Thursday, November 29, 2007

Un ángel desterrado (inspired by a recent event in Arizona)

Emmanuel shuffled his feet nervously over the gravel. The sound rang clear in the cold, desert air. Daniel gently lifted his eyes from his forearms and caught the light reflecting off of Emmanuel's worn boots. The leather in spots had popped free and was curling away from the soles. The air crackled again as Emmanuel shifted his weight. His lips fumbled over each other. He bobbed for a moment and then propped himself up.

¿sabes que?," he asked turning his gaze to the starry sky. Daniel straighted up and looked over at the stranger. Glancing fire light glistened on Emmanuel's widening eyes. "Aunque no te lo creas, hay príncipes en el desierto. A veces pierden el norte y se encuentran aquí. Príncipes, niños afortunados come tu....!," Emmanuel sputtered jabbing his finger in Daniel's direction. "Pero, hay serpientes también, ¿sabes?, ehh...," he stammered to a halt realizing he had no idea how to make this out in English. He puffed and then abruptly poked his finger in the ground. He shifted to his knees and shuffled along, dragging a long, winding line in the cold earth. Daniel watched on blankly. Seeing the boy's perplexity, Emmanuel began to hiss and wiggle his hands, intermittently gesturing to the drawing in the sand.

"Oh, SNAKE!," Daniel spouted.

í, esnake!," Emmanuel laughed. "En el desierto hay muchos serpientes, animales y personas peligrosos." Emmanuel paused and fixed his gaze directly at Daniel. "Pero aquí, conmigo estas a salvo. No hay serpientes. Aqui, todo está bien." Daniel squinted and finally shrugged. Emmanuel thrust his head down and smirked at himself. He stood up and stepped over to the boy's side. Daniel felt his hand drop on his head and kindly ruffle his golden hair about. "No te preocupes," Emanuel softly whispered. "Todo está bien." Daniel shyly lowered his gaze and smiled. It was the first time since the car accident earlier that morning that he felt safe. It was strange running into Emmanuel wandering in the middle of the desert, but Daniel knew now everything was ok.

Emmanuel's hand slid away from Daniel's head and back into his pocket. He gazed at the horizon.... Nothing yet. He grabbed some more dried brush and tossed it onto the bonfire. "Dentro de poco ver
án," he quietly lamented. He bit his lip and and shook his head in disappointment. He looked back over at Daniel. It was worth it, he told himself--it was worth it. Emmanuel turned his back to the fire and stepped out into the darkness. Away from the noise of the fire, he could hear the slow approach of vehicles on the desert road.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Le scuse d'un vagabondo moderno

Sono millenni che gli italiani vengono qui: Polo, Ricci, chiunque. Tutti venivano qui per aprofitare delle fiabe e delle mirabilia d’oriente. Avevano degli scopi grandiosi e la fortuna di mietere dei raccolti mitici. Però ora la situazione sembra essere cambiata. Siamo nel ventunesimo secolo. L'italia non è più come era a quell’epoca. Adesso veniamo qui per imparare la lingua cinese e non per poter poi esercitare il dominio culturale o religioso sull'Est. Anzi, la conoscenza che ora io ottengo durante questo soggiorno sarà dispersa a casa non quale una narrazione di mille storie fantastiche ma piuttosto come un libro di testo qualsiasi, informativo ma sempre un po' noioso. Imparo la lingua cinese per assicurare la mia validità nel prossimo futuro e per offrire la medesima opportunita` a migliaia di ragazzi italiani che non possono saperlo, che spesso si rinchiudono nelle fortezze immaginarie dei loro bei paesi. Perciò forse si dirà che il mio incarico sembra un poco platonico: portare la luce ai prigionieri--balle! Comunque, odio Platone. Si prendeva troppo sul serio. Quando mai oserei dire di distribuire conoscenza salvifica alle masse?! Sciocchezze. Stiamo parlando della realtà ragazzi, non dell'aldilà di un'esistenza astratta. Se vogliamo abbinare la nostra esistenza peninsulare con una realtà globale più ampia, bisogna digerire e diffondere una conoscenza Han. Per quanto mi riguarda, non voglio sminuire con un paese che rimpiccolisce sempre di più. Spero che tanto come ai tempi antichi, l'oriente ci sappia ispirare vita nuova. Altrimenti, quale valore avrà? Dico, per me—per noi!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Jenny at the Computer

Apologies for the graininess of the photo. Until we getter a better camera or a portable scanner, we'll just have to suffer with sub-par photo replication.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

(un)Inspired by recent events in Italy

"Rudy.... Rudy? You're shaking. What's wrong?...What the hell happened? WHERE'S MEREDITH?!"

Rudy instinctively thrust his hands behind his back and scrubbed them on his jeans. He opened his mouth to lie but the horror of his own guilt struck him dumb. Meredith stared at his gaping mouth and quivering tongue. His silence only enraged her suspicions. She bounded towards the door behind him crashing through his shoulder. The knock sent a surge of adrenaline though Rudy's limbs and instantly cleared his stupor. Before Amanda could lay a hand on the knob, Rudy had turned and crushed her chest against the door frame. He crashed to the floor and clutched Amanda's shoulders with his dark grip. She felt his body tighten into an steel cage. He pressed her into the floor, stammering threats and obscenities into her ear. The crushing weight prevented her from heaving in the breath she had lost seconds ago. Her eyes bulged and lungs burned. His caustic babble faded out. She could only sense now her own desperate gasps and the dull thud of her skull against the wooden floor.

When the air finally rushed back into Amanda's lungs, she rolled over and found that she was alone. Rudy had fled. Amanda on all fours tried for the door again. She fingered for the handle. "Meredith," she coughed. "MEREDITH!"