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i can still smell summer on your skin [18 Dec 2006|07:45pm]
i'm willingly wasting time.
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ralph ellison says. [07 Mar 2006|09:53pm]
a hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.
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sf chronicle says. [03 Feb 2006|10:18pm]
what you face isn't a trust issue. it's about a deeper understanding of people's motives. you won't like what you see, but it explains a lot.
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prized flavor [22 Jan 2006|11:00pm]
i'm drowning my body in hops and grains. it feels good.
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[08 Nov 2005|06:23pm]
I read old love letters I had written two years ago to a woman whose lips and eyes and hands I barely remember. And we spoke recently like strangers, admitting forgetfulness. I could not remember her caress, her moan. It’s odd how that happens.
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Elena Georgiou [11 Nov 2004|10:30am]
A Week in the Life of the Ethnically Indeterminate

Sitting in MacDonalds on 103rd & 3rd
I notice a couple staring at me
and hear them say Indian.
They walk towards me.
The woman has white skin,
blond hair, blue eyes.
The man has ebony skin,
black hair, brown eyes.
Excuse me, says the woman,
we were wondering
where you were from.
Yeah, says the man
because you look like
our people.
I look at the whiteness
and the blackness,
wondering who their people are.
We're Puerto Rican, they say
and walk away.

Walking to the store
in Crown Heights I see
an African-American man
sitting behind a table
selling incense and oils
he calls out sister, hey sister,
baby and then makes a noise
like he's calling a cat.
I don't respond.
On the way back
from the store
he calls out, mira, mira,
hey baby,
in any language,
English, Feline or Spanish
I don't respond.

I am buying lunch
at the falafel stand
on 68th and Lex
and the man serving me asks,
you from Morocco?
No, I say, Cyprus.
Where's Cyprus? he asks.
Above Egypt
to the left of Israel
and below Turkey.
Oh, he says looking blank.
How much for the falafel, I ask?
For you three dollars.
For Americans three fifty.
I go to pay and another man
stares hard into my face
and says, Are you a Jewish chick?
No, I say, just leave me alone.
I know who you are, he screams.
I know who you are.
You're just a nigger from Harlem,
passing for white
with a phony accent.
Nigger, he repeats
as I walk away.

My boss calls me up.
I have a funny question
to ask you, he says.
When you fill out forms
what do you write for ethnicity?
I check other, I say.
Well, I have to fill out this form
and it doesn't have other.
We look really bad on paper.
all the positions of power are white
and all the support staff are black.
Could you be Asian?

I am with my Indian immigration lawyer.
Do you mind if I ask you
a personal question, he says.
Go ahead, I say, thinking
he is going to ask me
how I've reached my mid thirties
and have never been married.
But instead he says,
I know you're a Cypriot
from London
but do you have
any Indian blood in you?
There are so many
mixed marriages these days
and you look like the offspring.

I am at a conference
and a European-American woman
looks at me excitedly
as though she's just won a prize.
Oh, I know where you’re from, she says
my daughter-in-law is an Indian
with a British accent too.
I'm not Indian, I say.
She continues to not see me
as she concentrates on
hiding her anger
for not winning the trophy
in her self-imposed
guess the ethnicity competition
and then she walks away.

I go to lunch at the home of a friend
whose family are Africans of the diaspora.
They don't ask me where I'm from.
Later, my friend tells me,
They've decided you’re
a biracial Jamaican.

That evening,
I'm at a poetry reading
and an African-American woman
crosses the room
to ask me this question,
Are you the colonized
or the colonizer?
What do you think, I ask.
You could be both, she responds
and walks away.
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sad eyes [10 Nov 2004|01:12am]
the multicolored leaves are vanishing from my dearest tree, the one that stands on the opposite side of the street. it's depressing. i've eyed their brilliance a copious number of times from my old upstairs bedroom on fresh wintry mornings when i was too shivery and heavy to move. i'd repeatedly chew over grabbing my digital camera to capture this knockout, but always postponed the shot until our next brush. now it seems the opportunity has gone adrift and the branches are spiritless and heartbroken.

this past saturday morning i cried while driving from thrift store to thrift store searching half-heartedly for an ambiguous something. the night before was dispiriting, and my heart, my dear heart must've splintered from fair words i never fathomed i'd hear.

so now, i'm numb and humiliated, wondering if i'm losing all of my glitz as well.
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weekend bliss [26 Oct 2004|06:02pm]
- dancing on friday night with alex, mercedes, and jocyln.

