Tuesday, June 3, 2003

I've never been to jail, I've never been off North America, and when people ask me to tell them adventures from my travels all I can think about is some of the crazy Whistler parties, and some of the drives on Highway 99 in the rain. I haven't chosen yet what I want to study, I don't have a plan to save dying people across the globe, I'm not sacrificing anything really, I'm only learning lately how to take responsibility for my mistakes...

"I'll chain myself to the desk if I have to."
"He will, he has his own chain."
(Canned laughter)
--Will and Grace

I think I never really let go of the false idea that a life should go smoothly, that it should follow a path, that the path (get this!) should be plotted beforehand. The element of change hasn't been in my life lately, I'd grown unaccustomed to it. Sudden disruptions weren't my thing. I liked change, yes, but change that I had incurred. It hadn't occured to me recently that there was any other kind.

And now after not expecting it I'm coming to terms with things like The Ugly Things I've Done and What I'm Doing Really. Learning that travel (at least to me) is more about 10 seconds of staring out of Jyoti's car at the dense, incomprehensibly lush green leaves above the dirt road than about seeing 20 countries and not getting anything out of it. Noticing the small parts of a place, no matter how 'unexotic', is such a better skill than taking in the big marketed parts of a place and not knowing why.

Over by the window, Juliet sits eating her pasta at the table. She's three and has dirt smudges on her face, but she has long brown hair and big brown eyes, so it's alright. Earlier she was stealing my nose. We're in her mother Amber's apartment which is small but all the right colors. The kitchen has tiles on the wall with paintings of grapes, bananas and pairs of cherries; there are lots of windows and all the trees beyond them are the same vibrant green as the Japanese top at the clothes swap the other night. The TV is on in the living room and Friends plays, and it's hot in here, hot enough that sweat collects under my red "Xtra-mart" tee shirt (also from the clothes swap). After eating Juliet wanders around looking for Jyoti's wallet that she hid a half-hour ago, and then brings me my purse, the brown leather 13$ one I got in New York's Chinatown.

Aurora: "....and the next thing I knew, we were in Yemen! But I've been talking about myself all night, tell me one of your stories."
Chandler: "Well, one time, I took the subway, and it was night, and I rode it all the way to Brooklyn, just for the hell of it."

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