Monday, November 06, 2006 The origins of my avatar
Thursday, November 02, 2006 Signs of a Small Town Traveler
Signs of a Small Town Traveler
I grew up in a small town in Kentucky. I was fortunate enough to have parents who took or sent me on trips all over the US and abroad. My parents were leisure travelers and ended up in such exotic places as Morocco and Ethiopia. In addition to curiosity about the world and open mindedness, my parents also burned the rules of the 'small town traveler' into my soul.
1. Leave the good jewelry at home
In a third world country rule number one is common sense. If you are staying at The Four Seasons near Columbus Circle there is really no need to replace your diamonds with zircons to prevent them from being ripped out of your ears by starving thieves.
2. Dress down
In some places it is considered an insult to show up in denim and track shoes. In other places it is just an unforgivable crime against fashion and a blight on the landscape. Regardless of the place, looking nice does not automatically make you a target for wandering criminals.
3. Always tie a colorful identifier around the handle of your black suitcase, so it will be easier to find on the luggage carousel
You can always spot the suitcase of the small town traveler by the gaudy ribbon or tape around the handle of the nondescript black suitcase. Here's an idea...Buy a suitcase that is not black and spare us the sight of your Care Bear ribbon.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Fear of Dreaming...
Fear of Dreaming...
Fear of Dreaming by Jim Carroll
Too many teeth
In this city
What I want is to sleep
inside a strange language, trimming
The bonsai under glass,
its redolent needles
clipped precise as The Buddha's fingernails.
Yet, I'm nervous to sleep. Afraid to dream
And fearful as well of waking too late.
Wary of the end of this century,
Its bloodthirsty and dead weight.
I've slept, I've dreamed, and I've awakened right on time.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006 But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time. - Mitch Albom
But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time. - Mitch Albom
I'm taking an indefinite hiatus from the blogging world. Thank you all for visiting and commenting. Once a writer, now a reader.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006 Choices
I am unapologetically unreasonable about a number of things. I believe in endless options and possibilities. I still believe that I can fit everything I care about into a backpack, move to a new city, and start over. To me most people and things can be replaced. I think of clothing as a costume and myself as a work in progress. Can I keep evolving and have the comfort of stability or will I be old and alone surrounded by my costumes and my memories?
I am a rock. I am an island. *
The sky was pale grey in the West. She swiped the palm of her hand across one dry, blurry eye. Her eyes hurt and had a pink tinge from the cigarette smoke and the smoke from the burning of her journals and computer hard drive in front of the fireplace before the drive commenced. She had been driving since one o'clock in the morning stopping only long enough to pee and buy more cigarettes at one of the many all night gas stations along the highway. She pressed a fingernail into her gum between her front bottom teeth and tasted blood with the tip of a cottony tongue. Riding shotgun was the pile of tissue used to wipe the tears and snot from her face before her head ran dry, now it was empty. As she pulled off the highway onto the side road leading to St. Mary's from habit she glanced at the gas gauge, near empty. She only needed enough to get there, someone else would take care of the return trip.
Waffle House glowed as she passed by, filled with the few who had forsaken sleep by choice or necessity. The Spanish moss hanging from the trees made the air smell like a graveyard. The boy soldiers were in evidence, coming in from late nights or starting early days. Developers had been here since her last visit. High priced lots were for sale where before there had only been swamp. Main Street still looked like something straight out of Mayberry. She remembered those streets in a boozy haze, back when she still pursued fun. The only other cars parked near the ferry belonged to the park service employees. Not many tourists went to the island this time of year.
The only bar in town wouldn't open for ten more hours. She bought a large styrofoam cup of coffee from the cafe near the dock, emptied half of it into a nearby trashcan, and added three mini-bottles of Baileys from her glove compartment to cut the taste. She cleared her car of trash, left the keys in the ignition, and gently shut the driver's side door before settling on the hood of the car. A chilly breeze blew in off the water and the ferry tied to the dock swayed and bumped with the waves. A park ranger approached her, they chatted about preservation, job satisfaction, and low federal wages. She dug five crumpled hundred dollar bills from her right pocket and crushed them into his palm. "I have friends on the island," she said, "could you take me there?" The ranger looked uncertain and she smiled at him.
They climbed into the smaller motor boat also moored to the dock and started across the choppy water. The backs of dolphins glistened between the waves and all she could hear was the sound of the motor. The ranger put the boat into idle and they slid up to the dock. She quickly dembarked, he tipped his hat, and sped back toward mainland. Inside the island ranger station a bearded man made coffee and scratched his head, oblivious to being watched. Past the resident parking, between the trees, past sea camp, over the dune bridge, and to the sea. A pack of wild horses milled on the beach in the distance.
She walked to the water's edge and carefully removed the black cashmere sweater, her father's 30 year old Levi's, and clogs. She placed her mother's pearls on top of the carefully folded clothing and put her license in the pocket of the empty jeans. As she marched into the sea the cold water was shocking, then she became numb as she swam away from the shore.
*Song by Simon and Garfunkle