Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I was picking cherries when I saw a pretty cool bird. He had a mohawk. I bet he's in a band and his name is three letters long. I bet he's addicted to meth.
His feathers are like plaid and are lighter than his face. When he eats worms it looks like he's seizing. His head is vibrating. He attracts the attention of local cats and also my attention.
The cherries aren't ripe but I like the way it tastes. There are roses in the vegetable garden growing against the fence and they poke through the diamond shaped holes like scented magenta polkadots like when tennis balls get stuck in the fence around the tennis court because you hit it too hard just for fun or you were trying to hit someone.
I have a job but I don't get paid so I steal their cherries and call it even. And then I eat them.
We live on a compound because we are a family unit.
Don't I look like I belong here?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I'm used to getting stared at when I travel to faraway places, and true to form, in Srinagar I sometimes feel like the alien in the market, mostly because the clothes we commissioned to our tailor have yet to be completed. While my western jean-wearing ways make me feel like a tween, my misunderstood sense of fashion has spilled over into my Kashmiri wardrobe. My grandma chic has (d)evolved into simply grandma. I can only hope that my tendency to wear age-inappropriate clothes will not lead to a profound loss of dignity at an old age, trying to squeeze my way into something magenta.

We have had the same tailor ever since I was a little fat kid, despite his many flaws. I won't name names, but two sleeves of noticeably different lengths is not okay unless it was during my asymmetrical phase, when people would go out of the way to tell me they didn't like my outfit. Despite his lack of skills, his small business evolved into what is now known as Fancy Tailors. My family insists on remaining loyal, and my mother reminds me that "we're the ones who made him fancy."

As an honorary foreigner, it only makes sense that I am treated as a foreign object stuck in a small space where I do not belong. My only defense for not learning Kashmiri is that Arabic is the language most beloved to Allah and I decided to learn that instead. So far it works.
The last person we interviewed claimed that the reason I would never learn Kashmiri was because I was wearing jeans. Maybe he is right. But it makes me appreciate Morocco even more and the gift it gave me, to be able to enter a foreign place and make it familiar. For now I will start with a small space, learn the streetnames and the schedules of public transportation. The beginnings of belonging to a city.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The pollen is floating all over the air into the sky like summer snowflakes and then settle on the grass eventually. My mother caught one and said it felt like a cottonball. The roses are in bloom and planted beside the snowball trees that I think grow cherries.
I suppose I'm seeing Buffalo.
I had a seemingly unending crazy dream last night that I was there with all of my cousins from Kashmir. We owned a cat and a pig and I was in charge of feeding and cleaning up and I loved them both.
I was thinking how I had to leave for Casa Barata at 2pm to pick up some things I saw the week before but decided to sleep on. It took me a few hours to realize I wasn't in Tangier anymore and wondered why I would be confused about that. At one point in the dream I wrote and directed a play about elves. It was pretty good.
The craziest part was that I woke up thinking I was in Kashmir for the first time in six years about to start a recording project in a language I do not speak and barely understand.
I am amazed at what I can come up with in my dreams.