Central Coast, California

I don’t have a lot of time to do things right now, so instead of writing something meaningful I’ve decided to put up a series of photos I’ve taken of my surroundings here in California. I don’t have much else to say about this post, except that the photos are a combination of landscapes, portraits, iPhone photos, and dSLR shots. That’s all, folks. I hope you enjoy. Without further ado…

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Journal: Recovered

To all of you who diligently supported my quest to have my journal returned to me when it was lost last month, there is good news (several weeks overdue): My journal was found by a fellow Southwest traveler, who is humble enough to have requested anonymity. The journal, it seems, fell out of my bag in transit, and was accidentally put in his luggage instead of mine. When he found it, he got in contact with me (through this blog, in fact!) and was generous enough to return it to me. This is a huge shout-out to him, and to everyone who retweeted, shared, or otherwise helped spread the word of my missing journal, and I’m astonishingly grateful to you all.

Here are a few passages that I’ve written over the last few years. Whether they mean anything to anyone else, they mean something to me, which is why I’m so endlessly grateful to everyone who helped me get them back.

December 7, 2011 – Will I find my destiny today? Will I learn my dreams and desires so that I may build my own, or will chance perhaps lead me to my new life? Does the world know what lies in store for me or is fate just as powerless in this game of free will and dice throws as I feel? But I know myself to be truly powerful, not powerless. My destiny is mine to choose, but I do not know where to turn. But then, is that not the definition of choice? Its fatal flaw? To decide in the present what the future will yield, though the decider can never truly know what lies in store. What if the adventure I seek is no better than that which I leave behind?

May 8, 2012 – Now, I think this just seems so natural for me. I was born to travel, to be on the road, to meet new people and to constantly change myself, and yet remain the same, and I think the larger miracle is that it took me so long to realize it. I love this transience, this impermanence, that makes me feel like a bird who can fly and depart at any single moment. And yet there is also the feeling of having the ability to return, to come back, if I choose. It’s a grand migration, from place to place. And yet I realize that even my transience can only but be temporary, that eventually I must settle, and settle I will.

June 23, 2012 – Ralph is missing at least one-third of his teeth, two of which holes gape out at you like a grinning Jack-O-Lantern when he smiles, which sometimes is perpetually and sometimes is never. He smiles with eyes of loyalty and amusement. Ralph is a story-bearer. Not a storyteller, like Emma, because his stories are a little too rambling and digressive to be a proper storyteller. But the stories he bears – of marriages and divorces, driving on mushrooms and acid, seedy London bars, very old mates, jousting on horseback, etc. etc., – are marvelously evocative of a life lived both richly and poorly, both well and very badly, but most importantly of a life lived. Ralph is marvelous.

March 22, 2013 – O that writing seems my only release from this surprise, loneliness, and deep dissatisfaction with humanity. Only through words do I create worlds I aspire to live in. Only through fantasy do I find real solace. Tragedy indeed! That this world measures not to fiction. And here I find that hope alone lies in words and yet ironically in not-words, for the moments I have felt most connected to others have been moments of stillness and silence. But connection itself seems false. We are all isolated. Connection is an illusion. How do we know one another but in the desperate hope that this time we may not be misled? That this time we will have judged another human correctly? But there is no guarantee. There is never a guarantee. And connection is always temporary, transient. Illusory. And so I write.

September 25, 2013 – Whenever I prepare to quit a place, a strange reluctance, and kind of sadness, descends on me. I know not whence it comes or why, for when I begin my new voyage, all hesitation is lost. But somehow in the moment of preparation, the world begins to weigh in on me and I become suddenly conscious of all I am about to lose. – Such is life. We leave pieces of ourselves in every distant home, like a jigsaw puzzle of identity that begs not to be put together for fear of losing the spirit of each place. We leave droplets of ourselves in door frames, in forks and knives and wineglasses, in chairs and sofas, in cars and fields and starry oceans, in other people’s bodies and in other people’s minds. We are fragmented spirits, we humans, we social beings who delight in casting our nets and reeling in our loved ones. We are scattered across the land like seeds of life.

Thank you all for your support and kind words. They mean the world.

What Happens When You Don’t Like A Book You’re Supposed To Love?

