Posts Categorized: dialogue

Transition dialogue

A: You’re on your way now. That process you have been working on for so long has finally begun! You must be in a strange state. How does it feel?

B: It’s strange to be in between. I’m not here any longer, I’m not there yet. I can’t really relax. It is a strange state, it’s like not being any state at all. It is exactly like not being in any state at all.

Turnaround two-step

A: A friend of mine asked me a question the other day. I think he wanted to know: was I happy? but for me, he put things in an interesting light. He said, I thought travel was the thing you loved most of everything. I thought you couldn’t live without it. And yet you’ve stayed here, in the same town, hardly leaving, for four years. You’ve made two cross-town moves but you live in basically the same way. And he was right in a way I don’t think he understood. Because what I love is the regular day-to-day. It’s the regular habits and routine I fall into, that is where my heart is, no matter how simple or homely it is. What I call travel, and I do love it, is just another way of enjoying a routine. It’s the same regularity and familiarity and warmth, renewed and refreshed by exposure to different places and different pressures. It’s a small kind of variety, but it’s the sort that suits me. I wouldn’t like the life on the road and the kind of life that would never show the same face twice, the life of the visitor on the surface. It’s the life of a resident for me.

Those magic caskets

I wished I had lived in the days of real journeys, when it was still possible to see the full splendour of a spectacle that had not yet been blighted, polluted and spoilt; I wished I had not trodden that ground as myself, but as Bernier, Tavernier or Manucci did … Once embarked upon, this guessing game can continue indefinitely. When was the best time to see India? At what period would the study of the Brazilian savages have afforded the purest satisfaction, and revealed them in their least adulterated state? Would it have been better to arrive in Rio in the eighteenth century with Bougainville, or in the sixteenth with Léry and Thevet? For every five years I move back in time, I am able to save a custom, gain a ceremony or share in another belief.

Tristes Tropiques

Blogs collect unfulfilled projects. (It’s a form of internet lint.) Why should this one be different? One more thing I plan to use this site for, another thing I get to avoid doing in avoiding coming here, I won’t notice it. So let’s announce it: We, Mfc and I, plan to read Lévi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques, a couple chapters a week, for the next however long, and blog an exchange about it.


Shortly before I moved across town at the beginning of December, I sent a letter to my new address, as a welcome home. But I didn’t include my apartment number (it had slipped my mind). I sent it a couple days too early, there was no one by that name at that address. So it was sent back. But by that time, I had changed my address at the post office: so it was forwarded on. But it had already been sent back from the new address once. So it was sent back again, and went into postal limbo, from whence it emerged only last week; but I had forgotten about it by then. So it was a little time capsule.

Dialogue beginning, draft

Another project I’ve had sitting around is a philosophical dialogue. It bogged down because I couldn’t see what my point was. But I like as far as it got. Maybe it’ll go further. (Here’s to hoping.) You’ll see I wrote myself into a corner.

Admonitory premonitory

There’s a guy I see around town from time to time, and I never like seeing him. Oh, he’s harmless, pretty nice guy, we’ve talked a few times. He always says hello when he sees me. But there’s always a sense I get, whenever we meet, that there’s something shameful between us, and we both know it.