I open to the content page for this year’s The Best American Travel Writing. Amanda Lindhout’s story on being kidnapped in Mogadishu for 460 Days caught my eye. That story was my bedtime reading a few nights ago.
The next day, I decided to be responsible. I sent a couple of friends details on the upcoming Pakistan itinerary, M’s passport info, copy of my passport and just incase it all goes to shit, what I would want.
I am 36 and I just wrote my will.
I’m not being morbid, rather, responsible. It would be really shitty to leave an apt full of books, clothes and cameras and let friends sort it out or blindly guess what kind of funeral service I would want.
There is a beast inside. It has an insatiable appetite. It likes far-flung places, hidden corners and hot spots. It’s curiosity endless.
I went on a date with a cookbook editor, 45. He has a 22-year old daughter (he was young and things happen). When I learned that he has a kid, I immediately felt relieved. I thought, “oh thank god, you are not expecting me to do that with you.” I went on a blind-date with a realtor, 44. My sister and her Scarsdale (upscale suburbia) life came up in conversation. He said to me, “You will never have a house in Scarsdale.” He wasn’t being mean. It was a compliment.
I’ve already made my choice; it is the right choice. The beast is hungry. I’m going to Pakistan in a couple of weeks with a guy I meet on a layover in Hong Kong.
I came across this quote after I send the email, “you must have a relationship with death to live more fully.” Danielle LaPorte. Affirmed by the universe. Okay then.
“And if things go really really south…a simple funeral. Cremation. Take my ashes somewhere beautiful, where the sky meets the ocean, or high in the mountains; don’t put me in a box please. No regrets. It’s been hell of a ride and send my love to everyone. You know I am rather sentimental behind it all. Don’t sell my cameras, please. Pack them up and send them to Eddie Vedder. Tell him that him and Pearl Jam has kept me company on the road all these years, both their art and activism has been a point of inspiration, these cameras were my chosen instruments to do some good in this world. Ask them if they would auction it off on my behalf and the proceeds be donated to their foundation.”
Maybe the revelation in this note isn’t the upcoming itinerary with a stranger, or writing a will, but my love for Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam. What I can I say!? “I’m still alive.”
A few more days
A final Hi meeting
The local neighborhood bar has a quiet time between six and nine. It is a place that specializes in coffee, beer and seasonal menus. There is just enough of each for a satisfying snack and effective buzz. After the time when the laptop lids close and before the social gatherings start -- there is a sort of twilight*. Often this time is a fugitive ground rife with creative inspiration and meditative work -- of the kind that results in personal reward.*twilight may refer to civil, nautical or astronomical variety depending on your social or terrestrial condition
A man positions his mouse on the edge of his browser window. He clicks, holds and drags the viewport first left then right. The content of a video game promo micro site responds and adapts to the available space. To the man, this is more delightful than the game itself.
A man laboriously moves his piano down three levels onto the subway platform. Classic vocals and strided chords -- he played so well I swore he was blind. Oblivious to the heat on that August stage, he was most in touch with his audience -- whom he elevated with his music.
A woman should do exactly as she pleases no matter what a man may think.
As the Dalai Lama once said, "It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."
"No one understands me," she said. Her grandmother was silent for a minute. It seemed she was searching for an answer in the star speckled sky. "But no one understands anyone in this world, darling. We are all unique. It is what gives us a sense of wonder."