a stop made only for me

Now I am waiting at the spot where the driver let me off — a stop made only for me, alone among everyone on our bus from San Sebastián to Pamplona in wanting to disembark here — for pickup by my next host family.

Locals are rubbernecking through their car windows as they pass me on this segment of highway that at this point doubles as village thoroughfare, addressing me in semi-comprehensible Spanish.

It would be so nice to take a lover here.

Anywhere, really.

Every place I go feels like it could be the setting of an indie film in which I show up there and entanglements ensue and we are all changed forever.

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by her sidekick, stateside

He said,

In which our hero is checked on by her sidekick, Stateside.

I said,

I just got to Casablanca after all day on a bus to a train and this couple that’s running a school for refugees, which was given to them to run by the king’s late father, has picked me up on a rattly motorbike and driven me through the slums of the city to their magnificent crumbling flat and plied me with hashish and local wine and already said like six things that are exactly what I knew only to know I couldn’t imagine, could only hope would be something for the VS. SOCIETY story in my meta narrative screenplay about using narrative in a conflict with conflict, and it’s all too much, or almost, and I excused myself to call my mom, just to take a break from the new and to tell someone about Madeleine’s photographs from their traditional Berber wedding, but she isn’t answering, so now I am hiding in my room, telling my friend Darwin that I am doing great, too great, actually inhabiting the loneliness that I guess also attends the achievement of terminal velocity, if that’s a thing.

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a wonderful storyteller

I said,

What if one day again we have a life where we see each other outside of the computer-phone and its applications?

Tonight I made hummus by fork out of chick peas cooked over a wood fire.

She said,

Rachel you are such a wonderful storyteller.

I said,

So far my manuscript is eighteen pages and that’s just from transcribing about seven days of texting with you and four days of texting with Darwin.

It’s sort of a big mess, but I am trying to remember your words, or the broader implication of them.

The mess doesn’t matter now, even if it means I have to look at myself writing in the STUPID WRONG FONT.

The form is informed by the process.

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the wandering yaya

I said,

The wandering yaya in a housedress who is the only other person in the breakfast room here in Hotel Kouros and whose spinal cord — the top half of it, anyway — is LITERALLY parallel to the horizon just came over to give me a pillow because I guess she didn’t like how I was sitting in my chair.

And then she came back a minute later and gave me what I think is some kind of candy — a chocolate ball in blue foil? — and then put a finger to her lips, gesturing to the kitchen where the woman who is working breakfast is, and I’m fascinated, thinking about what the secret is.

Is it that I’m not supposed to have candy but she’s sneaking it to me anyway?

If that’s what it is, Brava, Yaya.

My other idea is that it’s actually like some medication she’s supposed to be taking and she’s like Shhhh, you take it instead, and don’t tell Euphrosyne.

(Euphrosyne is the fantasy daughter-in-law cooking in the kitchen in my mind. )

I wonder if I’m a surrogate in some memory she’s re-living.

Now she has just come back and given me a ribbon that matches the foil on the chocolate ball.

He said,

I like the stories you tell yourself.

I said,


— get ready —

Yaya has brought me a clothes pin.

I thanked her in my limited Greek and clipped it to my knapsack.

She seemed satisfied and moved my bread basket and my salt shaker a centimeter each and went away again.

I think we’ve established something.

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