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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Sasha and I are standing outside a large house at night. There is a huge house party going on, people are flooding in and out, music is blasting. She tells me the house is also a hair salon and that one of her friends wants to cut my hair. I agree to it since I had been wanting a haircut; nests were forming out of my matted hair and the length was to my waist. We go inside and find her friend, a tall, skinny, black man whom I never learned the name of. He leads us through the crowds of people to the side of the room where mirrors, sinks and hair salon chairs are organized. He is excited and tells me the first step is to relax in a chair while he goes to retrieve the injection. Wide eyed, I refuse and say I don't like needles. He shakes his head and says it is too late to decline but to not fret, for I am sure to enjoy it. Sasha pulls up a half reclined salon chair behind me and tells me to relax while she goes and finds her friend Lea. The man comes back with a velcro, rectangular case and fidgets with a syringe inside. I look around me, a blond girl is crying in the chair next to me. She is facing the mirror and running her hands through her hair. I immediately know that she had hair like mine before, whereas now she has a very short, blond pixie cut with a small, uncut chunk in the back, similar to a rat tail. I tell her this is my first time and ask if she would hold my hand. She sobs silently and stretches out her hand. I squeeze it and stare at her short hair as I feel the needle sliding into my forearm. I ask the man what medicine is in the needle. He smiles and says it is just a concoction that will help me relax. I let go of the girl's hand and say nothing. The man realizes he doesn't have his hair cutting supplies, he apologizes and rushes off to retrieve them. The girl tells me it's not too late, I can still get away but the injection will make me drowsy. Sasha walks up with her friend Lea and asks if I canceled, for she has just seen the skinny man talking to a group of friends. I tell her yes, and that we are leaving.

Sasha and I are in a club. It is a new club called 310 because it opens at 3 a.m until 10 a.m. It is dark and green strobe lights are flashing. She is talking to a few people. I stare at a gigantic flat screen television on the ceiling. It is an automatic DJ she tells me. It composes songs based off what random people in the room are thinking of. I think of the recent Studio Ghibli film I saw. Immediately the Ghibli logo flashes on the television, but remade with darker colors and bright japanese symbols jumping around the screen. The current song transitions into a remixed theme song from the movie. I laugh and think it ironic. I then see Tanner behind the group of people Sasha is speaking to. I walk around and raise my hand to greet him, but he does not acknowledge me and walks away. I then wonder if the DJ picked up my thoughts on the song, or had someone else been thinking about it.
Sasha gets a ride home with her friends from the club, I am alone in the parking lot walking towards my car. The tall, skinny man from the salon runs up to me apologizing profusely. He insists that I return for a haircut and that his employers were furious with him. I smile and say nothing as I climb into my car, shut the door and watch his mouth moving, still speaking through the window glass.

Sasha and I are at her friend's apartment. It is early in the morning but they are still drinking. A few people are huddled around a laptop computer, laughing every now and then. Sasha tells me there is a popular YouTube video that everyone is watching and she wants to show me. We sit on a large white couch and she puts the laptop on my knees. She full screens the video and it begins:
A group of girls in their twenties are standing in a line. They are smiling, wearing dresses and cone party hats and are singing happy birthday. The girl being sung to is standing in front of them, but with her back to them. She has a short pixie hair cut and a blue dress. Her face looks pained and she is hugging her mother in slow motion. The line of girls singing behind them becomes out of focus. The camera closes in on the birthday girl's face, now resting on her mother's shoulder. She stares into the camera. The camera zooms in closer and closer and tears begin to roll down her cheeks.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Gabriel, Eric, Alyssa and I are walking down a stone paved, torch lit hallway that seems to be underground. We come upon a fork in the hall. To the left there is a rustic looking door with Mesoamerican frescos decorating it. The door on the right is a brilliant shining gold with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Alyssa doesn't hesitate and tells us we need to take the door on the left. Immediately the door slides open. Another torch lit hallway stretches out beyond the door. There is an engraving on the wall that looks like the word 'MAYAN.'
The hallway ends and a large room opens up. An old man is sitting behind a table. The table is covered with a colorful cloth with an ethnic pattern. There are ceramic bowls full of spices, incense and small magical looking talismans. He hands us small sticks with bright blue feathers attached to the end. We hold the feathered sticks and look at him in confusion. He take a torch and lights the ends of the feathers. He tells us we need to go light the incense to the God and make our offering. He looks beyond our faces, we turn to match his gaze and see a great statue of a beast with wild eyes and many feet. There are bushels of flowers, incense and food at its feet. We light the incense with the flames of the blue feathers. The smoke slowly slithers up over the beast's face. His eyes glow and a deep voice erupts from within. It tells us we can procede.
The wall to the left of the statue shakes and a segment slides back, bringing in a small gust of wind. We step through the opening in the wall and are suddenly outdoors.
It is dusk, but we are able to make out the treetops, which tower above us. The trees are unusually large. The sky cannot be seen beyond the trees. The trees outline a rolling stretch of land. We begin to explore and come upon an enormous structure.
A ladder awaits us in front of the structure. It reaches nearly to the top of the trees. We begin to climb, and climb for nearly an hour. At the top of the structure we can see the levels below. Dark orange rectangular cushions stretch across the four posts of the structure. They have at least a two foot gap between one another. Beneath that we see a black mesh net. The structure reminds us of a giant trapeze artist's station. Eric and Alyssa are excited with the great height and leap off the top towards the cushions. Gabriel and I stand back, astonished. We watch them fly through the air and fall atop the cushions. They burst into laughter, which Gabriel and I can barely hear. We hear the echoes of their shouts to jump. Gabriel hesitates and says he will jump if I do. They beckon us more with their calls. Gabe shrugs and steps off, his hair flying back, arms stretched out and slams into the soft orange cushion. Now the three of them are sending broken shouts and echoes to me.
I swallow the nervousness that holds me back and take a leap off the top of the tallest structure known to us.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Peter and I decide we want to drive to Lubbock just for fun. My friends there had already told me that they would all be out of town. Peter is anxious and uncertain about something. He drives my car and we arrive there within an hour. We stop at a swampy marsh area. All the trees are dead and the grass is long and the color of ochre. There's a small gravel path that slowly widens into a road. I tell Peter that I know exactly where we are, and that my parents had secretly moved back to the United States and lived only a short walk from the marsh. He is hesitant and is complaining about something. But we walk.
We reach the house, one storied red and pale yellow. The screen door is open, a closed wooden door is behind it. There are no cars there. I walk in silently. The house is more spacious on the inside then we guessed it would be. The windows are open and a ceiling fan is slowly turning. We take the hall to our right and go into a large bathroom. Peter messes with his hair and says he doesn't want to be seen by public. He mentions something about having plans with friends. He picks up a silver cross decoration from the counter and begins to cry. I hear distant talking down the hall. Only one voice, that of my stepmother. She is on the phone. I hear the jingle of what could only be a dog collar and her small yorki sniffing out our trail in the hall.
I tell Peter I'm going to step out and surprise my parents. I walk out and down the hall into the room my stepmother is in, still laughing over the phone. She raises her eyebrows at me in a smile and waves, turns away from me and continues her conversation.
I turn around and my father is in the kitchen. He gives me a hug and says they were expecting me.