Are There Any Window Seats Left?

I rarely write at my PR gig, but I keep having an hour here (waiting for meeting), 15 minutes there (yesterday before I went to see my shrink), and I’ve been spending too much time in the office to be able to do any writing of quality at home. The new Plan involves racking up some serious hours this month, and doing something completely insane in April or May. I mean really insane. Trust me – it’s off the insane-o-meter.

I haven’t had enough opportunities to talk trash to friends or people I corner in line at Subway so here are some thoughts from the week so far:

1. Haiti Yesterday from the wire stories on I read that Cap-Hatien in Haiti came under Rebel control. Synergistically enough, American Airlines is offering a Weekend Getaway special to Port-au-Prince for the low low price of $249.00. I like the way my self-determined content is all working together here, except that $249.00 seems awful steep to be dropped in the middle of a war zone. Under normal circumstances a ticket from NYC to Haiti, which I think is still on the wrong side of “would you like an armed robbery with that road closing today?” can’t be more than $300-350. When there is full-on civil war and the American Embassy has marines surrounding it (“Let them kill each other – but lord keep them away from the rubber passport stamps!!”), that price should be more like $19.99. Also I heard on the radio there is a man collecting some sort of leaving-the-airport tax with an automatic weapon and a really nasty stare. The tax is all the money and jewelry on your person.

2. Global Warming More good news in the form of this article on global warming in The Guardian. In a nutshell:

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

All I could think was, I really rather that shit happen now, when I’m 27, and not when I’m 40-something. There’s the obvious: that I have more spunk to rob and loot in my current sprightly and elastic body. But more importantly, I have no children to feel guilty about, I haven’t invested in any real estate I’ll feel compelled to defend, and I’m not on multiple regimes of hormone, inflammation, cancer, digestive, and emotional pharmaceuticals. You know Duane Reed will be the first place looted to bits, and I’ll be the one with the arnmload of ludes.

3. Schizophrenia On a related note, at the Pharma PR gig one of my projects is a pitch for the latest in schizophrenia medication. Like nearly all my projects at this place, I got a nagging fear that I have whatever illness the drug I’m pushing is meant to cure.

Yesterday I asked my shrink what the chances were of me having schizophrenia. I could see her strain under the pressure of having to take even my most ridiculous utterances seriously. I couldn’t keep a straight face. She cracked too. I haven’t started to hear voices, or have hallucinations, and there’s no little man giving me a running commentary on my life yet, but I feel like it could be just around the corner. And it wouldn’t be so bad because there are whole new families of anti-psychotic medications that don’t have the burdensome side effects of yesteryear.

I was a lot worse when I was working on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, by the way.

No Revolution, No Revalation

I read somewhere once that listening to music brings you everything in the world, all at once. It’s like being in a revolution and revelation all in an instant, and more intensely than revolution or revelation actually is. I’m paraphrasing here. I think it was an album review somewhere. I may just be making it up completely.

Last night after a half a bottle of wine and several beers, I walked down Hudson Street, ostensibly to find a cab back to Brooklyn, but something about the not freezing air, the clear skies, and the perfection of the random music selection on my iPod made me walk all the way home by myself. Down to the end of town, across Canal Street, and over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn, which is my favorite bridge to walk over. I like the Manhattan Bridge because it’s never crowded, and from it you get to see the Brooklyn Bridge in all its beauty against the lower Manhattan skyline, which you can’t really see when you’re on it. It’s like that saying about the architect who built the Eiffel Tower. He ate lunch at the restaurant in the tower everyday and when asked why, he said it was the only place in Paris that he didn’t have to see it. Is that a true story? I don’t remember any restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.

In any case, my somewhat frightened walk over the Manhattan Bridge may have been the longest solitary walk I’ve ever taken in ten years in New York City. I passed not a soul, and not a soul passed me until about 15 feet from the end when a bike rider dressed to the nines in reflective clothing boarded in the other direction. We gave one another the I’m-not-a-crazy-murderer-you’re-not-a-crazy-murderer-we’re-just-insane-out-here-tonight wave hello, and kept on in our opposite directions.