About four weeks ago, I took a book out of the library that I was supposed to love. A good friend of mine recommended it to me about a year and a half ago and it had been on my to-read list since then. Looking for one last ‘literary’ read before harvest sets in and my life becomes consumed by physical work and I’m too drained to read anything other than quick, fun books, I checked it out.

The book was called Ironweed by William Kennedy. A quick Wikipedia search told me that I was SURE to, at the very least, WANT to love this book. In fact, my literary credentials were at stake if I DIDN’T love this book: It was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1984, which means that, for all intents and purposes, it was the BEST BOOK IN AMERICA for a single year. THE BEST BOOK. Who the hell am I to tell the Pulitzer judges that their choice of book wasn’t quite up to snuff for me, and that they had better go back and pick a different one because I couldn’t get through it?

Ironweed, the flower. Much more beautiful than the book cover.

Ironweed, the flower. Much more beautiful than the book cover.

And yet, sadly but surely, I couldn’t get through it. I read the first twenty pages, laughing out loud. They were funny. Then the next twenty pages, which were a bit more somber. Then the next fifty pages, which frankly made me want to die. The subject matter – homeless bums on the vagrant path, sick, hungry, and drunk, lost in dreams from their past lives – was depressing enough that I was seriously worried about falling back into the weeks of blackness I’d so recently pulled myself out of.

I put the book down, feeling somewhat guilty. Just finish it, I reprimanded myself. Maybe that last page is fucking glorious. Maybe the last chapter makes the whole thing worth it. Maybe the second half brings the whole thing together and you’ll think it’s the best goddamn book you’ve ever read. 

But, I reminded myself, suffering through page after page of misery just to get to a last page that may or may not deliver some moment of poignancy isn’t necessarily worth it. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to read anything, unless you really really want to. And in poor Mr. Kennedy’s case, I really just didn’t want to.

I’ve had people tell me they thought Tolstoy was trash. That they hate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. That Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls was the dullest read they’d ever choked down. And yet, for some reason, we come back to these classics, over and over again, simply because we’ve been told they’re classic, that we OUGHT to read them, that we MUST love them, that they have some sort of literary credential that has STOOD THE TEST OF TIME. And that frankly, if you don’t love them, there’s something wrong with YOU, the reader, not with the book or the author.

This is a huge stigma in the world of literature, publishing, writing. There is an idea that, once a book or an author has been thoroughly vetted and approved by the mass of critics in the New York Times and the New Yorker, he or she becomes sacrosanct, untouchable, uncriticizable. Once you have attained that status, you’re a literary god. And if by chance some plebeian reader happens to dislike your work, well, that’s the reader’s problem.

Of note, too, is that the books that achieve this status are almost always in the genre known as literary fiction – contemporary, real world, adorned with golden phrases or “muscular” prose. Rare is it when a science fiction, fantasy, or (God forbid!) romance novel achieve this untouchable status. No, only literary fiction authors can achieve these heights, and once attained, it is the reader’s, not the writer’s, fault if he or she doesn’t like the book.

Maybe that’s true and maybe that isn’t. But I come back to my previous statement: You shouldn’t have to force yourself to read anything. If you’re enjoying it, continue. If not, put the damn book down and find something you will.

There are some books, of course, that almost demand a bit of sacrifice before you get to the good parts. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace requires that you struggle through the length of an entire normally-sized book, about two hundred pages, before you finally get to the real story, when the book becomes a page turner and you simply can’t put it down. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky requires about seventy pages of penance before the action picks up. And pretty much everyone I’ve ever talked to says that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - by all accounts an action-packed, dark, gritty story – is boring as hell before you get to the meat.

But if you’re half-way through the book and the only thing urging you on is a sense that you haven’t quite lived up to your own literary standards, that you aren’t enjoying a book you’re supposed to enjoy – “it was a goddamn Pulitzer prize winner!” – that some agent or professor or editor will one day find out that you thought Ironweed was shit and look down upon you for it, then for God’s sakes, put aside your pretensions, put down the book, and go read something else.

We only have so much time in this world, and there are hundreds of thousands of books to be read. Don’t waste your time reading something you’re not enjoying, no matter how much anyone else insists you’re missing out. No matter how much the New York Times Book Review insists you’re putting down the best book of the decade. No matter how much the New Yorker insults your intelligence for not being able to keep up with the literary masters. Read what you love. Not what you’re supposed to love. The end.