- brunch at homemade cafe followed by used book shopping and 'monsoon wedding' with katie saturday afternoon.

- dinner at my favorite thai restaurant with wyatt and petya.

- shopping in chinatown on sunday (i purchased tea and a much-needed bag).

- japanese tea garden and the museum of modern art with wyatt on monday.

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it's sixteen miles to the promised land [19 Oct 2004|12:10pm]
my bed, though temporary, is cozy. my laptop is warming my thighs and it's remedial from the cold draft prowling in from the windows overhead. i cannot wait to submerge myself in blanket bliss. i'm eying the easter yellow paint covering the walls and ceiling, realizing just how bothersome and tedious it is, as well as the radiance from the two bulbs which is equally irritating and ever-so blinding. my soiled clothes are scattered about the floor, and the clean still lay in my rucksack unpacked. unpacking will commence in another two weeks when I move downstairs to the lime-green room.

i landed in california incapable of envisaging what my life would involve. after a botched new york endeavor, my back-pocket was crammed with knowledge, ready for another attempt at a semi-urbane existence. i toned down my arrogance, thought more practically, and have arrived at a nourishing spot without any dilemmas. although i’m still not by any means established (it has after all, only been two weeks), it seems i’m at least marching on the right trail this time. it’s an incredible sensation when you realize that you’re carrying out something the correct way instead of exhausting every ounce of wind you own wrestling with destiny and eventually falling short. but even if i do fall short, i’m never one to vacate things i desire. i’ll always continue to scratch, in hopes of leaving some sort of mark until the day i pass on.

needless to say, things are working out, though not as slowly as i presumed. the phone calls are pouring in for gigs, i’m meeting with qui this afternoon for a job interview, and afterwards, my first date in ages. also, come thursday i begin work on a feature film. this is all very exciting.
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i'll take this avenue [28 Sep 2004|12:34pm]
last night we celebrated my imminent desertion which consisted only of debauchery at its finest. i was certain that i lost a tooth and a breast amidst the hoopla, but as it turns out, both are intact.

i received three hot fudge filled pies to my face after work, and wound up mirroring one of the zombies found in michael jacksons thriller video. pretty.

the end of september calls for a road-trip. tonight ben and i will pack and tomorrow we'll set sail. several of our speculative stops include: salt lake city, boise, seattle, portland, eugene, crater lake national park, redwood national park, and san francisco.

i'm excited to be somewhere else. somewhere completely else.
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friend fun [13 Sep 2004|12:54pm]
zaynah visited en route to california from boston. i had not seen her since we rendezvoused last january in frigid new york. we stayed in brooklyn that night, on a friends sofa-bed. the apartment was an icebox, and i recall wearing my hat, scarf, and hoodie to bed, and couldn't move due to the ten or so blankets trapping us. when we awoke, she read paddington to me in an unconvincing british accent.

this time around we went horseback riding. i rode a horse called espy, an ample horse, who eventually lost her oomph and took to slogging instead of galloping. she stopped nearly every five minutes for some tasty shrubs which led to unheard-of flatulence. zaynah's horse, whose name i've temporarily misplaced, looked like cookies and cream ice cream. let's call him oreo. oreo was the antithesis of espy. he had this urgency about him, i think addled with ADD. he kept on drifting from the group, creating his own route, and stalling the rest of us. horseback riding was fun, but delivered a sore ass. afterwards we discovered a lovely swimming hole in the virgin river, so we put on our suits and frolicked.

julie, hee-jin, and the rest of the koreans are visiting in five days. i cannot wait!
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answer me this [31 Aug 2004|01:49pm]
i recently read about the young cuban woman who shipped herself in a tiny crate from the bahamas to miami. she was just released from federal custody, and will be allowed to stay.

a co-worker of mine from poland, who married an american this summer, was just denied citizenship. so now she must leave her husband and return to poland for ninety days before she's allowed back.

does this make sense?

i'm aware of the wet-foot, dry-foot policy. but c'mon, this is ridiculous.
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claire [19 Aug 2004|12:19pm]
three months ago she informed me of your mother. on saturday, she informed me of you. i was sitting down for the news, but my innards still plummeted to the floor and an ethereal someone raced away with my tongue. i was paralyzed.