I can’t remember exactly what I was listening to but there was some old Bobby Marley and some new Chili Peppers and possibly some Clash. I ran my fingers down the chain link fence, and my heart was beating pretty fast. I hate that chain link fence that’s been slapped over the original railing. You have to stop to see the view. Otherwise the bridge and lower Manhattan has a grey waxy film over it. I was walking with an extra bounce as I was expecting to be jumped at any second. I had just gone to the ATM so I figured what ever I could give a mugger would be sufficient, but on the other hand I said to myself, “Fuck it.” It dawned on me as I was nearing the middle of the bridge that I was surely being watched. It dawned on me that every bridge touching Manhattan must be under constant surveillance and at that moment there was probably someone somewhere, or more than one someone, wondering if the new shoes I was carrying home in an unmarked black shopping bag was an explosive. After that I breathed easier. The adrenaline slowed down a touch.

I made my way down Flatbush Avenue where there were people again, and a bus slowed down beside me on Fulton. I was walking and not at a bus stop, but the driver must have seen me look longingly at the bus and took pity on me. I was tired, and I slunk into a single seat by the window. I love taking the bus in Brooklyn. And it stops just in front of my house. I was listening to Salif Keta. I knew my apartment would be just the same as I left it. Just the same as I always left it. I’ve taken enough mind-clearing, toe-freezing walks into nowhere in this city to know that the apartment is always the same as I left it. Sometimes it’s comforting, but most times not. The revolution and revelation found at the midpoint of an empty Manhattan Bridge are washed away by that familiar smell of home. But I was grateful to lock my door and walk in bare feet on the wood floors to bed.

Nostalgia by Numbers

I started, tried, and gave up on, doing my own taxes this year. Too much thinking, too many little scraps of paper, too few rubber bands, certainly not enough desk space. After several hours on Turbo Tax, broken occasionally by cigarettes, a game of tennis at the Prospect Park bubble, a Corona, and more cigarettes, I gathered receipts and bills and all the rest and put them back into the tin Ikea box and called it quits. The many fine rewards of freelancing are paid for in part by the nightmare of filing your 1040, 8829, 203-IT, and enough itemized deductions to make your fingers bleed (if you’re lucky).

I went through receipts and credit card bills for all of last year, and it was unnerving. Like reading over a year’s worth of e-mails or web-site posts or whatnot. All of 2003 was spread out before me in the sparse language of dollars and cents: invoices, payments received, unemployment checks, dinner receipts, equipment repairs.

I spent $27.82 for a lunch Bonita Diner in Williamsburg. It was March 27th but a splendidly warm day. I was wearing my one and only good suit, a charcoal grey laser-cut Dolce & Gabana number that my mom had bought as a sample. I remember walking through the air of smug weekday Williamsburg hipness, self-conscious in my yuppie garb. But I was somewhat smug myself since I had undoubtedly cashed an unemployment check sometime that week.

On November 11th I bought Chris, who wanted help on a furniture website, a $6.00 glass of Bollini Pinot Grigio at Art Bar. We were both depressed and floundering. His mother had died, and his finances were a disaster. We had eaten at Tortilla Flats earlier, which ended in some minor drama among our other friends. A cruel winter was just around the corner.

I put a $95.00 dinner on my Visa at Starfood (incredibly overpriced, but tasty) in the East Village on September 26th when I begged John to design a website for a project I had taken on. I was drowning in work after I had spent the first six months of the year walking everywhere to save on subway fare and kill time.

I spent $25.32 at Sam Flax in midtown after an interview with a PR firm that went spectacularly well. I realized afterwards that if I wanted people to pay me more I should present my work in folders that hadn’t been with me since college. I was again in my Dolce & Gabana suit. It was April and I couldn’t wait to tell my boyfriend the good news. We were to break up a few weeks later, and I would subsequently have a total emotional meltdown.

I spent $349 with him the previous January 27th when we bought a new mattress at Ikea in Elizabeth New Jersey. It was most likely the coldest day of the year, and we narrowly avoided frostbite strapping the thing on the roof of his car. On the Polanski Skyway, the wind was blowing under it so much it looked as if the entire car would be lifted off the road into the Hudson River. The mattress I was replacing was so old and cheap I could feel the coils invading my dreams. That and I wanted to get rid of the years of chi that it had collected and start fresh with him.

Just a few weeks ago I returned that mattress to Ikea. It was sagging terribly. I had taken to sleeping curled tight up against the wall where the mattress was still firm. I remembered that’s how I would sleep as a kid every night, the wall giving me this strange comfort. I exchanged it with the same model this time around, not wanting to invest the time or money on anything else. And once again I needed new chi.