#StandWithFerguson

I originally had written out a blog post about literary fiction and publishing that I was going to post for today’s #MondayBlogs post. But then I sat in a hot tub with four other white people while the riots in a suburb of my hometown, St. Louis, rage on. While police shoot rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters standing in solidarity with the unarmed black man, Mike Brown, who was shot and killed by a cop, I sat in a hot tub with four white people who claimed that “white privilege is not a thing”.

I kept my mouth shut. Being one against four is fucking hard. I’m not proud of it, but I did. I didn’t speak up and I didn’t speak out.

So in lieu of pointlessly arguing in a hot tub while drinking beer, I’m going to speak up now. Screw that blog post I wrote about literature and fiction – it can wait. There are more important things at stake right now.

Chris Hayes Ferguson

Here are three simple reasons why we should all stand in solidarity with Ferguson:

First, one of the fundamental tenets of civil society is that every man or woman has a right to defend him or herself in court. “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law.” An easier way of saying that is that we are “innocent until proven guilty.” Mike Brown and the dozens of other black men and women who are hurt before being given due process of the law are victims of an unjust system of racial discrimination wherein police are allowed to harm or kill them before formally charging them because of preconceived notions that they are “dangerous”. This is called “racial profiling,” and is a form of discrimination which is fundamentally unjust. The color of a man or woman’s skin should never, ever, determine the kind of treatment he or she is given in the course of law. Mike Brown’s death, therefore, was unjust and the officer who shot him should be investigated and, if necessary, punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Second, peaceful demonstrations are protected under the Constitution. The police response to the demonstrations in Ferguson have made it implicitly clear that there needed to be an addendum to that statement: “peaceful demonstrations are protected under the constitution if you are WHITE.” The approach to the situation in Ferguson – a predominantly black, lower-income suburb of St. Louis – has demonstrated the exact same kind of racial profiling that got Mike Brown killed. Small scale translates to large scale, individual profiling translates to profiling of an entire suburb, an entire PEOPLE, and

Third, police brutality and unnecessary use of militarized force are NEVER, ever, okay. The police are there to PROTECT citizens, NOT TO HARM THEM. This should be the most utterly obvious thing in the world, but for some reason, the PD in Ferguson seems to have forgotten this. The job of the police force is not to shoot citizens, not to throw tear gas at them, not to haze them with rubber bullets and impose curfew and military law upon them, but to PROTECT THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. Why the fuck else would we have a police force, if not for that?

If you agree with any of these three tenets: (1) that everyone has a right to defend him/herself in court; (2) that peaceful demonstrations are protected under the Constitution of the United States of America; or (3) that police brutality and unnecessary use of force are not okay under any circumstances, then you, too, must rise up with Ferguson as we all speak out or stand up for the rights we are given as citizens of the United States of America.

I love this country. But sometimes, we are called upon to stand against it, that we may all move forward, as a country, towards a more just and secure nation. Martin Luther King wrote that “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” The Declaration of Independence states that, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is [the people's] right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” Here and now, we have the opportunity to stand against great injustice and fight for the universal rights and protections of all citizens under the Constitution of the United States. This is one of those times. Stand with Ferguson.

COVER REVEAL: The Reaping

THE REAPING COVER 8.13

Remy Alexander wants justice. After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Sector only to watch her world burn around her, she will defy everyone to find her revenge.

Valerian Orlean wants truth. After learning what evils the Sector is truly capable of, he must confront his past in order to create a better future.

In a world where deadly secrets lurk around every corner, and the food you eat can enlighten or enslave you, Remy and Vale must walk the line between hope and hate, love and loss, violence and vengeance, in order to unite – or destroy – their world.

THE REAPING, Book 2 of The Seeds Trilogy, will be released in Fall of 2014. Official launch date to come. Stay tuned!

An update about my journal, to all concerned and astonishingly helpful friends who might be curious: a kind gentleman who has asked that I not share his name has helped reunite me with my journal. I received it in the mail yesterday, which just goes to show that there is always hope and faith to be had in the generosity of strangers. I couldn’t be more grateful or happy. Thank you to him, and to all who helped share the message so that I might fight for it to come back to me.

