The language looks harsh, all sticky clusters of consonants, but when I figure out which letters make which sounds, the words slide out as smooth as honey mead. I know the necessities for polite interactions: good morning, please, thank you, names for places and foods, some numbers. I can greet the hotel staff, order in restaurants, and figure out the train schedule. Read More
“I hope that’s not how you live the rest of your life,” she said, only half-joking.
The shopping basket in my hand contained gauzes, tapes, and other packages claiming to either treat or prevent the assortment of injuries which I was now certain would befall my feet at any moment. Although I’d made it on the trail for three weeks without any such ailments, the tea-leaf feet of other thru-hiker hopefuls foretold a future of blisters and burns I wanted to avoid. Read More
“An obstacle course for the body and for the soul”, I think to myself as I go back to that place. In my memory, the wind has picked up in the early twilight, kicking around rusty sand and pebbles. While hard to find on a map, these arid grounds have welcomed pious visitors for centuries. Even more have come here in absentia—not with their boots, but with their minds, their remembrances, their longings to take shelter in the space where the holy meets the profane. Gazing at at the setting sun, I remember… Read More
Every Sunday morning I sat on an ugly floral couch in the living room of my great-grandparents’ house. Seated in the armchair next to me was my great-grandfather – once a strong man, he was now weakened by age, forced to rely on a cane to help him walk, but his mind was still as bright and witty as it had always been. It was his mind that made me. Read More
The sun was slowly climbing the early morning sky as I roared down the A29 on the back of a motorcycle. The morning was hot and we had been on the road for about three hours.
The roads were in a state of disrepair after decades of civil war. Between the monsoons and mortars, many parts of the highway were seemingly missing. Twisted metal from blown out vehicles littered the side of the road, remnants. We did our best to navigate, avoiding craters left from bombs that had landed in the region. Read More
I had never been drunk before the first weekend of beginning college. I got hammered off cheap tequila and watched this kid face-plant into my friend’s lap. He was talking crazy, about fireflies and ghosts in the graveyard up the mountain, about a quarter of a mile from the school. Read More
The one who never loses her appetite has lost her appetite.
I only feel nauseous when I think about him, but I think about him all the time. It’s been a month. I’m still wearing his t-shirt, the one I was wearing when he said it and I left in a hurry.
It’s pretty dirty by now. Read More
The thing about the sun is that it’s always right there. Even when it’s not it’s still hotter by double digits of degrees from where you are from. It’s dark then, at night and such. But you don’t stop sweating here. Read More
Our lungs are ravenous. They seek to devour and heave and drench themselves in the sweet aromas of atmosphere. Their tongues wrap around the smog of the streets, the perfume of a lover, the dew along the pines. Most importantly, they communicate with nature. Read More
We’d pack the car after my dad returned from work – a family of weekend warriors headed north. The three hour drive was punctuated by several notable landmarks: the state prison, the outlet mall, the hamburger place, the life-size lawn chair, fireworks, suicidal deer and – finally – the cabin. Read More