All this receipt-induced nostalgia coupled with Valentine’s Day made it a pretty crummy weekend. Single and severely pre-menstrual I cried during the Prom scene in She’s All That, which was playing on the Superstation yesterday morning. You can only imagine the waterworks I had in store when Philadelphia (which I had never seen) came on a few hours later. Luckily some friends dragged me out of my gloom for red wine and arguments about the new Nets stadium.

The only good thing about a crummy weekend is that it makes me look forward to going into the office. Am I actually sorry it’s closed tomorrow?

Twenty-Nine Trees

I spent my last day in California laying in my dad’s yard – which is not really a yard, but an open blacktop car-park surrounded by a wooden fence on one side, and by a chain link fence on the other two. Albert, my dad’s dog also splayed out in the sun, and napped. Across the alley two men were laying new gutters on the roof next door. I watched them hoist an impossibly long metal gutter up to the three-story roof.

The one in charge yelled to me, after finishing the complicated maneuver, “You didn’t think we were gonna make it, did you?”

I laughed, and said truthfully, “Yeah, I couldn’t really watch. But congratulations!” I had visions of the entire thing crashing on my head, or through someone else’s roof.

I might have felt a little funny, a Tuesday morning lying with my book and my glass of juice outside like a princess, were it not for the dilapidated state of affairs in my dad’s yard/car-park. The man who lives in the apartment upstairs has an old truck and two motorcycles parked on one side, surrounded by tools and rusty parts. He comes out to work on them every afternoon. My dad will often look sourly in their direction holding a broom and mutter how the man is turning the place into a white-trash junkyard. My dad is also angry with the man upstairs for how badly he treats his dog. The dog is covered in strange sores and he only takes him out to pee or poop, never to run around and play.

I’ve been reading stories in The New Journalism today. I have been off and on reading this collection of 1960s and 70s journalism for quite awhile. The pieces, culled from magazine and newspaper articles of the time are short, but each one is so dense with story and meaning it’s hard to read more than two a week. Many are about Vietnam. One is from Slouching Towards Bethlehem, which I’ve read and reread many times. It reminded me of the day before yesterday when I went to Twenty-Nine Palms with Gina.

It strikes me that the articles in the book have a tenor of the mangled world of this decade. Just saying “the 00’s” puts a finer point on how off things seem now. The Vietnam pieces are especially hard to read. In one paragraph a soldier tries to save a seven year-old Vietnamese girl who’s head has been blown apart by an American grenade. In the next paragraph the soldier’s own head is blown apart in a minefield.

I wonder when stories like these, with names and faces and real quotes instead of army-issued talking points, will find their way into newspapers and magazines. In the 10s perhaps?

In Twenty-Nine Palms there is a Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. Marine recruits, easily spotted by their jarhead haircuts, wandered in to bookshops on Highway 63 and waited in line at McDonalds with their young girlfriends or pregnant wives. Behind us at the Ranger station at the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park one young Marine got out of his white Nissan to pay the entrance fee. There in his t-shirt, tucked and belted into his jeans I could not believe how young he was. All of them I saw are shockingly adolescent. It’s even more startling than the reel of dead soldiers they run off in silence at the end of The News Hour every night. Those pictures of young men and women, kids really, usually in military uniform are heart breaking. They break my heart in my Brooklyn apartment, and then I clear my dinner plates and turn the water to scalding levels to wash the dishes. Steam lifts out of the metal sink. It’s 8 PM.

The pictures are accompanied by name, rank, and hometown. But the worst is the ages: 18, 23, 19, 20. Twenty is the worst of the worst. I’m not sure why, but 20 gives me a lump in my throat.

The Joshua Trees are charming. The guidebook describes them as Dr Seuss-like. We played a game where we pointed out the mood of all the trees. That one is confused, with its thick branches reaching in all different directions. That one’s getting out of the way, its trunk is bent backwards from the road. That one’s a split personality, its trunk divided in 2 perfect halves. That one’s given up, its branches all point downward: “It’s just had enough!” I yelled gleefully.

Those are waving goodbye, its branches reaching up over us.

Sitting Through The Whole Thing!

Today Gina and I hit the open road and drove out to Joshua Tree in the desert. It’s the part of the west that I love best. Vast arid empty spaces. Room to think. Wildlife that defies imagination…

But I came back tonight to the city of angels full force – cell phones, and the Grammys lighting up the Staples Center like a big lopsided green hubcap. I usually can’t sit through it. Notoriously the most boring awards show, The Grammys are more predictable than my sour old grandpa. But the combination of Prince opening the show and watching it with my dad made it unusually interesting. Not to worry, I was still able to correctly pick nearly every winner, even the country ones. My dad refused to get me something for my amazing prescience.