An Open Letter to Southwest Airlines

Dear Mr. Gary M. Kelly, C.E.O. of Southwest Airlines, and everyone else from the top of the chain on down,

As humans sometimes we are confronted by moments of inexplicable sadness, happiness, confusion, exuberance, love, or anger. As humans we also experience moments that are 100% explainable – moments of grief that lead to sadness. Moments of joy that lead to happiness. Moments where we have life-changing decisions ahead of us that lead to confusion and worry. Moments of love shared between two people looking at the stars, or between a mother and child catching fireflies in the summer night. Moments that make us so angry we want to punch walls – or the person who made us feel that way.

writingThese emotions make us human. The history of these emotions in a particular person is the sum total of that individual – in other words, the history of these emotions makes up a person’s identity. You are defined by the moments you have experienced and the thoughts and emotions that sprang from them.

On Sunday afternoon, August 10, 2014, I lost three years of that history.

I didn’t always keep a journal. A much-loved friend of mine gave me a blank composition notebook, hand-decorated on the outside, as a Christmas present in 2006. I’d tried keeping a journal many times before that, and always gotten a few entries in before my dedication wavered and the journal was set aside to founder. But this time, for some reason, it stuck. Maybe because that year, 2007, was a year of such dramatic change for me that I felt almost obligated to record it. Compelled, somehow. I graduated high school. I went to college. I fell in love. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever known. And I wrote all of that down, dutifully transpiring those moments as a record of how I, as a teenager, was maturing into an adult.

I filled up that journal ten months from the date I began it, and I immediately went to the drugstore to buy another composition notebook, almost identical, so that I could continue the story, the record of who I had been and who I was becoming. Poems, song lyrics, quotes, memories, short stories, fears, loves, dreams. The sum total of who I am.

The journal your employees lost on Sunday, August 10, 2014, was the third such composition notebook I’d filled in. It was more than three-quarters full with three years of history, and some of the most formative years of my life. I was looking forward to finishing it before the New Year. It began in 2011, the year I felt so hopelessly lost I couldn’t tell right from wrong. It told the story of how I met the man I’m still in love with to this day. It told the story of some of my most exciting adventures, the three months I spent in France, alone on the other side of the world. It told of my travels from one side of this country to the other, from one side of Europe to the other. It told of how I came to be where I am today, and who I am today. Dreams, visions, meditations, wonderings, musings, curiosities, banalities of no interest to anyone but myself – these are all the mysteries contained within the pages of the composition notebook that I gave into the care of Southwest Airlines and was not returned to me.

I beg you to find it.

I handed my bag to your employees – a backpacker’s bag, with the composition notebook securely clasped into the front pocket – as I boarded the plane. When I retrieved the bag at the carousel, the journal was gone. Watching the blank looks on the faces of your employees’ at the ‘Lost And Found Baggage’ claim as I tried to explain that this journal is financially worthless but emotionally invaluable made me think that perhaps you had better hire more sympathetic Lost And Found employees, as I found no comfort with them. Or at least ones who are better at pretending to be sympathetic. One of them scrawled a phone number for me to call on a torn-off piece of paper, and took down my own notes on a separate piece of scrap paper. There were no forms to fill out, no reports filed. ‘Call this number,’ was the best they could do. I haven’t heard back from whoever I called, by the way, although I was reassured on the answering machine that my inquiry would be answered ‘as soon as possible’. Whenever that is.

I’ve long told anyone who will listen that writing in my journals has been the single most important factor in the slow but steady process of my self-identification as a ‘writer’. I recommend that every aspiring writer do the same. It has helped develop what little talent I have. It has shown me how to illustrate a life, what is trivial and what is not, what depths there are to personhood. It has taught me to compose sentences and to probe deeper into my subconscious. My journals are the epitome of Socrates’ exhortation: ‘Know thyself.’ Without them, I do not know myself.

If I had to pick a single material possession to save from my house if it were burning down, it would be the box that contains my journals. My phone, my computer, my keyboard, my bike – all of these things are replaceable. My journal – handwritten, intensely personal, disconnected from ‘the cloud’, scrapbooked on the outside with ticket stubs, postcards, receipts – is not. What has been lost, in this case, may never be recovered.

