the ongoing evolution of our southern migration

Plans as plans go are often made for modification. When I first shared about our upcoming adventure we thought we'd be gone by now, heading south to the jungle through the friendly skies. Since I wrote that last post there have been 3 major developments.

1. We weren't able to leave when we thought we would. We are now leaving in late January. At least it's a real date this time, an honest to god this is when we are leaving date. It's equal parts terror and exhilaration.

2. We've had to rethink how we'll get there. When J was down earlier this month it became abundantly clear that buying a car there was going to be much more expensive and quite a bit riskier than doing it in the states so we decided to buy a car here and drive down. Believe it or not it's only a 5-6 day trip. Two borders and the possible shenanigans of customs officials not withstanding.

We aren't yet sure who will do the actual driving, whether J and I will drive or if J will go with a friend and M and I will fly down after he gets there. Something about three countries and a four year old makes that particular part of the equation unappealing, but it's contradicted by the notion of wandering down the entire length of Mexico by car, a journey I've long fantasized about making.

3. The recent flooding. Our delay actually turned out to be a saving grace, the house we rented was flooded and the family who rented it to us is in even worse shape so they need to use the rental for a while until they can repair the damage at their place. If anything, we'd have been in the way over the past few weeks. Everyone seems to think that by January things will be better but it's still hard to say. Sometimes this causes me great anxiety, it seemed adventurous enough without compiling it with a natural disaster but at the same time we've come too far to turn around now. Life is what you make it after all.

But it's settling in now, our belongings continue to shrink and we continue to loosen the ties that bind. It feels truly as if we are teetering on a precipice, we have no real idea what we are getting ourselves into and no real clue as to how we'll make it work over the long term. This tends to cause me anxiety while I strive to balance it with the desire to try.

About four years ago I was talking about this very dream to my yoga teacher, a goddess of a spiritual guru, and she said something that's always stuck with me It's one door at a time, child. You only get to walk through one door at a time. So as I reflect on the past four years of doors and how they've opened I can't help but think this gets to the heart of it, the not knowing is the journey and also my awakening, my refusal to cross the threshold is both my choice and my limitation, and fear is the only obstacle because nothing, not even vast amounts of unexpected water have caused one to slam in our face so far.

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mostly devoid of puking

We've been working towards purchasing a car for months now because both of our cars are too old to make the long drive to the jungle from the states and we'll need something a bit more durable when we get there. So we've spent weekends and evenings on the prowl, narrowing our choices and seeing what we can afford. (It's great fun with a four year old by the way, if you haven't tried it please, promise never, ever to do it. Ever.) So last night we ended up at a used dealership and ironically, they'd just received a car that met our criteria and more surprisingly, our tight budget. Score one for the economic depression - car dealers are desperate.

As we started to engage in the long death march to the finish line, the car salesman guy brought out his manager, a rather cute younger guy who starts off by saying something like We price cars like this to avoid the relentless back and forth that ultimately leaves someone throwing up until someone else caves in. There is always room to come down but let's be honest it's not like you are buying a new car or that this sale will make me much money and he seemed almost bored with us and for some reason the truthfulness of it worked for me - to him it was only about margin and getting the car off his damn lot. Somehow it felt like a challenge. Humanity was in order.

So as we descended the escalator to car negotiating hell I tried to entice him with things that might make us seem more human and less like a sale. We started talking about the jungle and what we needed the car for and we even made M share the M&M's we'd bought her earlier as a bribe. She woefully and under duress handed one (yes, only one) over to him and then I threw in the whole working with homeless people for good measure. His eyes clouded a bit as he chews the lone piece of candy so I said that last bit not working for you? and he replied to be honest the driving to the jungle stuff was more interesting, if I were you I'd stick with that so we did until I finally said look, your price still makes me feel like puking and he laughed and asked what price wouldn't make me feel like puking and we told him and he agreed, leaving me to wonder if we should be puking after all.

A little while later we are the proud owner of an older yet with acceptable mileage vehicle, one we feel will get us to the jungle and hopefully around town. Or at least once the water goes away. It struck us that we should also be looking into canoes, but we are choosing to remain optimistic. Besides, I hear canoe dealerships have even less puking. Or perhaps more M&M's. Either way we are chalking it up to uncharted territory, which I expect will be serving as the theme of our very existence for the next long while.

We've now raised $965 for the village. You people are amazing. Thank you.
Update #2: The total is now $1,005 coming in three different currencies. What a small world after all. Thank you so very much.