In any case, I almost never write posts about television. If you keep reading you’ll probably see why, but the laptop was in front of me. I’m supposed to be working on a piece for the newspaper. And things turned out in such a way…

Just some of my PMS-induced opines:

Prince – I miss you, you look hot, come back, come back

Beyonce – a little overexposed no? And I’m not talking about the dress, it’s the bad movies, the Diane Sawyer interviews, the Feria commercials, sending a clone into the Black Eyed Peas Performance…

Andre 3000 – That’s why we’re getting married

White Stripes – I was trying to explain their popularity to my dad. The best I could do was, “Well.. I don’t know.. people really like them.. umm.. I don’t know..umm..”

Aerosmith – were they in soft focus again?

Justin Timberlake – I want to think you’re cool but you keep acting like damn pussy. Are you running for president or are you a pop star. Just own it.

Joan of Arcadia – at 15, has she ever heard a Carole King song?

Alicia Keys – I’m still unimpressed. My dad: “She’s got great teeth. I mean great teeth!”

Celijne Dion – Was it the sound forcing her to make those facial expressions, or was the microphone reacting to her paranormal face contortions.

Madonna – Yawn.

Sting – God, go away already.

Christina Aguilara – I maintain that she is the only famous person that’s actually happy.

Yoko – I like you but you are so so strange – but stranger still is the parading of the tearful widows. It made me sad, in a bad-sad way for how creepy the music industry is.

Black Eyed Peas – How’d that girl turn into Beyonce like that? Do they sell it at GNC?

How many lifetime achievement awards are there? Was that what that gilded envelope I spilled Coors Light all over was?

50 Cent – Yeah you shoulda won it, but there wasn’t a chance in hell. Actually they probably made a typo when writing Sting out on the Best New Artist nomination form.

Earth, Wind and Fire – They musta been really excited not to be at another PBS pledge drive. And it showed.

Outkast – Please please please make your next album together again.

Samuel Jackson – How you pulled that cornball shit off, I don’t know. But it friggin worked.

Robert Randolph – Who are you? What is that you’re playing? And can I have some?

Parliament – Aw Jeez, I think you’re all too old, except Bootsy. Bootsy no too old.

Snoop & Jason Alexander – Yes.

Except Coldplay – I didn’t pick that one, but my dad was asleep already so shhhh. And of course only the Brits are not so weenie as to stay apolitical at a time when Rove & Co. are destroying/selling this country and the world.

Foo Fighters, Osbornes, Etc – Getting very very sleepy. Why so long, this show? Why so long?

So many commercials – so sleepy. May not finish this time either…

Richard Marx & Luther – No way. I had no idea. An odd odd pair, no? Or am I hopelessly uninformed?

Digital downloading and music education in schools. Nice. You taking lessons from Bush’s state of the union address. What about the evils of steroids and life on Mars? I can’t fucking take anymore. I think I may not be able to forgive Dre for showing up.

Outkast – A predictable win. I appreciate that they were apart but together. And I still hope they will be together together next time. Maybe? Dre’s performance – ok. I mean it’s a good song but hasn’t it been on every awards show and half the movie trailers in the English-speaking world? I couldn’t even shake it, not much anyway.

More files from LA

Usually as I’m in Los Angeles during regular bouts of Must Get Out of NYC Symdrome, I write posts (with the gloss of my eyes rolling far back into my head) about the baseless mystisicm, the brain melting sun, the traffic, the traffic, the traffic.

But as I’m here for less than 12 hours, I’ve noticed some things about this fuel-injected wasteland that just work with me. In no particular order, with none to very little irony:

1. In line at the DMV at the crack of dawn this morning (see post about me leaving wallet incl. driver’s license in cab in New Year’s Eve), I meet the DP (Director of Photography you philistines!) on Mystic River and we banter about Clint and the desolution of Bohemian culture in NYC while on line. I almost wished the line were slower.

2. The local bodega has a juice bar and I pick up a fresh-from-the-morning orange-strawberry juice for two dollars (two dollars!).

3. Without my bulky North Face parka and three layers of fabric on my hips I have a body.

4. My skin begins already to be “olive” again, instead of the pale green I get from east coast winters.

5. My hippie clothes blend into the scenery, instead of illiciting somewhat patronizing compliments from the Kate-Spade-Ladies at my work: “I love that big safety pin (holding the sleeve together). Where do you even find those these days!”