it was heart-rending to hear her on the other end, 2600 miles away, giving me the run-down of the funeral proceedings between intervening sobs, especially when she mentioned seeing the card which bore your birth and death date. i wanted to leap through the receiver and envelop her in my arms. but i'm not that extraordinary. really though, it's unlawful that i'm not in boston right now.

after putting the phone to rest, i sat on my bed and stared at the dull colorless wall for a few moments before my new polish roommate entered. it was only day two of our living together and i impulsively drenched her with the bad news. i regret doing so because who is she anyway? is she meaningful to me? no. but i was vulnerable, and that only leads to simple-minded actions. i really despise that naked feeling.

so i sunk into my bed, and stayed there for 19 hours, only abandoning it a few times to expel. i awoke sweating several times with the cold news flashing before me, and i wasn't buying it. i kept shaking my head and drowning my face into my doused pillow, soddened from the sheets that fled my eyes. i awoke the next morning with a lead head and felt quite famished. i also awoke with the notion that i was to dole out love and allow myself to receive it. but when i spoke, i spilled nothing but bitter and intolerant words.

when someone passes away, we tend to want to reconfigure our lives. perhaps we want to eat healthier, exercise more, gain new knowledge, travel, etc. but above all, we're inclined to evaluate our current relationships. i spent a lot of time brooding over ways to sew those holes with friends whom i've not spoken with because of silly spats, but still hugely exist in my life, and have not left my being. i plan on tying those loose ends eventually. and i felt a sharp urge to phone a couple of family members whose end is seemingly looming.

so i phoned my mother who has been battling illness after illness for several years now. when one departs, another seems to arrive. it's like death and birth. i then phoned my dear grandmother whose growing age i'm constantly reminded of. a few months ago this reality frightened me, and i wasn't able to swallow it. grandmothers don't age. they're that poised brick-wall in your life; so loving with endless sugar-coated lessons, warm cards, and dishes of candy. her voice soothed me, and i realized just how together she actually is. perhaps more than me.

so claire, i will drink a beer or two or three for you. and i'll scour the earth for a dance partner, but nobody will ever be half as good as you.

i love you.
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de...lay [04 Aug 2004|10:07am]
goodbyes are painless. they've become so routine, i'm frequently unmoved. my last night in alaska was different. the six or so people who made my stay all the more pleasurable, joined me for farewell drinks at our beloved bar, the lynx. i was double-fisting the entire evening, and not once did i reach into my pockets for cash. it truly felt like my birthday. the inevitable shots of jager were continuously administered, and i soon found myself sobbing. travis pulled me into his chest, but i unstrapped his arms and ran outside to collect myself. but let's blame that emotional drama on the alcohol, okay?

the anchorage airport was like an amusement park on the day i visited to fly out. i was randomly selected for a screening which entailed a brutish woman (at least one such beast exists at every airport) frisking me with her sword-like implement. it beeped when she ran over the snap on my jeans. promptly, she dropped her sword and probed the area with her fingers instead. that was unconsciously erotic. meanwhile, a stern-looking man vehemently poured all of the contents out of my unkempt backpack into a plastic bin. i had not cleaned out the bag prior to packing my belongings due to a shortage of time (i'm a procrastinator). so there was an abundance of nutragrain wrappers from a recent hiking trip, scraps of purposeless papers, and paraphernalia like random rolls of film and dead batteries. in the end, airport security seized a small pair of nail cutters after i agreed to surrender them. i looked down at my fingernails and said sarcastically, "i don't NEED to cut my nails". bastards. later, the airport alarm went off and we were told by a recorded announcement to evacuate over and over again. i remained at the magazine stand, fixed on the new issue of W magazine which features a jaw-droppingly gorgeous catherine zeta-jones.

elizabeth collected me at the vegas airport and we roamed around the dehydrated streets, in the sultry sun searching for sushi. we found a lovely abstruse restaurant connected to a wedding chapel (go figure). we told our host/waiter that we had just married and inquired about the newlywed specials. he didn't suspect our tale, as such events are customary. unable to hide our giggles, we retracted our fib, and he laughed along with us. the sushi was fabulous, perhaps the second best i've ever put away. oddly, first place goes to a small fast-food hideaway called kyoto express in myrtle beach, south carolina. aside from the sushi, we were showered with soup, edamame, rice, pasta, and the waiter even gave me an apricot which was the perfect dessert. we departed with a satisfied stomach, and he, a generous tip.