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we are clearly ready for it to be over already

Me: Want me to chop up some garlic for the pasta?
Him: OK. But you consistently use too much garlic.
Me: What? How can you say this 8 days before the election? You wait to bring this issue up till now?
Him: You do. Consistently. I've always thought so.
Me: 8 days before the election? This is what you tell me? How will this help? Why are you dividing when we should be healing?
Him: Turn off CNN.
M: Guys! Guys! Listen to me! Stop talking!
Me: Baby, you are interrupting.
M: But
Me: Baby.
Him: Honey, hold on.
M: Stop!
Me: Ok, M, keep talking, baby. We may have to cut your taxes.
Him: We'll spread the wealth of your toy box.
Me: We'll socialize the whole house if we have to. Groucho Marx, Karl. Whatever it takes.

M: Crumples into a ball and starts crying.
Shit. We scoop her up in a hug. We were totally kidding. Consoling commences. Irony doesn't quite work when you are four. Thankfully she's happy again rather quickly.
Me: J, fix it, man. You did this. You are like the RNC, you just won't quit. Use the spin machine for good for once.
Him: You started it.
M: No more debating! I hate debating!
Me: This is going to be a long week.

Because of all of you we've raised $940 for the village. Thank you. So much.
Update: As of Wednesday AM we've raised $950.00. Thank you!

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letting my conscience be my guide

I'd arranged awhile back to take M on a date of sorts to one of those godawful skating Disney nightmares on ice. As the day approached the excitement increased and yesterday we found ourselves sitting in an enormous stadium surrounded by commercialism and hyped up children. I was doing this because I knew she's love it, so I decided to suspend my disbelief for a few hours, contentedly settling into my seat with M to one side.

Immediately it was chaos. The family behind us purchased some of those freakish plastic Mickey heads filled with some sort of purple liquid. Within a few moments the kids dropped them and as is commonly known, shit runs downhill. We now have a puddle of goo at our feet. Sweet.

That didn't stop the hawkers preying on young impressionable minds with their rotating glowing things and plastic weaponry. They'd approach even as I glare at them impervious to my intimidating chill. Dude, shoo, I say as M's eyes light up and again I say Dude, shoo and he'd look at me askance and wander off. Take that Disney.

The show finally starts and it's typical at best. Princesses are being duly saved by Princes and the softly played evil attempts to transcend over good without success. My eyes are rolling back in my head saved only by intently focusing on my child's face, her eyes are beautiful and her hand clasps mine tightly. She crawls in my lap as we share a tiny chair. In profile she's stunning and I get to stare at her for longer than usual because she's sitting so still.

Just as I'm starting to wonder if they sell beer at this thing the scene shifts into a different riff, my childhood is brought front and center with dozens of skaters come out representing the world. They clasp hands and glide in circles, their voices clear:

it's a world of laughter, a world of tears
its a world of hopes,
its a world of fear
theres so much that we share
that its time we're aware
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world
There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small small world

And my eyes well up with tears and I sing silently along. Amidst all the commercialism and the ridiculousness, it's still this. From those of you in England whose exchange rate with ours means even more money for the jungle, to folks I've never met who so graciously and quickly agreed to help people they do not know. It's this. It is a small world after all.

After the show we walk out into the light. M's still holding my hand and she looks up at me thank you mama, thank you and her smile is wide. We get past the last of the stands selling stupid shit and I notice her eyes grab hold. I clasp tighter as we walk past and she says see Mama, I didn't ask you to buy anything because I didn't need it even though it looks really good and I feel the tears in my eyes again and I pick her up and hug her tight and realize this wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Thank you again for your incredible generosity in helping my friends who have been affected by flooding in Central America. Because of you, a water pressure pump, water, food and medicine have all been purchased for folks who are in desperate need. If you still want to help, please email me at girlplustwo(at)yahooDOTcom. My friends in the Village are so thankful to you.

Update: We are now up to $800.00. You are my heroes. Thank you.

Update #2: We are now up to $890.00. You can't see me but I'm dancing. Thank you. Thank you all for spreading the word and for sharing your precious dollars.
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the flood pt. 4 everything is still really bad

*The Flood Pts. 1, 2 and 3 are below.

