I think I’ve figured it out. the american dream is achieving stability and consistency. sameness. day-to-day predictability. the american dream is: boring.
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she walked with a sickle-foot, a heavy bag twice her size slug over one shoulder, making of her upper body a humanoid tower of pisa, her free arm swinging apishly to keep the entire lopsided operation in motion.
she had looked beautiful just before, sitting with a café au lait in one hand and a thin book in the other, poised perfectly still as if for a portrait, her eyes glassed over with self-absorption.
illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. everyone who is born holds dual citizenship in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.
one: (after a night without sleep) I still experience the same feeling the I had in childhood, the feeling of superiority over those who had spent the night sleeping.
two: nobody needs less sleep than myself, for me sleep is like a farce. when we have visitors at home, I invite each one to stay for the night, and when they are all asleep, I watch them for a while. nothing is uglier than this butchered humanity. I avoid it.
he was brimming with an energy that he could not make sense of. he had spent thirty-three years of his life trying to direct and focus that energy into his passions—design, typography, machines, beauty—and he had been more successful than others [others appreciate beauty but hate everything they create; everything, when seen as a collective, falls short of beauty]. his mind was sharp. he was always direct, and this directness disarmed all those who were unfortunately fortunate to be the subject of his attention. but at the end of the day, he remained restless. a restless energy. it was a deep regret that he tried to bury under his passions, but it refused to be laid to rest. it could not be tamed and focused. it found direction, but only in loose morals and trivial loves. he tried, lying constantly to himself and all those unfortunately fortunate people, but he could not care for anything but the part of his soul that he lost forever in some distant land surrounded by turmoil and water.
quizás toda la vida es un sueño lúcido. cada día, pasamos por cientos personas—¡más!—que no conocemos; pasamos por ellos como si sean sombras. y a veces, uno de ellos nos toca—o le tocamos—nuestros ojos se encuentran, sonreímos. el resto es una historia que desenvuelva en horas o años y siempre termina con una rapidez tanto como comenzó. lo que consideramos la vida real—el ritmo y la cadencia de esta vida—comparte demasiadas similitudes al mundo de sueños para que sean totalmente diferentes y separados. el encuentro de los ojos: el momento en que despertamos del sueño y notamos que algo esta sucediendo—¡penetración! un milisegundo en que el secreto ya esta claro y se entiende todo—pero en seguida volvemos a soñar.
the pitch is holy land. more than any other religious ceremony, it is when I see a futbol player kiss the ground and cross his heart that I know there is a god.
when every so often something bad happens, however small, that really pushes you over the edge and you want to break a glass vase against an exposed brick wall — like misplacing your identity twice in one month — it would be wise to take a moment to think: at least i didn’t get hit by a swan.
he was riding his red schwinn on the path along the lake. it was a brisk but clear day in copenhagen, and a gentle ripple brought the surface of the lake to life as a few swans glided gracefully in a panicked non-pattern. jakob never noticed much, but on this morning bike ride, he noted the unsettled swans.
it is always when a break from routine occurs that one should expect — well, expect the unexpected is quite the paradox.
jakob noticed more. up ahead on the path, a group of morning bikers and morning joggers had paused their morning activities to aim a perplexed raucous toward the sky. he stopped, too. he saw sparks, and then he saw the ground.
on that brisk but clear morning, one of the swans that call the lake home had broken from routine. perhaps bored of gliding gracefully in the calm, subdued way of swans, or perhaps in a desperation caused by ennui, it had taken flight. flying — not very far — into some electrical wires. causing sparks. causing all the morning bikers and morning joggers to pause. and it had fallen — not so gracefully — on jakob, who noticed:
it was a bit grilled.
via // ct | it’s all going to be ok, says the dane.
The Greek word for “return” is nostos. Algos means “suffering.” So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return. To express that fundamental notion, most Europeans can utilize the word derived from the Greek (nostalgia, nostalgie), as well as other words with roots in their national languages: anoranza, say the Spaniards; saudade, say the Portuguese. […] In Spanish, anoranza comes from the verb anorar (to feel nostalgia), which comes from the Catalan enyorar, itself derived from the Latin word ignorare (to be unaware of, not know, not experience; to lack or miss). In that etymological light, nostalgia seems something like the pain of ignorance, of not knowing. You are far away, and I don’t know what has become of you. —Kundera
i always connect the word ‘afterthought’ with that one particular memory. middle school secret santa. can the gifts be from Afterthoughts? she asked. that one store i entered only once, just to see what she was talking about.
everybody traded until they got who they wanted (not-so-secret santa). and i got an afterthought definitivamente not from Afterthoughts. a re-gifted watch with a plastic purple strap that said Happy New Year on it.
he would sit on his balcony, pouring glass after glass of rakı every day, preparing liver kabob — he would buy three livers at a time. and he would call out to the people in the street, “if you don’t eat this, either you don’t have a brain or you don’t have money.” and they would go and enjoy his drunken hospitality.
he was drunk almost every day, but he would sober up before the visits from the arab businessmen. he had a lingerie factory, and many beautiful women. the businessmen would sit in a room and ask to see a certain type of bra or underwear, and one of the women would strip down right in front of them, and change into the piece for the businessmen to see.
if they asked for fifty of something, he would write five hundred.
via // ag | memoirs of a drunk almost eighty year-old.
i suppose that it is the time of year to indulge in some introspection — or, actually, to indulge in some public introspection. i think i do it all the time, maybe too much of the time. it’s what commuting to brooklyn for work is for. i also ramble on quite a bit, but that’s another thing.
and the result of this indulgence: i am all about endings.
ending strong. ending like i’ve been doing it since the very beginning, like there were never any problems, like i’ve got it all figured out, as if i’ve got a hold of the reins and am not actually dragging behind on a rope — barely holding on. i don’t know what it is about endings that motivates me, but something hits the gas. and i wonder if someday i will speed right to death with the same excitement as i am now speeding toward whatever comes next: a beginning.
so this has been a good year.
the woman made of parchment, her wiry hair gray at the roots, revealing the auburn dye of youth; her brow painted with titanium white and upper lip dusted with snow; her papier-mâchéd wrinkles held together with the glue of smiles and sorrows; her eyes, all pupil, kind and glaring at once; with her long, skeletal fingers she fumbled with the teal yarn spilling out of her knock-off leather purse, only for the train to creak to a stop.
and the woman made of parchment could not be broken.
material-gathering, like a squirrel.
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