I walked in the city center for hours, running some errands. I felt overwhelmed by the people, the noise, the traffic. Everything, basically. Though a sense of familiarity also kicked in. Nothing had changed. Like a year and a half away was just a small scratch in the water. Like my absence was a pause and things continued to be as usual once I returned. And that familiar feeling set in. Santiago, my city, is part of me. The craziness, the dirt, the loudness. Every corner, every junky sleeping and dying under every bridge. Every stray dog and every turd they leave on the sidewalk for people to step on. Every cheater, rapist, killer, corrupt, psycho, shoplifter. Every nagging old lady, every dead cat rotting in the weed of every park. Every prostitute, every transvestite sucking on some rich guy’s dick in some dark alley. Every molecule of the thick, gray, dusty and polluted air Santiago’s inhabitants breath and die of. All of that is part of me, but I am not part of it. Not anymore. Not ever. I’m an outsider. Have always been. Will always be.