WHITE DANCING ELEPHANTS ON PORTOBELLO ROAD
I walk down Portobello Road, past the bright blue, red, and yellow facades of buildings that I have no desire to enter, past glossy, small boutiques filled with narrow-hipped women…I’m wearing clean scrubs, clogs. A foreigner. Refugee from a hospital, wanting to preserve my other life, the person I was before the sacrifices of this long training.
DRACULA, RUNES AND THE MIDNIGHT SUN
I was sure there were missing pages or I was misremembering the story of Dracula. I soon realized, though, that I wasn’t looking for an exquisitely crafted translation or even a new understanding of Dracula. Rather, I was reveling in the fact that one of my favorite stories had made its way to my favorite place in the world.
TO THE BONG WHO TOOK US TO THE ZOO
Phnom Penh is built on people. Relationships, memory, loyalty—these are the currencies of Cambodia. Most visitors to the Kingdom will come home and tell of “the people.” Living in Phnom Penh, especially as a barang, or expat/foreigner, became a daily maze of friendships, obligations, and favors.
Where nostalgia expresses a longing to return to time or place when things were good, it is tinged with melancholy, even sadness and anxiety. Natsukashii, on the other hand, is absent this gloominess and suggests something slightly different: a happiness to be remembering a happy memory.
THE WONDER VALLEY DESERT OF GRAM PARSONS
After the killing was done, the deep silence of the desert returned, and I must have fallen back asleep quickly. When I awoke at sunrise, the whole thing seemed like a dream. I went to pee in the outhouse, and when I was done I ventured into the dawn-washed desert, looking for the kill site, for any evidence of what I had heard.