At some point in our lives, most of us, if not all, have had to endure attending a wedding. Perhaps it was for a close friend, a family member, or even your own wedding. Maybe you were even part of the court as a bridesmaid or groomsman. Personally, I've had to endure all of the above. My siblings are both married and I was part of their courts. I've attended numerous family weddings throughout my life. My best friends have also gotten married. I was in their courts as well. It is as if weddings are as inevitable as puberty and losing your baby teeth, and equally as unfavorable.
There are approximately nine to ten miles between the El Paso Museum of History, located in downtown El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The two binational metropolitan cities, however, are strikingly intertwined. They are not only bound together geographically, historically, and culturally, but artistically as well. Their influence on each other is literally quite apparent, especially while gallivanting through the downtown streets of either side of the border.
Isolated at the farthest western tip of Texas is a desertic and mountainous gem. With over 500 miles between it and Austin, its closest major Texan city, El Paso, Texas, has become a flamboyant hybrid of the American Dream and Mexican culture. Two miles south of El Paso is Ciudad Juárez, one of the most populous cities in Mexico. The only dividing apparatuses between the two major cities are the Rio Grande and four international bridges of entry.
A soft shimmer flares from a single candle which compliments the profound brown hue of his pupils. Two pints of frothy beers arrive, instantly staining the white tablecloth with a wet rim as they are placed before us. The waitress is dressed in a crisp, black, neatly-tucked dress shirt, and a girthy, velvet tie. She relays that she will return to take our order.
I first heard Shakira in 1995 while accompanying my mother as she ran some errands. Sitting in the backseat of the car, I took interest in a song which began to play on the radio. The musical style of the song was familiar; similar to the songstress aesthetic of the 90's crafted by artists such as Joan Osborne, Alanis Morissette, and Jewel. However, the voice was not familiar whatsoever. What was more surprising is that she was singing in Spanish.
My parent's house in El Paso, Texas, the house I grew up in, is a few blocks away from the border between the United States and Mexico. From the rooftop of that house, you can see Ciudad Juárez. In particular, you can see El Monumento a la Mexicanidad, a now iconic monument dedicated to Mexican nationals often referred to as "La X." From many rooftops of the houses closest to the border and many other rooftops in the vicinity, the borderlines are blurred, juxtaposed with one another, but also merging into one, separated merely by rock, water, and metal.