Italy: The First Two Days

Day One: Getting There Almost all flights I have been on go like this: get on the plane, nervous chatter as it taxis, white knuckle terror as it takes off, then giddy sense of relief once you can look out the window and see the carpet of cloud below and blue sky above. This was […]

A Problem With Elevators

The elevator closest to my apartment door is always covered in piss and garbage slime. And usually spit on the walls. The very lovely cleaning ladies take bags of garbage into the elevator five minutes before I leave for work and stab them in angry up and down motions with their dull, foot-long, cleaning lady knives. Then, before they drag away the bags to dump in a shallow grave in the desert, they relieve themselves on their victims. Thus, when I enter the elevator five minutes later, the walls are covered in spatter and there is a pool of yellow liquid in the middle of the elevator floor with drag marks leading to the door.

Twenty Screaming Cats Tied By The Tail

his happened to me a while back. It was my first day teaching at my new job. My first day when all the students would be there. I got no signs from the universe that the day would be a total cluster fuck. No sense of foreboding, no ominous thunderclouds, no stampeding cattle. The dogs and cats were acting normal and hadn’t run away. There were no mass migrations of birds leaving the city. Nothing.

The Rocket’s Green Glare

I was riding my bike to work around this time last year. Spring had arrived in Beijing and the streets were lined with the thin yellow whips of willow trees. Pink blossoms popped out in bunches on cherry tree branches. The browns of winter falling to the steady green march of spring. With the arrival of nice weather came a flood of bicycle riding Beijiners. And you would have been able to see all of this if the air wasn’t so god damned filthy.