north cal ’15

key west + miami + west palm ’15

joshua tree ’15

a friend’s colorful ranch. Noah Purifoy. sunset + beers. Bond villain lairs. late drives. Pee-Wee. end.

Packard Automotive Plant [Detroit]

‘not allowed to let you go inside without a pass’ he said, cool as ever, but still his gun within view.

‘how do I get a pass?’ I asked.

‘got to talk to the city about that.’

‘can I buy a pass here?’ I pressed, putting $20 on the car hood.

‘baby, that’ll get you a VIP ticket!’ he laughed, and ushered me into the crumbling skeleton that used to be a powerful player in the automobile industry.

bartlesville & dewey [oklahoma]

nola. from my phone.

I loved New Orleans, but that’s already been written about.

for some strange reason, though, I never pulled out my normal camera – so what you get are these. from the ole phone. it’s more autobiographical than it is tourist, but I hope you enjoy them all the same.

my favorite cafe in Cairo

I inhaled more than I should have, as to let the sweetened-fog come out of my mouth in it’s own time, creating a temporary smoke-screen between me and this most enchanting of random, located in a tiny alley that years ago most likely adhered to the one-way sanction, but not anymore. violet plastic chairs pushed up against a pimpled honey wall in a pocket of Cairo forgotten, dogs and cats pay each other so little mind as if time had stripped them of all differences save for the title. a man with a skinny beard and ragged hat kisses his own palm before shaking theirs, greeting more with his tired eyes than his toothless smile. I want to ask him his name, how long he’d been here but couldn’t interrupt his dance from patron-to-patron, holding the glass pipe with one hand and burning coals in the tiny clay top with the other. he’ll give it a shake and drain out some excess water before sitting it down in front of those who know him, those who ordered once, years ago, but no longer need to – you don’t have to tip him a few coins, but that would make you the first. if money afforded it, he’d wear a nice suit and snap the napkins with grandeur when you sat – the name tag would read ‘Theodore’ and he’d insist you call him that in full. I sat, moving so quietly, so minimally, sitting between those two trees that afforded me both silent sanctuary and a perfectly composited view, mimicking the man in front of me – inhaling and exhaling – keeping the plastic tipped cord in my mouth the whole time, repeating 5-6 times and then breaking for the mint tea – balancing precariously on a thin iron table that dared you to bump it. at one point I think he saw his protege behind him and smiled – thanks for trying not to let on. the mechanic with his camouflaged hands finishes his cigarette next to us and brings his beast back to life with a pop! – momentarily passing out a flavor not advertised on the non-existent menu. boys ride by on different bicycles all balancing a variation of the same bake on their heads, but I’m the only one who takes note. there’s talk between those who commune, but not much – the occasional ring tone from hidden tracking-devices being the only sounds that remind each of us that there’s a big, big world just a few blocks away. it’s not that time stands still here, it just moves at the pace of your pipe. a streak of wind leaves white ash on my black shorts, but it takes me minutes to remember to clean it off. I sat there for hours, but left before my drink went cold, before my burning apple became stale, before the quiet cars awakened and the city nudged us all back to the day. the beauty queen probably can’t spell and I wasn’t going to stick around for the hard questions. as I walked away, waving to Theodore and wondering what he thought of me, the call to prayer above the lane began and I promised myself never, ever to come back…

although I probably would tomorrow.

california road trip ’14

france ’13 [part three]

from Paris to Chartres [looking for the Ark of the Covenant, of course], back through the Loire Valley [warmer than when I biked on it late in ’12] and then down south for a wedding. it’s a good place, France – I might have mentioned that before. I’d like to move there soon… I might have mentioned that before, as well.

o.p.p. 54 [france]