fiction dream = truth squared:)

septembrie 18, 2009

the quote is from joan didion’s „the last thing he wanted”. from a character’s dream notebook. this captures more or less EXACTLY my very recent feelings re: leaving vs. staying.

„I seem to have had an operation […] Unspecified but unsuccessful. I am ‘sewn up back again’, but roughly, as after an autopsy. It is agreed (I have agreed to this) that there is no point in doing a careful job, I am to die, a few days hence. The day on which I am assigned to die is a Sunday, Christmas Day. Wynn and Catherine and I are in Wynn’s father’s apartment in New York, where the death will take place, by gas. I am concerned about how the gas will be cleared out of the apartment but no one else seems to be.

It occurs to me that I must shop for Saturday night dinner, and make it special, since this will be my last day alive. I go out on 57th Street and along Sixth Avenue, very crowded and cold, in a bundled-up robe. My feet are very loosely sewn and I am afraid the stitching (basting really) will come out, also that my face is not on straight (again as in an autopsy it has been peeled down and put back up), and getting sadder and sadder.

As i shop it occurs to me that maybe I could live: why must I die? I mention this to Wynn. He says then call the doctor, call Arnie Stine in California and tell him. ask Arnie if you need to die tomorrow. I call Arnie Stine in California and he says no, if that’s what I want, of course I do not need to die tomorrow. He can ‘arrange it for later’ if I want. I continue shopping, for Christmas dinner now as well as for Saturday night. I am euphoric, relieved, but still concerned that I cannot be sewn beck together properly. Arnie Stine says I can be but I am afraid I will fall apart while shopping, walking on my loose feet.

I am trying to be careful when I wake up.”

hooks: someone else’s postcard story here

septembrie 13, 2009

Afrika, by Angele Hamel

” ‘I had a farm in Africa.’ Isn’t that a great first line? God, Isak Dinesen was a genius. I can still hear Meryl Streep saying it in the movie. ‘I had a farm in A-fri-KA, ‘ with the emphasis on the last syllable. Did you see the movie?”

Alan nodded.

„God, it was wonderful. Too long, maybe, but wonderful. But that first line. Pure poetry. God, it captures so much of the feeling. A-fri-KA. Boy, powerful stuff. I need another espresso.”

When Sharon was hyper like this, Alan imagined he could see the electric sparks coming off her. She would lean forward in her chair, her eyes would glow, and she would incessantly fluff her short, spiky hair with her fingers.

„Trust me,” he said, „you don’t need another espresso.”

Alan looked around the darkened cafe. He and Sharon were the only people not wearing black.

„Ohmygod!” Sharon said suddenly. „It’s after midnight! We’d better go.”

Alan got up from the table slowly and tossed some loose change on it while Sharon retouched her lipstick.

„It’s kind of been my mantra lately, ” Sharon said as they walked down the deserted street.

„What has?” Alan asked.

” ‘I had a farm in Africa’, ” Sharon reminded him. „It goes over and over in my head. i wonder what that means.”

„You want to go to Africa?” Alan offered.

„No, silly, it isn’t that. Anyway, so what’s the next line?” Sharon mused. ” ‘I had a farm in Africa…’ and then what?”

„I don’t know, ” Alan said. „It’s not a poem.”

„Ohmygod!” Sharon stopped still on the sidewalk, her eyes widened in horror.

„What?” Alan sighed.

„I forgot to read it. Ohmygod, I don’t believe it. How could that happen? I just realized I never actually read the book! I only saw the movie. Isn’t that criminal? I’ll never forgive myself. I’ve got to have it. I’ve got to have the book tonight.”

„Sharon, it’s midnight. There aren’t any bookstores open at this time of night.”

„I need to know.”

They walked a block in silence.

„I saw Debbie yesterday, ” Sharon said.

Alan nodded.

„She sais she saw you last week.”

„Yeah, at Robinson’s.”

„She said you were looking at skis.”


„Are we going skiing?”

„I might be, ” Alan replied.

„Were the prices good?”

„Not really.”

„Oh, ” Sharon said. „Have you talked to Marina lately?”

„No. Why?” Alan asked.

„No reason. Debbie thought you might.”

„Debbie doesn’t know everything. In fact,Debbie doesn’t know very much about anything, ” Alan said.

„Yeah, well, she is a bit of a gossip.”

They had arrived at Sharon’s door. „Do you want to come up?” Sharon asked. „For coffee.”

„I’ve had enough coffee, thanks, ” Alan said.

„It’s about loss, ” Sharon said suddenly.

„What is?”

” ‘I had a farm in Africa.’ It’s about loss, because of the ‘had’.”

„Maybe, ” Alan replied.

„Do you think it’s about loss?” Sharon asked.

„Maybe, ” Alan replied.

„I think it is, ” Sharon said.

Alan shrugged.

„I know it is, ” Sharon said.


septembrie 9, 2009

i am cold and bored, so this will be sketchy. plus it’s so long ago. but just some bits:

– seattle =/= bellevue. i spent most of my seattle time in bellevue. lovely microsoft suburb, home of rich safe international population, i.e lots of romanians and indians (= „from india”. yes there is still confusion as to what i mean when i say ‘indian’. blame karl may.)

– bellevue has lovely high-rise buildings. all sprouted within this past year. fills you with hope for humanity. i’m thinking of toning the sarcasm down otherwise i won’t be able to finish this post. ok: high-rises are not bad. one of them even looked cute. the dark glassy look.

– bellevue also has a nordstrom. i mean, lots of stores in that mall, but nordstrom is from seattle.