Our friends sent us some pictures last night, the first is the center of the Village - the tiny light blue structure in the middle of the shot is the bus stop and the structure to the right of it is where the village normally gets it's bottled water. They whole area was similar to a roundabout, roads going one way and another and are all underwater. There was a bridge but it's either submerged or gone all together.
This is our little house, as you can see the water is still pretty high, we have no idea what condition it will be in when we get there. It's pretty though, isn't it? Some of our neighbors who have lost their home have asked if they can stay in it since we aren't there so hopefully the damage won't be too bad. Our friends say that 6 people from the village are missing and most of the livestock and cars. The water hasn't receded very much yet so it's still hard for them to know where things stand.
Because of all of you I was able to wire more money to them last night, the first wire went to a multigenerational family, ages 4 -72 who have lost their home and their garden and just about everything else. This time the money went to a single mom with 2 girls, she relies on tourism but with her simple guestlodge flooded she's got no money and nowhere to stay.
If you'd still like to contribute we can get it to them right away, there are more people who need help than there is money. Please contact me at girlplustwo(at)yahooDOTcom if you'd like to be a part of the amazing group of folks who have been generous beyond comprehension. The folks on the other end of your kindness are so thankful, blogging doesn't make sense to them but I let them know about all of you and how amazing your hearts are and they thank you too.
Update: We've now raised $710.00. The water still hasn't receded and it's been 8 days. Folks are getting sick and your donations purchased much needed food and clean water. Thank you.
Update #2: Up to $750.00 as of Sunday AM. Thank you.

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thank you

There aren't enough words to express my gratitude that so many of you would so generously give money to people you do not know. As of today, we've received $510 - an amount that goes twice as far where it's going and will be used to offset the loss of basic needs like clean water and food. Some of you have said you'll give over the weekend so we'll hold anything else that comes and send another wire on Monday. I am overwhelmed at your compassionate spirits.

And more than that, you've given me hope and filled my head with ideas about what else is possible. So from the bottom of my heart - Thank You.

Update: $610 has been raised. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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the flood pt 3 - the village needs our help

Today J got this email from our neighbors in the village. It's a bit rough reading and there is a weird caps thing going on, but I'm choosing not to edit it:


This is from one of our neighbors, people who help us get water and make tortillas and show me how to do laundry and how to buy food in town (where I'm presuming they are able to send this email and others we've received this week). This is from the people who will take you in and feed you dinner when they have no money at all and they will hug you and hold your baby and treat you like family. In five years they have never once asked us for help so things must be pretty bad. We are going to wire them money but it doesn't feel like enough so I couldn't help but think that it can't hurt to ask my village here if you'd consider joining us in helping our village there.

If you want to join me in helping them please email me at girlplustwo(at)yahoodotcom. We have a paypal address but you'll need to email me so I can send it to you and I promise to send every cent to the jungle as soon as it's received.

I've only ever tried to raise money on this blog for established charities, so I'm feeling a little out of my depth right now but I can't sit here and do nothing while our soon to be neighbors have lost anything. I promise you it's going to good people who need our help.

Update: $120.00 has been raised so far - thank you so much. We just sent the first wire transfer and will do it again tonight as new $$ comes in. Any little bit helps. Thank you!

Update #2: Because your hearts are gigantic we've now raised a total of $320.00, all of which has been wired to the jungle. Thank you so, so much. Every dollar matters so if you are so moved, please let me know. They can use our help!

Update #3: We are up to $445. You are the most lovely people in the world. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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I am a real American

I am a real American.

I care deeply for this country and our world.
I want to see an end to the war.
I believe housing is a basic human right.
I love my child and want her to thrive.
I want your children to thrive too.
I want everyone to have affordable healthcare.
I want transparency in our leadership.
I will vote no, resoundingly no on Proposition 8.
I believe in equal pay for equal work.
I believe in freedom of expression.
I believe that your life is worth as much as mine and your success allows me to succeed.
I refuse to let people categorize my dissent as a lack of patriotism.
I do not like apple pie.
I am a real American and I am voting for Barack Obama.

If you are so inclined, feel free to share on your blog why you too, are a real American. Or a real Canadian. Or a real African. Or a real German. Or a real human being. Let me know and I'll link you all here.

They can only divide us if we let them.

Other real people:
the lovely island girl
Sanity Souffle
the lovely Jennifer

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the flood, pt. 2

Try as I might, it's impossible to find any news on the flood. The village is too small, in these sorts of places tragedies happen all the time. People pull together without outside help. There is no FEMA, no emergency assistance. Folks who've been living there all their lives have seen their little homes ruined and there's no insurance money to claim. It'll take them years or longer to replace what they lost, the ones who had guest lodging on their land have lost their only income source, not only is tourism painfully down this year but the lodging will be unliveable for a long time.

