So, in my absence from tumblr (I’m seeing another blog, I am so so sorry) a lot has changed! I quit my study abroad program halfway through and am now bumming through France/Europe working on organic farms in exchange for room and board until I fly to Nepal on MAY 25th for the summer!
Did someone mention Nepal?
Oh that was me?
Well damn I’m glad I did because the project I’m helping out with over there seems absolutely great. I’ll be volunteering at a school called the Maya Universe Academy which is diligently working and changing what it means to go to public school in rural Nepal (a 60% literate nation, largely comprised of people who can go to private schools). Being the only free school in the region, it has no source of income other than donations/ trees from the locals in Tanahun. This is just a little something I’m trying to get going before I arrive. If you can participate that’s AMAZING! If not, or if you forget I’ll still love you. Seriously though, everything and anything helps!
To those ALSO none too hip, the title of this post is the link! Like wow right?
Naomi awoke from a night of fitful sleep to find that she had turned into a giant bug. Scared and a little bit hungry, lying on her back, she wiggled her many legs in the air and listened to the sound of her high-pitched whine. She bucked and wobbled, grabbing the air with her dozen hooked toes, her middle left foot just managing to lift a piece of damp wallpaper.
Finally exhausted, she stopped. She clutched the small square, wishing she could use it as a tissue until she realized she wasn’t crying. In fact everything seemed so ridiculous that Naomi couldn’t help but laugh a buzzing beetle laugh. She remained still, remembering hearing of this happening before. She imagined a huge beetle named Gregor knocking at her window, munching a rotting apple he’d pulled from his hip. “Better come with me.” He clicks, offering her a bite and two hooks, “I know how this ends.” Would this have happened if you’d not made it through the Iron Curtain? She hums. Gregor turns away to hide his misty eyes, and in a strangled buzz replies “Why would you say something like that?”
She takes his hooks and rolls onto her weight, accepting his bite of apple as she peers into the nightmarish hole in his exoskeleton. Naked joints slip by one another in slick black gore than runs un-corked down his leg and her pink bedroom wall. Small hairs of mold left by the apple circle it all like tinsel. Curious, she tastes the liquid now at her feet and the morbid spice sends her screaming to the ceiling. Gregor’s laugh pops crackily as he trains his milky eyes on her. He cooes until she slowly stops shaking and crawls down to him.
Some hours later, when Naomi’s mother came home, she found her daughter no longer able to speak. She would try violently, a screech in her throat, to scale her bedroom wall whenever her mother or father or brothers came near. She would tear open her fingers on the bare cement after she’d removed the remaining wallpaper.
The morning they wrapped her in a blanket and took her away, her mother picked up a rotten apple core from under the desk and threw it out the window.
What Have I learned from French People?
Was the question I was asking myself on my way home from my new friend Adrian’s house. After my classes let out and after my friend Brendan and I spend half an hour watching our friend Clara do hand-stands, I was en route to the bike rack when I happened to laugh at this one guy (Adrian)’s shirt because it said something to the effect of “The Rice Krispies told me to.” Noticing, he walked over and talked to me a bit about Méli-Mélo (the on-campus international group) and different events in rapid parisian French. He offered to show me what turned out to be an ice-skating rink ON CAMPUS I’d had no idea about and that apparently a famous ice-skater from Poitiers revisits it all the time. “All the time” as in “this particular week”. Like right now.
Then we were biking again. It wasn’t clear to me whether we were going to my house or his, but we were headed towards Buxerolles, which was comforting. When we hit a stoplight and both of us went different directions, I whirled around and asked him what was up. He invited me to his house “real fast” and I stalled. On the one hand I had just spent the last 2 days in a sick fevery scarf-tangled mess at my house, missing school and the free events downtown. However, on the other hand I have never been one to necessarily put personal safety over adventure. So we biked the remaining tiny distance (turns out we’re almost neighbors) to his apartment.
There I was given water, a stack of comic books, and a comprehensive list of French radio stations/ podcasts by a guy who turns out used to act in Paris but who is also fluent in LSF (French sign language) and wants to work (as I understand it) as an interpreter. I sat, drank, read, watched, and listened for roughly 3 hours before I said “Je dois partir, j’ai faim!” (I gotta take off, I’m hungry!) at which point he stuck his head out of the kitchen and asked “Tu veux pesto?”
And hour later, after 3 helpings of the pesto rice he made us, I finally left. Adrian is another wonderful piece of evidence that I am, as my friend Mikey once told me, absolutely where I should be, doing what I should be doing. And less “me-related” he is just one of those “excellent people.”
When I arrived home, my host mother surprised me with a red journal/sketchbook as a “just cuz” present. Later, when I was celebrating today with a helping of my 80¢ tub of chocolate ice cream, Odile came up next to me and dribbled chocolate syrup on top. I wish I believed in reincarnation because her and Yanna would come back as mythical beasts with powers of telekinesis, flight, teleportation, transfiguration, lazer-vision, ice-palms, and always the exact change for everything they want in their pockets.
Watch out for intellect, because it knows so much it knows nothing and leaves you hanging upside down, mouthing knowledge as your heart falls out of your mouth.
I address my thoughts this way to
Diffuse the tangled netting of grammar
And understanding that holds my English
Brain to the floor and licks the
Toes of my mind. The glacial pace of
Comprehension takes no pains
in humbling my cocky college self as it
Shoves my head into the troph
of knowledge where I learn that languages are
big and that it’s very hard to breath under
water. Often I wonder what I look like through
this growing window in the language barrier.
Do I seem nice? Am I anything like I think?
The window peers at my feet, sized 40 here, a
View of how I shuffle when I’m nervous,
which is luckily less than most. I hope that if I feed it
the blood that drips from throwing myself
into the fan, it will grow into a lovely set of
French doors, and the neighbors will lend me
A key just before I break a pane so that
I may walk and talk, polite but colloquial,
With the natives who have enough beautiful
Rubble to ignore.