6. My dog. My dog. My dog.

Some Thing is Different

I suppose it’s not a bad thing to have only two posts this month, one on the first day and another on the last. January is never easy. Things are ostensibly new. You have to remember that new number on all your dates. Though less so these days. Most everything but your hand is rigged up to some world-wide clocking device that does it for you. Hands might get rigged up too some day soon. That’s a scary thought, but it would also be pretty functional. All my checks to the shrink this month have had the wrong year scratched out. The last thing I’m doing is thinking when I’m all shaky at the end of a session. In the little “So You’ve Decided to Seek Therapy” pamphlet I got at my first session it recommended writing the check out beforehand. Just like there are no new ideas, there ain’t no new problems either.

Things in the new year are never that new. My jobs are the same, my unluckiness in love is the same. My apartment has new lighting and a new (tortuously difficult to assemble) bookshelf. But my shit’s all over the place still, and I’m so daunted by all the new storage space I have now that I keep looking at the piles of stuff, the empty bookcase, sighing, and retiring to another room.

What’s new is that I left my internship at the paper this month. Alternately liberating (only for so long can you wake up at 8am and trudge through the weather to work in an office and not get paid – that sort of thing doesn’t much fly after age 22), and frightening (since never before have I been published with any regularity, my fear is that it will never happen again). I was joking, that in two months, I’ll be begging for my old blueberry iMac back. A joke laced with fear.

I wrote a Valentine’s Day piece this week, which was kind of tricky assignment for me. I’m as cynical as I should be about these things. But I’m also secretly longing for a big bunch of flowers and a heart-shaped dinner. Aren’t we all? Damn ad people. The only real Valentine’s day I ever had was quite a few years ago, and it was so unexpected after the typically self-absorbed poops I associate myself with that I could barely take it all in. Most years I kind of forget about it, but since it falls on a Saturday this year (I know this from my article – thanks a lot) it might be harder.

On Wednesday I’m off to LA for a week. It seems like I’m running off to LA for a week quite a bit these days. Besides that I’m dreaming of any temperature above 30 C, it also acts as a big paragraph break in the big plans I keep planning to make. You know what they are.

I might need to throw a party.

Wins and Losses in The ’04

Greetings and Happy New Year tidings to us all.

I rang in The ’04 (I am officially calling this year The ’04 (pronounced oh-four) just cuz I think The OC sounds really cool. I’m not being sarcastic – I truly do like the sound of it. Maybe because I lived there during some formative years and I saw none of the glamor or drugs that pervade the show. Granted I was in the second grade, but according to the show I would have to see that somewhere. Anyway I digress), I rang in the New Year with unprecedented debauchery which would have qualified it as one of my best except that somewhere in the minute and a half that I paid for the cab outside my apartment and I walked in my door I lost my wallet and my cell phone. It was around 8am and I was suitably messy so you can see how this was possible.*

The crew that I was with was dressed to the nines – sharp suits, tight black dresses, and some seriously vixen-like lipstick: all of us single (in way or another) and we were out for good times. After a decadent yet shockingly expensive dinner we hit up the Madagascar party which Jim described as an arty frat party and I had to chuckle in agreement. We rang in the midnight moment with mild asphyxiation in a slightly botched human fireworks display. No one was hurt but there was much coughing and eye watering among the crowd.

Later was a party near the Bowery where we chatted up youngsters, and one sweet little 20 year old from Colorado let me cut him in line for the bathroom in exchange for a hickey. Let me clarify, he wanted to get the hickey. A woman of my word, I gave him a nice (but mild) one on the neck which was more bright red vixen lipstick than anything else. He went home happy. But we marched onward. It was 4 and the night was young. Undaunted by bartenders who had already announced last call, we got the skinny on a bar in Greenpoint that was serving until 8 am. There were many an interesting folk there including a really sweet bunch from Virginia who seemed slightly freaked out by the city around them. It was cute. The bartenders were swell and there were some hot strangers to frolic with. The scary part was when we realized it was a hundred percent day outside, not the bluish glow of sunrise, but the total brightness of morning. It was time to go and lose my belongings.

