My Ruptured Body
thesisposted on 2016-10-18, 00:00 authored by Christopher W. Girman
After a brief introduction to stereotypical conceptions of the Western white male traveler, the narrator explains how his academic success positioned him in a “traditional subject position” dependent upon endless knowledge production and quests for so-called truths. Upon his first trip to Latin America, he found an escape from such a system and proceeded to travel in the region for many years. One such trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico resulted in the narrator’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) leaving him unable to recall the circumstances of the injury or much of his subsequent two weeks in the hospital. The narrator insists that the injury is somehow his own fault, but cannot explain why. Part I begins in Houston, two days after the narrator has been released from the Mexican hospital to his sister and brother-in-law. The narrator visits the emergency room, where he learns the full extent of his injuries. Part II reconstructs the trip to San Miguel and the narrator’s first memory after being injured: waking up five days later in a hospital bed. This part of the story alternates back and forth between the narrator’s growing friendship with an orderly named Manuel and memories of his childhood and various trips to Latin America. In Part III the narrator comes to terms with his injury and the reasons that led him to Latin America in the first place.