transition

suicide pact

She said,

I am in a deep funk tonight.

I said,

I mean, there’s no point to anything, certainly

Iʼve been thinking a lot about this thing you said that night back in Brooklyn when I went off to maybe have sex with Redford (I didnʼt, by the way — he just stretched my hamstrings for me and showed me several drawings heʼd done of different breeds of dog pooping), the thing about desiring some alternative category of togetherness for us

Because I feel that, too

And I was thinking that we could slit our wrists together

She said,

A suicide pact. I never even thought of that and here I thought I was more involved in the dark arts than you.

I said,

Well

Iʼm trying to be psyched about continuing to live this life so maybe thatʼs not quite the one I want

Itʼs just, like, this is all so BURDENSOME

But

I guess Iʼm choosing to gamble on the premise that thereʼs an answer

If only one in the form of some formula for survival

She said,

I donʼt feel very close to death. Let’s keep at it; we can do better.

I said,

Iʼm sorry living is so much work

I wish I could magic it away for you

Although I guess if you were someone who could be fooled by magic I wouldnʼt have nearly as much use for you

Use, admiration, appetite

Need.

She said,

Thank you for offering a vague sense of possibility that doesnʼt feel dumb or like lies.

I said,

I guess Iʼm going to keep trying to pack

Iʼm petrified of Berlin

I canʼt even figure out how to say “Iʼm sorry, I donʼt speak German” in German.

She said,

Berlin is amazing and everyone speaks English, they are ashamed of everything too. You will love it there I suspect.

I said,

Iʼm looking forward to some public toplessness, I think.

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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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Miasma of relief

From the moment this afternoon when Rasheed and his miasma of relief fell into the other chair at my table in the café where I finally found WiFi to call him and make up our missed connection, I could feel how he doesn’t need me in the way I’ve been thinking he did. He’s back with Caleb, writing lots, looking fabulous. Now I’m not his symbiotic rescue friend, merely a White woman who disembarks from the ferry from Spain and wanders the wrong way and needs his help getting acclimated to Africa.

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the tables on this ship

The tables aboard the Blue Star Delos, this ship to Thira and Birdie and Red, are covered with a film of sea salt. At first I thought it was sugar from, somehow, the donut I got to go with my bottle of breakfast beer, an Alpha, and tried to wipe it clean so my forearms wouldn’t be sticky for the next several hours of travel, but it wasn’t — it isn’t — and my work is no use.

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