Another of our soon to be neighbors called a little while ago. He wondered if we'd heard and we told him we had. Man, do we have a situation here, he said and yet his voice is smiling. J wants to know where everyone is, he can picture all of it in his mind. We are all sleeping at X's, his house is the one that hasn't flooded but the water's rising and it's about 8' away from the front door. I feel the urge to tell them to be careful but I know the words are silly, these folks know a thousand times more about what they'll need to do. In the midst of the call our friend says I can't get out to your land, the bridge is destroyed. As soon as I can I'll try and check on it for you. We tell him it's not important, we already know it's flooded and all that matters is that everyone is okay. He tells us again how crazy it all is and I hear his laugh. In the jungle I suppose, one has to figure out how to make due.

We sat in the park today while M ran around, the sun was hot and we were dry. J's face is tight, I know he's wishing he was there so he can see for himself. Our house would be gone. We can barely afford to do this once, there is no way we can do it twice. There's nothing to say and I'm reminded again that we don't know what we are doing and I wonder why that doesn't give me more pause.

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the flood

Our jungle is flooded. The first time in all the years folks can remember the river has risen so high it crept into homes far away from it's banks. It rose overnight and homes were swallowed in the dark. The little place with the bats and scorpions is flooded too. Our friends contacted us this morning, in the middle of their plight they made a point to let us know as we sit far away and warm.

The river has never been this high in all the years anyone can remember, 4 feet of water in this home and this one and this one and yes, in yours too, but your belongings are fine. We have been evacuated and the roads are gone and some animals too. But we are okay and everyone is fine. We are okay and everthing will be alright, man. We'll take care of your place too so don't worry. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

In the midst of it all, this is what we were told. And while I am filled with the horror of what our neighbors lives must be like right now I also can't help but smile. They see us as neighbors too.

So we responded in kind. Thank you for letting us know. We can help however you need, call us and tell us what we can do and it will be done. Be well. We will be seeing you soon. Be safe, we are thinking of you.

And while it should perhaps deter me it just makes me more certain of where we are going and the reasons we've decided to go.

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First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day: Poverty and the MOMocrats are posting about various poverty related issues all day. You can check out what I have to say or read all the MOMo posts here. Of the many important election issues, we feel how the next President will handle the poverty crisis is one of the most critical.

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the little pitcher loses her mind

I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop while J is in the kitchen cooking dinner. Small whirlygig child person come flying into the room and catapults herself onto said couch crying.

Me: Babe, what's wrong?
Her: He's ruining MY WHOLE LIFE!
Me: Who?
Her: Daddy!
Me: Why?
Her: He just IS! My WHOLE LIFE!
Me: Dude. Why?
Her: (Flailed across the couch, arms tossed over face for dramatic effect). Because he won't let me have a fruit roll up!
Me to J: M says you are ruining her whole life!
Her: HE IS!
J: (laughing) She hasn't seen anything yet.
Me: (reaching for my wine) Yeah babe. You haven't seen anything yet.

And with that she catapults herself down the hall to her bed, where more hysterics ensue while J and I giggle at each other and occasionally remark that we are ruining each others lives.

This high drama? This is normal for a four year old, right?


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little pitchers and big ears

I hate him! I look up startled. She's never said that before and I'm surprised. Baby, I say. Hate is a really strong word. Are you sure you mean hate? Yes.

Honey, hate is not a nice word. You can not like someone, but hate is for really important things. Like broccoli? she says and starts cracking up.

I'm serious, M. Do you ever hear mommy or daddy say we hate people? Smugly, I sit and wait. I am at once Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. We are not the kind who speaks of hate.

Yes mommy. You hate John McCain.

Shit. As I simultaneously scan recent memory and and also realize this is now blog fodder I am silent for a minute while J ever calmly says Mommy might not agree with John McCain's ideas but she doesn't hate him. I think it over. He's right, I don't hate that guy. Even if I cannot stand to look at him right now, I don't actually hate him. But I am not sure I can say the same for his sidekick. I'm actually not sure, she might actually turn me into a hater. I don't think I've said it out loud but sometimes I can't help but yell at the TV.

No matter, she's busted me all the same.

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September Just Posts

It's not surprising that many of the posts featured this month have to do with American Politics. This is the last Roundtable before the election, emotions are running high and America's luck seems to be running out. The notion that has been briefly and in my opinion quite unsubstantially discussed in recent debates is that we all need to make do with less. It seems obvious to the observer, America acts like a binge eater, gobbling up oil and food and plastics with little regard for the world. As with any addict, there's always a rock bottom and a subsequent coming to Jesus and in our case the bottom seems to be wrapped up with blinking lights and a cherry on top, even as we sink the band plays on.