I was in a conversation with one such stranger where we were talking about things, as in personal property, and since I have a habit of being separated from my belongings I feel like I have developed a sort of zen attitude towards it. So I was blabbering on about how when it comes down to it, nothing you have can keep you from being who you are, and is thus not that important. It was in the context of a conversation about owning a gun in the city. Anyway, I got my comeuppance in the form of waking up after barely sleeping by a gnawing hunger with no money and no way of getting the chicken sandwich I was craving. Serves me right.

Anyway, good times. The year should only live up to its promise: looking hot, partying bravely, and realizing that one’s opinions on the nature of things should be tempered with plenty of humility.

* Note to friends.. no cell phone service at the moment

The Big Mountain Stomach Spirit

I cant say if it was a welcome home gift, or a punishment for being in such good health during my trip, but on Friday I got very very ill. It’s not that killer apocalyptic flu everybody is screaming about. I don’t have the sniffles or a cough, or even a fever. What I do have is an ache pretty much everywhere and sharp stabbing clawing pains in my stomach and along all my intestines. It’s pretty bad. I think it has something to do with how shockingly cold it was here upon my return to the Northeast. I refuse to believe it’s from Peru. I finally went to the doctor today and he thinks it’s a stomach virus. Now I have pink pills and also I can feel better about myself since I’ve actually tried to take care of myself instead of watching golf underneath five blankets and moaning. I know: drama. I do feel a little better since Friday. The stabbing pains come and go, and their coming a little less frequently than before.

It was this that made me decide to go to LA for the next few days. And the weather, of course of course.

I keep thinking that the trip in which so many things could have gone wrong and so many illnesses could have been caught went perfectly perfect, until we tried to leave. Leaving out of the Cusco airport to go to the jungle was met with a five hour delay, and then leaving it again on the way to Lima we were just tickled to find that we had an extra three hours to browse pretty much nothing again plus an unscheduled stop to another city in the opposite direction. We had to trade reading materials, twice. And then another 2 hour delay in Miami (and now i know what “wheels up” means, and doesn’t “wheels up” sound just a little bit dirty? c’mon a little?). And now that I’m actually off all planes and lines of bureaucracy sponsored by the Department of Homeland Wasting-Your-Time-and-Mine-Somehow-Make-Us-Feel-Safer-How?, I mean Security.. After all that now I’ve got this horrible stomach thing.

The clear conclusion seems to me that a mountain spirit in the sacred valley wanted us to stay. Seriously, I can dig it. All week Ruben, our amazing fantastic guide whom I might be in love with, was telling us things like this. And they all sounded as true as my hiking boots falling apart. (My hiking boots fell apart.) When we had wine on our last night of the hike he offered some to earth first. When we were at Machu Picchu he kept looking at the raining sky and taking these big short breaths that I knew meant something. When Isabel’s bottle fell off her pack he said it was the earth asking for an offering. And when he told us this story about the Inkas never needing to drink and barely ever eating, and when he talked about sacrificing virgin girls to the sun god you could practically see the blood pooling around his feet.

So you won’t think it odd that on the fifth circle around the Cusco airport, when I saw the kids on the giant slippery slide go by one more time, when once again I pondered the Coca-Cola, Cusquena, and Pepsi billboards up on the green hills, I started to think that maybe getting out of here was intentionally hard. The place was obviously enchanted. Maybe we were meant to stay. Maybe forces bigger and older than airports and passports were telling me not to go back to chilly NYC with it’s dark little cubicles and exorbitant rents which fellow travelers asked me about with equal parts horror and delight. Right? The stomach thing only confirms it.

So fuck it. LA for the week. At least my dad has digital cable and I can watch naked midget celebrity golf while moaning under five blankets.

Leftover Itchies

Lordy I’m back. And everything was amazing. Except the 2 day saga of getting back in which all four of my flights were delayed, not to mention the bureaucracy of getting from the third world into the first.

Now in brooklyn I opened my bag and faced the mixture of damp jungle mud and Andean grit that covers everything and it all seems like a dream from years ago. Spectacular, amazing, hard, dirty, hot, cold, wet… But then all my mosquito bites – I kind of don’t want them to go away.

I had some sort of spiritual experience at reaching Machu Piccu. And the smell of the jungle is so delicious. And the river, and the trees, and the monkeys. Monkeys! Lots of em. Monkeys are scary cause they are so human and have this violence about them. And all the farms in the Sacred Valley and the farmers and the newly born spring babies of every species. And the Inkas. Man, the Inkas are fucking amazing…

I have much to say about it. I fell in love with so many things, but mainly the absolute necessity of traveling. A lot. There is so much to see out there in the world.

More to come…