Wednesday, June 23, 2010


He huffed and he puffed and he blew your house down.

It took me an hour to convince the personnel at the Ferihegy airport that they weren't allowed to lock me in the airport overnight. A boy who looked like the alienesque guy from SNL gave me a voucher for a cab after watching me cry for ten minutes. Everyone outside the airport doors seemed genuinely disturbed and the crying upset them.
I was escorted to the nearest hotel which turned out to be fully booked with a drunken wedding party. The second place had a room for me with a little black box hanging precariously in the corner, occasionally playing English music videos.
The alleycats looked like albinos.

The cats in Amman look relatively healthy and there aren't many. When I look out my bedroom window I can convince myself I'm in Tangier. The building across the street is encased in three tiers of curved wall like the one that says Tanger Danger across from the Cervantes. Except this one is a parking garage and I'm pretty sure they sell heroin out of the back windows of the one inTangier.
The sky behind it fades into white at the horizon so the hill looks like it was cut out of a magazine and glued on.

We prayed at three different masjids on a tour of Amman today. We drove through mountains. They could have been sand dunes. If I were in a better mood I might describe them as compiled mounds of diarrhea. Everything here is the same color.
My polaroid is lost in my lost luggage. I brought my last five packs of film that expired last year and travelled through as many airport security lines as I have, except they had to be huddled up in the corner of my carry-on trying to stay quiet like battered children hiding in the attic. I can see them wincing in the past tense.

The film is damaged enough that ninety percent of the pictures are sepia toned brown squares and ten percent are vague outlines pushing through a sepia toned cloud. I like these. I like them enough that I keep these packs of expired film with me and make sure they are hand-checked at security and wrap my polaroid in shawls and towels so I can pack them for faraway countries to return with eighteen brown squares representative of that country in sepia tone.

It's called the white city but really everything is brown. What I mean is, nine times out of ten I can take a picture of something and that thing will be brown. There is wisdom in the losing of it. I would have been driven to look for flashes of color or starkly contrasting objects. I wouldn't have noticed much else. Plus, what's the fun in a picture that doesn't know how to lie?
I have another camera back home and I'll save the film for October when the berries ripen in the backyard.

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