the grand canyon has perhaps one of the greatest sunsets i've ever viewed. i spent three days there, mostly hiking and off-roading in a small suzuki samurai to some of the greatest lookout points beyond compare. elizabeth and i then spent two days at lake powell, mainly swimming and kayaking. we slept on the beach in our sleeping bags under the stars. the overfreckled sky was so close, i wanted to reach up and collect a handful of stars for her. she just scored a job with the national park service, and i'm really excited for her because that's where she belongs. she invited me to spend a few months with her come october, driving along the coast of mexico. it's so appealing, but i'm not sure if that's what i want to do.

i'm back in southern utah, surrounded by a few familiar faces, scents, etc. the sun creates the perfect light in my room--for napping, for reading. and nothing compares to the moon when it lights up the rock that greets me everyday. this place is so intimate. i think that's why i love it so much.
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bitchhiking [16 Jul 2004|01:09am]
i awoke to the sound of pitter-pattering rain. it was rather euphoric after nine days of ovenlike weather and skies lousy with thick smoke swept in from blazing woodland fires situated about two hours north. i spent most of those dried out days indoors, not wishing to damage my lungs, and preserving my now seemingly needle-poked eyes for crystal days. i sensed the discomfort of the withering earth, parched and destitute for water, and didn't want any part of it. so not only was i ecstatic over the showers, which prompted me to run maniacally in the early morning up and down a dreadful hill inducing infuriated legs and huffing, but i was also unenslaved from that place of wickedness called work. the evening before, travis and i arranged to hike, but in lieu of said plan, repelled by the thought of cold feet and soggy shoes, we thought a bit more spontaneously and opted to hitchhike to fairbanks for a film and shopping. after devouring a pricey yet run-of-the-mill pizza, we geared up and put our thumbs to work. within five minutes a young army pilot picked us up, and drove us the entire two hours. while speeding along the curvy road, he ferociously ate raw tofu out of it's box like a starved opossum, and made a spectacle out of his music. he bobbed up and down in his seat and passionately sang aloud to fisherspooner and the donnas (good music!). all in all, he was a pleasant kid.

we opted for fahrenheit 9/11. after the film, after all of the sobbing and tears frittered away, we left the cinema irate, embarrassed by our president, and wishing to take some sort of action. but what exactly? we did not know. however, fleeing the country was our foremost desire.

after forking out thirty dollars on vitamins at fred meyer, we began our journey south. two miles later, three young boys in a brown beat-up mini van stopped. we asked where they were headed, and a kid in the back called out, "blockbuster". this was going to get us absolutely no where i thought, but we crawled in anyway and they dropped us off a mile down the road. upon exiting, they asked if we had any of the green goddess. unfortunately our pockets were sapped.

an hour or two later, a couple in a ratty ford tempo pulled over. the backseat was crammed with junk, mostly clothes and twinless shoes. they tossed the clutter in the trunk, and said they'd drive us for twenty dollars. we squeezed in. it reeked of dirty feet and rot. there was no point in being finicky, so we kept out mouths shut and endured the ride. they ended up stopping the car roughly every fifteen minutes due to overheating. eventually the car stopped running, and we were left on the side of the road around 11pm, minus twenty dollars, and minus our warm beds. so in the drizzle, we walked, buried deep in our raincoats from the pour and umpteen thirsty mosquitos whom every now and then made their way to our necks and eyes. after walking ten miles and only a few cars zooming by, completely disregarding us, we reached a closed gas station, but found operating restrooms. this i thought, was our savior. we could hide out here and rest until early morning, where there were likely to be more cars, more opportunities for a ride. but the restrooms were just as mosquito infested. when i looked at myself in the mirror, i was overwhelmed by the number of bites on my face. one would've had hours of fun connecting the dots, creating a multitude of doodles. we quickly grew impatient and took to the road again. bundled and looking like a blueberry (i got stuck wearing an ill-fitting blue rain jacket), we walked and walked and walked and walked, mute and pretty much negligent of our surroundings. i became so deranged and spacey, i hollered to the bears and allowed them admittance to a kendra buffet if they wished. i had absolutely no energy for a bear brawl.