– bellevue has an awesome cinema. biggest i’ve seen, which is not much (= bigger than tinseltown. oh well) – but i saw „inglorious basterds” there!!! am i not the epitomy of cool?

moving on to seattle: what i saw:

– pike place market/waterfront. yes better than granville island. it’s so big. and colorful. it’s the equivalent of turning water street into a maketplace. flower pots/arrangements hanging from poles. all the usual stuff. eating places//honey and bluberries//souvenirs//totem poles//people lying on the grass//horribly big pigeons tearing apart mcdonald’s paper bags. you know. oh – lovely kids with weird hairdos. overall, big fun. pity there’s a highway between the market and the water.

– SAM – the art museum. isn’t it just awesome that they call it sam? we wanted to see all the old collections, and the exotic ones. seriously, almost all native american art in there was salish – wut is this. they must have good PR. wait, i had some nuggets from the museum visit. yes: * andrew wyeth memorial (i think) exhibition – i knew his helga but not much else. like it!!! so perfect and contained. * laurie anderson’s voice on an audio tape for one of the collections – who cared about the artifacts any more? i was listening to laurie anderson!!! * i contributed a piece of paper to an yoko ono ‘thing’ i.e. collaborative object. fun! * „mannerism is the postmodernism of renaissance”. true or false, art ppl??? * african golden rings and the meanings of the motifs – wow – there was a ‘bird looking back’ one, and a peanut one * in aboriginal cultures the period of mourning after a close person’s death is called „sorry business”.

– space needle. there was an indian wedding at the restaurant below us. we ate hagen daasz on deck. haha we maybe spent half an hour there after half an hour in line. whatever: touristic objective – check.

– amazing futuristic looking building of ‘experience music’- well it was closed when we got there. have pictures of the outside walls though. epic.

– alki beach. this must be where photo people go to take pictures for the standard seattle postcard. in retrospect, i fail to understand how we could laugh for ~ an hour at a poor ‘china shipping line’ ship, full of chinese merchandise obviously spelling doom for america. but we did. we followed it come into the harbor, escorted by a small (customs?) boat. we made up scenarios with thousands tiny people hiding in all those boxes. etc. not very original? it was funny ok

– candied apples in chocolate with all sorts of caramel strawberries et co. adornments. hell expensive, but once in a lifetime –

– i will never drive in north america if i can help it. given my temper and scatterbrain, it would be hell.

fun timeline

septembrie 9, 2009

apr 29 – hand in thesis

apr 29- may 20 – moping post-thesis/ waiting for potentially interesting guy to call. (in case you’re curious about that development: he doesn’t. end of story)

may 20- rest of summer and continuing: OMG ADAM LAMBERT


(?   !    ?  !   ? yes, i know, wtf)

july 31st – start collecting papers for extension of stay in canada (realize i could send application in same day if only i had a credit card. shrug.)

aug. 5 (ok, there was the long weekend in between) – papers collected

aug 6 – send application

aug 7- fuck! application is incomplete! have to wake up early to catch human person on phone at CIC, with instruction on how to send the missing paper; afternoon =send missing paper. breathe.

aug 10-17 – early mornings try to call CIC and find out if file is complete/when they’re dealing with it; fail to engage with humans

aug 17 – human on the phone from CIC (= immigration canada) says file will take around one more month in line, as at the moment they’re just opening files arrived first week of july. „please inquire again one month from now.” same human says she doesn’t know if a work permit would allow me to work in quebec. she says call quebec and gives me a number: it’s robots!

aug 17  – half an hour later – i give notice at my job

aug 18-30 – i tell everyone (including creepy person on the bus, AEGEE friends, random chat interlocutors, regular customers and co-op neighbours) bits of my sad story.

aug 19 – plane ticket bought for cluj

aug 19-28 – bits of random packing: bunching up clothes i want to give up; tearing papers; inventorying books. making lists.

aug 20-23 – i take online quizzes to determine my points for immigration from romania to canada/quebec (i have different scores for different quizzes. at least some of them look hopeful. i need french. i need a job offer.)

aug 27 – last day at work

aug 28- morning leave for seattle

aug 30 – arrive portland

aug 31 – email from ef. telling me work permit arrived in mail

sept 1 – i want to go back to cluj and visit; but then i want to return. this is plan A. i like it.

sept 1/2 – back in vancouver; plans A through D written down neatly. work permit turns out to be for 3 YEARS! SHIT!

sept 2 – morning – phone CIC. human voice!!! realize once i leave canada i need a visa for re-entry. complicated. but visa is formality. phone quebec. the person in quebec does not know whether i’m allowed to work in quebec or not. suggests i call CIC. i’m like, forget about it! i have fun day out, all serene and shit.

sept 2 – evening – mum agrees with anything, as long as i go home ; i say i’d have to resign from sincai, she’s like ok, whatever. then suddenly : „your father’s not very happy here” BOOM

sept 2/3/4 – argue; break for sleep; argue; break for lunch; argue; break = can’t sleep; argue; break for a nap (nightmares); argue.

sept 4/5 night: sort of an ultimatum. „flip the coin” moment. i do not flip the coin. because i do not fucking need to flip a coin. ok?

sept 5 – morning – yes, i catch another human voice at CIC. human voice says yes, an open work permit allows you to work in quebec. any other questions you had? NO! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!

sept 5 – evening – write resignation email to school/send it.


eat. sleep.

walk. eat. read women’s mags. throw torn papers. sleep.

sept 8 – got shitty job back.

the future is ours.


= one more week of holiday. actually staycation but who cares

= no jet lag

= cancellation of all possibly teary goodbye drinks&such : replacement with non-teary non-goodbye drinks

= sonja gets to buy me the hat! yes i hereby demand the hat. hat hat hat hat hat

= writing!! readings!! writers’ festival (i get to see richard ford !!!! <3)

= montreal ’10. wait: matt in montreal ’10 🙂