mustard, and her flavor was different, although they couldn’t describe how. They began to crave warm coffee, instead of iced tea, and no relief was found in their beloved ice cream.

But as the days passed, the contortions grew easier; new friends made them smile; and “pisco sour” made them pucker.  And as they adjusted, these lips  began to prepare for a new assignment in this unknown land, that of dancing their native language much more slowly and clearly. They were to serve as models for younger lips that wanted desperately to be able to use these dance moves on their own… But as the days past and July approached its end, they were still chapped and cold, longing for the warmth of their home.

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