thirty miles later, a large truck pulled over. we darted recklessly, all the while screaming gratefully. the man behind the wheel, decked out in worn overalls and a colossal nappy beard said, "i never pick up hitchhikers, but you two looked miserable".

miserable indeed. i feel asleep in the back, dreamt of candy, and two hours later i crawled out of the truck and found myself at my lovely, yet not-so-lovely abode, and wriggled into bed with sore legs.

total length of trip: 7.5 hrs
should have been: 2 hrs

there will be no more hitchhiking for a while. the thought of such thing makes me nauseas.
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yahoo horoscope says. [06 Jul 2004|10:35am]
sometimes you feel like you want to go up on a hill and wait for emissaries from your home planet to beam you up.
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float on [28 Jun 2004|12:00am]
[ mood | don't worry...if things ]

i was recently offered a job in the desert southwest, and was set on packing up my two backpacks and flying into vegas as soon as possible. there are a couple of main reasons for wanting to go. firstly, there's ben, whom i'd love to see. i can spend every waking and non-waking minute with this boy because he's just as geekalicios as i am. he's the only person who loves the game of scrabble as much as i do, and the only person who offers any sort of battle. we've spent days playing the game, drinking budweisers, and trash-talking like no others. and we can speak about music till doomsday, and lie in bed forever trying to annihilate as many new york times crossword puzzles as possible. and secondly, with going comes a surplus of money, which i undoubtedly need.

but i'm not going. there's more of alaska for me to see; more camping, more backpacking. and i told myself i'd see a grizzly or two before i left. moose and caribou have become commonplace. they no longer electrify me the way they used to. i'm even impervious to the foxes in the park. i missed a great outing this weekend to the hot springs about three hours away. it was a girls weekend, and because i couldn't coax anyone into working my shift today, i was stuck here directing the elderly to the restrooms, and seating their eager behinds.

the skin on my finger tips is callousing and flaking due to four hours of guitar playing with rob. if we make this four hours a habit, we could easily play open mic or another showy event without feeling too much like fools. but what i really wish i was doing right now is riding the C train to cherifs fourth floor apartment on the upper west side of manhattan for drum lessons. my sticks are lying solemnly next to my bed, and haven't been touched in days. if civilization accepts me come september, i must seek a new instructor. for now, i have pillows with which to strike, and a brand new mattress with the perfect amount of backlash.

and my first salsa lesson ended up being a huge flop. while i was waiting for taty, this adorable pocket-sized woman from columbia to begin, i took to a cushy loveseat, and perused thru a dictionary i saw lying about. i ended up falling asleep on this snug of a sofa, in fetal position, with one arm wrapped around the dictionary as if it were a baby. salsa lessons marched on as i snoozed, nobody bothered to wake me, and i felt terribly ashamed when i opened my eyes, yawning and slumberous.

i'm addicted to modest mouse's, float on. it consumes every inch of my body, and even awakes me when i'm seemingly out-cold. some part of my body will start flailing to the beat, and when that happens, it's impossible for me to stop. something similar used to occur when i first discovered coldplay's, yellow. but instead of dancing madly, i used to lie nailed down to my cold hardwood floor in brighton when my roommate wasn't around, and stare at the ceiling expressionless because that's the only reaction the music evoked. but at the same time it was dominating and i felt so alive.

this evenings stoned edition of horseshoes was hilarious. in my case, it felt more like bowling because none of my tosses received air and arched like the others. instead, they skidded across the dirt, as if i were skipping rocks. so i've learned one thing this evening, kendra + horseshoes = horrendous combo.

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on days like this i think i can stick it out [21 Jun 2004|01:34pm]
unclouded skies and sunshine welcomed me this morning, so i'm feeling buoyant. actually these past few days have been rather rosy. i've been feeding myself wavering advice. if i escort this advice, the outcome is predictably bound to either strike me hard over and over again until i'm mentally frail or leave me as dauntless and cocksure as a bull. i'm curious to see how it all plays out.

but last night i didn't think about these things. instead i destroyed four dreadfully rich chocolate covered strawberries drizzled with caramel. holy aphrodisiac!

