Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The people here stand and move on the ground. They are as small as they could be and their clothing is simple and pocketed and I want to call them farmers. Dirty faces, weathered hands, feet wrapped in hardened leather. Smaller and smaller they seem, their tasks performed and faces without emotion. They are of the Earth.

The stuff resembles a magnificent fungus, mushroom-like caps and stems and it sparkles. Little bits of blue and red. An abundance, and it is their food. I see one of them bend to it and then hand to mouth. His hand dips into one of the pouches tied to his belt. The other one brimming with the stuff, he pulls from this one a shimmering handful of dust and lets it fall to the place whence came his meal. He moves on to another patch of food and takes it, pushing it deep into his swollen pouch. Dust fills in the gap. And again. And each of them doing the same.

The rain comes. It falls from the sky sparsely, but the drops are larger than seems natural. At once, the majority of the small people head in the same direction. Others shelter themselves as best they can and still others stop altogether and stand motionless.

The stuff shoots up out of the ground. Fountains of it and there is more than before. Into the air and then settled and ready. Wherever there is the dust, it is absorbed and changed and exploded.

And so are the people. I see them now as they are; as gathering mounds of the most precious and rare that cycle and cycle into something more than they ever could have been and then into nothing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Power Cleanse

“Am I really gonna puke again?” I thought.

The answer was yes.

I asked myself the same question every ten minutes for the next several hours and got the same response. After that I stopped asking; it was just assumed.

Four hours into it I was quite delirious and my thoughts drifted back to the kebab I had eaten right before getting on the train in Brussels. I thought about them explaining my death to my parents, that the disease vector was a pita pocket filled with shitty, rancid meat.

It went on like that for two days. Erika would check on me and bring me water, which I would promptly throw up. Twenty-four hours into it I reached agreement with my body: I would expel everything I’d ever eaten and it would not die. Throwing up became as regular as breathing. I got used to retching over the toilet for half an hour and not producing anything.

The thing about food poisoning that no one tells you is that you have to mind both ends. This is because no one can think of an eloquent way to say that you will strain so hard to vomit that you will shit yourself.