Our identities as humans are composed of our memories, our emotions, the moments we have allowed to define us. For the love of God, give me back these three years, all those words that were so carelessly lost after being so carefully transposed. For the love of God, find my journal and give it back to me.

Sincerely,

Amira Makansi

Hit The Road: Kerouac, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, and Bikes

Watch this video full-screen. Trust me.

 

WE WERE NEVER BORN from Dosnoventa on Vimeo.

 

I’m off to the wilderness of Oregon to do something that looks vaguely like this. I’ll be gone a few days, so enjoy yourselves, be kind to others, and remember to take a breath every now and then.

Amira Vs Adulthood

When I was a child, I used to dream about being an adult.

“Gosh,” I thought to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m tall enough to put these dishes away without climbing on the kitchen counter.” Or, “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to not listen to my parents when they tell me to clean their coffeemaker. I don’t even DRINK coffee!” Or, “I bet when I’m a grownup, I’ll be able to read a WHOLE book in ONE day!”

Little did I know what adulthood would actually turn out to be.

The concept of ‘being an adult’ that I had when I was a kid generally involved the freedom to do whatever the fuck I wanted, and the freedom from doing anything anyone else told me to do.

What I didn’t realize is that not only is real adulthood so far from that idea that I might as well have been dreaming of life on a different planet, but in fact also involves all sorts of things that I used to consider ‘mature’ and ‘exciting’ and that turned out to be not only dull, but sometimes excruciatingly painful and occasionally terrifying. Responsibility, it turns out, does not come naturally to me. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to stop thinking of myself as an ‘adult’ and start thinking of myself as a ‘grownup’ because, to be perfectly honest, ‘grownup’ is much more accurate, in that the only thing it implies is that I’ve done all my growing, thank you, and my skeleton probably is not going to change in size for a long time. ‘Adult’, by contrast, implies a level of maturity I still have not achieved, and have begun to despair that I will ever achieve.

Take bills, for instance. Bills are something I struggle with, as a concept. I rent my apartment, and have, off and on, for the last five years, with the exception of when I was living with my parents (another example of lack of responsibility). Most of the time, my utilities have been included in my rent, but at my current apartment, they’re not. The result of this is that my electricity bill has been sitting on or near my computer for the last two weeks as I’ve ignored it and ignored it, scoffing at the idea that I should have to pay more money in addition to the money I already pay to live.

“Why should I have to pay for my electricity?” I demand of myself, constantly. “I already pay rent!”

My child-self would probably reprimand my grownup-self with some wise retort like, “Just pay your bills, you plumhead!*”  But that’s probably because my child-self was a lot smarter than my grownup-self.

Dishes are another great example. I haven’t lived without a dishwasher in a long time, but my new apartment doesn’t have one. I frequently grow confused when, having done the dishes two nights ago, I find myself confronted by yet more dirty dishes lingering in the sink that need to be washed.

“What’s this?” I’ll demand angrily. “I just did the dishes! I thought that was enough dishwashing to last an entire WEEK!”

My inner voice of reason (child-self) will usually remind me that, since I used plates and bowls and knives and forks for the last five meals in a row, and did not wash any of them, they must now be washed before I can use them again. But, my voice of reason, being, well, reasonable (and therefore a bit quieter than the opposition), doesn’t drown out the vast irrationality of my grownup self. And my grownup-self doesn’t quite understand the concept. As I’m washing dishes, I’ll hum to myself contentedly, thinking about very few dishes I’ll have to do over the next week or so, since I’ve washed them all now. But in the back of my head there’s that lingering doubt, that confusion, that tells me that more dishes will appear, suddenly and without warning, in the coming days.

I go through a similar thought process with all forms of cleaning, including sweeping, mopping, wiping down the counters, and dusting.

And don’t even get me started on laundry.

I actually really like the process of washing and drying clothes – I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I do virtually nothing except load the clothes in the washer or dryer and then sit around and wait for them to be clean and dry. It’s like a drug – you get a huge high without doing any work. It’s fantastic.

But folding clothes is a beast of a different kind. To convince myself to fold my clothes, I usually have to allow myself to have a least one beer.