and naps are lovely. i think i will take one now.
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can you see me waving? [06 Jun 2004|05:52pm]
this time last year i was sipping sangria and listening to flamenco music in southern spain. today i'm in the middle of alaska, at rest, in a small velvet coffee shop. i live in a droplet it seems, so it's vital to abandon the "compound" and the majority of the population: stupid and male.

speaking of stupid boys--they still wish to kiss me on the mouth despite my nasty cold. but thankfully, the remainder of my torment is quickly vanishing. i presume every hack and nose-blow my last, though i'm never correct. that clairvoyance, it seems, is outside of my sense range. but i no longer sound nor look like death when i approach guests. instead i'm cheery and convincing which is applaudable after five daily cups of lemon ginger tea and loads and loads of cheap cold tablets.

i didn't stall once while driving the dusty '83 jeep scrambler yesterday with lacy and brian. it was my first time, and it was a cinch. i tend to catch onto things quickly. we miraculously found a boat by eight mile lake and rowed to the other side. the gorgeous sun stained my face, and the bird-like mosquitoes sucked me dry. i was speechless with my eyes fixed on mt. mckinley, far off to my left. it looked like a fraud, as if someone etched a massive peak with a white conte crayon into the sky. we arrived at a vacant cabin filled with food, a couple cans of keystone, beds, gas, and books. it was downright sublime. i'm taken-aback at how trusting these alaskans are.

so alaska is quite magical. the corporation i'm working for however, not so much. at times i wish to wildly disperse because they madden me so. but when i pause and look at the mountains and the billowing greenness, i realize how lucky i am, and more importantly, why i'm here.
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around here she's always on my mind [30 May 2004|12:50pm]
maybe i'll too discover, like che guevara, that my true vocation is to roam the highways and waterways of the world forever. always curious, investigating everything i set my eyes on, sniffing into nooks and crannies; but always detached not putting down roots anywhere, not staying long enough to discover what lay beneath things because the surface is enough. che's father said that his obsession with traveling was just another part of his zeal for learning. he knew that really to understand the needs of the poor he had to travel the world, not as a tourist stopping to take pretty pictures and enjoy the scenery, but in the way he did, by sharing the human suffering found at every bend in the road and looking for the causes of that misery. his journeys were a form of social research, going out to see for himself, but trying at the same time to relieve suffering if he could.

one of the perks of working at a resort, aside from the plethora of free activities like mount mckinley summit flights, rafting, horseback riding, atv tours, whale watching, etc, are the interactions with the many tourists who come in and out. although our topic of conversation is often repetitive, they're always quite inquisitive about why i'm here. they become wide-eyed and impressed, and ask about my landings. and they always question, "what's next?". i never give a solid answer, because frankly, i do not know. ordinarily, if not always, they tell me to keep going, "do it while you can".

and i'm finally at the edge of muddy headaches and noisy wet coughs, which first occurred shortly after a five hour white-water rafting trip on the glacier-fed nenana river. it wasn't exactly the greatest event-day, as the sun was content on playing peek-a-boo, and my hat deprived me of protection from the invincible wind. cat and i attempted to cuddle, but we failed in our space-like dry suits and hulking life jackets. but that dud made us laugh, which was crucial because for a few moments we actually forgot about our numb bodies.

to christopher: thank you. earlier that evening after a long hike, we encountered two male travelers who insisted on buying us pint after pint of alaskan amber. so when we reunited, i was in the clouds. you were writing. carmen always told me to wake up (despierta! despierta!) and come down. [little did she know i was scheming up this great love affair with unbelievably romantic filmatic images. do you think she knew i woke up every morning smiling?] my passions became more pronounced. i am a seeker of beauty and all that inspires. you were right on, which baffled me because my closest friends can't even seem to identify. do you know that she lives in my head? that sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between what's real and what's imaginary? i'd give anything right now to be on the roof with buckets of color, and like audre lordes mother, i too have a special relationship with words. i don't want to leave the confines of this rectangle until i've produced something out of nothing that makes my eyes well up. love is the antecedent of everything in my universe. do you know anything about love?

you suggested that i use the silt from the river, but i was thinking about using something a little less socially acceptable. i discovered charles gatewood, a photographer out of san francisco one afternoon at an oakland eatery. would you rather i drive drunk or photograph scantily clad girls?

fresh sheets are awaiting, and i cannot think of anything i want more right now, except for maybe someone i love by my side.
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