Wednesday, July 1, 2009

la casa de paños y pensamientos

Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they are going.” Paul Theroux

If Paul Theroux is right then I am totally f'ed. For the most part I am totally lost. My memories have turned into a swirl of faces and places, sometimes I suffer from what feels like mental vertigo. I can't find the line between dreams and memories (then again, maybe there really isn't much of a difference). Recently as I was pulling up to the airport in Phnom Penh I couldn't remember where the hell I was. Somehow Saigon is now north of Hanoi (at least in my mental geography). The whole thing might freak me out, but it have a feeling that this is what a life of constant movement will do to you....

Life used to be life like/now its more like showbiz/ I wake up in the night and I don't know where the bathroom is/ and I don't know what town I'm in/what sky I am under” -Ani DiFranco

In the same vein I found myself asking Tiago one day: “Where do the towels live?” I can't put a number to how many times I have found myself standing naked and dripping with water wondering where the damn towel is, only to find it folded like a swan my bed. But for me, like Ani, 'the road is my home,' and because of that I shouldn't really complain about loosing towels, that just comes with the territory, especially as people make my bed for me and I don't have to pay an electric bill. But all of that doesn't stop the world from rising up and swirling around, tossing me around like a rip tide. Sometimes I remember dreams about passengers that I had months prior to meeting them. My vocabulary is a mish-mash of spanish (how many times have I said, “Si?” to a Laoatian?), australian, american and pommie english. I miss so many things that the dull ache of absence has become my constant companion. Yet that rawness that lonliness or desire creates makes all the beauty I encounter taste a bit sweeter. As Che says in his Motorcyle Diaries, all meals peppered with hunger taste better (or something to that point) so it is true for my encounters with hidden vistas and unexpected friendship. When you hunger for intimacy, friendship, or comfort, their sudden appearance is all the more welcome.

Dad- don't worry I know this is a bit introspective, maybe it is all the rain and the mist cloaking the karst landscape of Laos, but I've got a big cup of JOMA coffee keeping me warm and a lot of love eminating from Northern California.

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