I was in modern-day Vietnam and found myself caught in the middle of a war. There were gunshots, explosions, and when the smoke cleared I saw the dead piled up, bloodied and mangled bodies lying so still. I fled with a friend to the border. We pretended we were merely tourists, staying close to groups of travelers, trying to avoid any interaction with the authorities that were checking permits and passes. The terrain we hiked through was beautiful—there were no buildings, only a vast land of lush, green bushes and trees as far as the eye could see. We came upon a spot where there were ruins overgrown with bright green vegetation and I stopped to take a picture. Although the scenery changed from war to re-growth, I still lived in fear, consumed by paranoia.
I was on a road trip and the car kept spinning out of control.
I spent twenty-three years building a sand castle that I then destroyed, demolished, flattened, to start anew.
I was having a drink with a man I hardly knew, who started telling me that he spent a year in Nepal on a Fulbright where he researched beavers. At first, I didn’t care about him, but the more I found out about him, the more I fell in love with him, or rather, I loved the things he did because many were what I had aspired to accomplish.
I worked in an office and my co-worker, who looked like Andy from “Parks and Recreation,” kept playing pranks on me. First he hid my purse, and when I returned from that search empty-handed, I found that he had lit my desk on fire.
I was having a conversation with a high-school teacher that I once had, and he asked me about moving all of the time. I explained that for me, moving constantly was as normal as staying in one place was for him.
I made a forty-five minute film and presented it at a college. A Senator was in the audience, and when I attempted to engage her in an intelligent discussion afterward, she seemed disinterested, turning out to be an airhead.
I lived in 1984. It was positively miserable eighty-five-percent of the time. You pushed it deep down inside you so that you could go about your day with at least half of a smile and try to enjoy that infinitesimal fifteen-percent. Yet it bubbled up to the surface each night when eyes shut and everything that was repressed exploded into vivid dreams of wars, car crashes, destruction, and disappointments.