“Okay,” I think to myself. “That’ll take the edge off. Let’s fold these clothes!”

For a brief moment, I’ll get excited about how mature and responsible I’m being.

“Look at me folding these clothes! I’m folding clothes like a pro! I’m not even going to leave any unmatched socks behind to be found three weeks later behind my bed covered in dust bunnies!”

And inevitably, I’ll fold all my clothes, or half of them, or I’ll just match all my socks or something, and then I’ll think, “All right, that’s enough folding for now.” I’ll leave my clean sheets or my bath towels or my still-dirty-clothes-I-forgot-to-include-in-my-laundry-bag on the floor or on the bed. And then I’ll go sit down to reward myself with a second beer for how responsible and mature I was. And then I’ll start to write a blog post, or get on Twitter, or edit a chapter, and, wham bam, five hours have gone by and I’ve forgotten all about the bed that still needs to be remade, and I’ll sleep on a white mattress with nothing but a comforter for a week until I’ve accumulated enough immaturity-points and sense of anxiety about my unmade bed to finish the job.

It’s to the point where I get confused when I’ve actually done things properly. Earlier this week I was searching for my work pants in the morning.

“Where the fuck are they? I can’t find them anywhere,” I said, searching for them all over the floor, in my laundry bag full of clean clothes as-yet-unfolded, and on my bed (which doubles as a storage area, because, really, who needs all that space?). When I finally opened the drawer where I normally tell myself I’ll put them (and then don’t), and found them folded neatly in a stack of clothes, I was shocked. I’d wasted about five minutes looking for them everywhere but where they were actually supposed to be.

The same thing happened last night to a pot on the stove. It was clean, but I had just used it that morning to make breakfast. I stared at it for a minute, trying to figure out why it was clean.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “I must have actually cleaned it right after I used it. That’s so weird.”

This is why I call myself a ‘grownup’ rather than an ‘adult.’ I do not merit the latter term.

One day, I hope to achieve the level of responsibility and maturity that my child-self dreamed of. But until then, I’ll probably continue to be baffled about why there’s always more laundry to do, more dishes to wash, more floors to be swept and mopped, more bills to be paid.

Speaking of which, I’d better go finish that load of laundry I was doing. And maybe tonight I’ll actually pay that electricity bill.

But first, I’m gonna pop a beer.

*’Plumhead’ is the non-swear word I imposed on my father one night when he was driving me to a ballet class, and I overheard him swearing violently at another driver on the road. “Daddy,” I said, sagely, “why are all the bad drivers only on the road when YOU drive?”

[Untitled]: A Poem

I wrote this poem spur of the moment, as a very dear friend of mine recounted the many ways he loves his fiance. I am so honored to be a part of their story, and to my readers, I cannot honestly recount how deeply their story made me feel, for there are no words to describe true love. 

You tell me you love me;
tell me:
who else will show me
this bird?
this sky?

You tell me you love me;
tell me
who will tell our story
so hollow
so burned?

Paper, bent, into blue,
Swan, and cherry–
Simple dance
You will guide me
By my hands.

You tell me you love me,
[perfect turn]
who will tell this story
the moon?
the sky?

I still haven’t gotten the recording down, and I won’t bastardize it by sharing it before I’ve done it properly. I hope they recognize it for what it is, though I’m sure they will. And for the rest of the world, I trust you will see these words as the are: an homage to love, romantic or otherwise. 

This poem is dedicated to my friends, P & A. 

And It Rained: A Poem

Slake my thirst,
Dirty green of desert oaks,
Grey like ash,
You brittle clouds,
Waiting to break.

Tear in the sky,
You will sing
Against my psalms.

I open
My hands
To you.

 

 

Here in Paso Robles, it doesn’t rain a lot. But I was born and raised in a different part of the country, where rain is as integral a part of the daily routine as breakfast. I love it. And so when I felt the first drop of water against my outstretched hands on Saturday night, wandering drunkenly about the town with friends in tow, I almost couldn’t contain myself. The poem I wrote in my head that night faded as quickly as the alcohol did from my blood, but I got these few short verses out of it. This isn’t the poem I meant to write, but it’ll do, at least until the next time. 

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