until next time

Let me tell you how this is going down. I am getting on a plane tonight where I will meditate for 14 hours and emerge as serene as Bodidharma taking a drag of the white widow. In Taipei. And from there to Hanoi. Holy fucking shit, I’m going to Vietnam. And they will all look like me, and I won’t hear or speak or read or write a word of English if I can help it. I will stay the hell away from computers. You were expecting me to update my blog from all the five-star internet cafes in Saigon, perhaps.

I will get to meet my seething throng of an extended family, and see where my mom and dad grew up, and be chased by enormous mosquitoes and jumping spiders and sit on a beach at a tropical latitude near the equator in the middle of December. People will call me by my one true name. The one God utters at the end of time when all my sins are weighed against a feather.

I could be jailed for political agitation, take no fewer than two wives, start a restaurant, or revert to a gibbering monkey eating bananas above the jungle floor. Things happen, life’s unpredictable. There will be no worn paper letters par avion to your apartment, and I will think of you not at all. Remember when we were betting who would quit grad school first? Kind of a mean-spirited game. I didn’t believe in karma then, now I think of it as a charming shorthand for population statistics. But irony, man: gold standard.

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~ by Paul Pham on 8 December 2006.

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