It's the unwillingness to face reality that startles me the most and I tend to believe in the American people more than this, that our politicians might be moving deck chairs around the Titanic but we are all underboard, scurrying around whispering trying to decide what to do and damn if we aren't maintaining our sense of humor, it's free and doesn't hurt a thing.

In conversation with a higher up in disaster management recently she lowered her voice and conveyed what we should already know: The shit is hitting the fan and it's bad. Earthquakes and hurricanes, drought and disease. The other secret she whispered was don't expect to count on us. You'll need to look to your neighbors to see you through. The sentiment was more about environmental disaster than financial but her words hold true.

These bailouts are not about us and no matter what we can't count on a market seemingly propped up with duct tape and paste. Instead we need to consider a life that looks very different than the one we lead now and we need to decide to embrace it. We can embrace it or be engulfed by it, but either way it's the end of the (American) world as we know it and I have a child to raise and magic to teach and I refuse, I patently refuse to let all of this bullshit get in my way. What matters now and has always mattered is us, who we are and who we want to be outside of the American Empire and corporate greed. What matters now is what we will do in the face of this uncertainty and how we will choose to live. And we'll be looking to each other to see us through.

The September Just Posts
Alejna with September 12, 2001
Border Explorer with Everything for Wall Street; Nothing for Main Street
Chani with Financial Smackdown, My Last Sarah Post, and Steal This Meme: Politics
Daily Kos with Amazing: Obama helped a stranded stranger
Denguy with Fear
Emily with Saving the planet for Starbucks customers of the future
Ewe Are Here with Busy Would Be and Understatement
Girlgriot with Speechless and Supermoms and super colliders
Holly with I couldn't hold it any longer and Pennies for peace
JCK with IMC project: Saving the lives of malnourished children
Jen at A2EATWRITE with How to vote/how to buy a car
Jen with Good morning America, how are you?
Jennifer at Faking It with To Support of not to support, that is not the question, as I see it
Julie with How you can help recent hurricane and tropical storm victims
Lia with Age And Ageism and Give Some Thought
Leslie with The most problemmatic of times
Los Angelista's Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness with Shiny and Bright Sarah Palin
Mad with Losing at the waiting game
Magpie with Ways to Make a Difference
Mary Murtz with Unfriended? Defaced? What?
Mir Kamin on Blogher with Men and Women: Becoming more alike makes 'em more different. What?
Mother Woman with Manning the Phones
Rebecca with That creepy obsession with virginity and In defense of a silver tongue
Red Stapler with Why I am voting for Barack Obama
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee with Dear Mr. Harper
The Ascent of Humanity with Construction and the Glass Factory
The American Prospect with Everybody Calm Down, Obama is hitting back
The Buddha Diaries with A Fistful of Bills
Under the Overpasses with The Sky is Falling--really! and The View from Down Here

Just Post Readers include:
Thailand Chani
Painted Maypole

The Just Post Roundtable is here every month on the 10th and we welcome writing about social issues big and small and everyone is welcome. Don't forget to stop by Mad and Su's to see what's on their minds today too.

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back in the saddle again

Everyone is back where they should be, a whirlwind trip south to fetch M, a late night airport pickup for J, I am suddenly chauffeur and mother, the quiet swirls past me like patchouli incense, I reach for it and it disappears.

I somehow expected it to be more profound. The longest I've been apart from my child, my partner, the longest we three have been in separate places, Truth be told I reveled in the alone, the return of the old. There were moments certainly, a longing so piercing it wounded but it was fleeting and in it's place a contentedness I've missed, the one that comes with only having to be concerned with oneself.

So it goes I suppose, and the reunion yesterday with my child was perfection and the plane trip home was noteworthy, she's a champion flyer, completely fearless and unabashed in her yelling for the Peanut Guy over and over much to his probable dismay. Tonight with J was profound in it's own right, a newness and a recognition, now I have four year old legs wrapped around my waist and strong arms around my shoulders and we bend together again like three trees attached to the same star, the light glows steadily shining our way ahead.

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right on target

Having company in town makes you see things through a different lens. Maybe like how pretty the flowers are or how crappy your house looks. Or how there are cops pulling people over everywhere or there's trash on the ground. Classy, I say. Taking visitors around your town makes you notice the abandoned parking lots or the broken down cars. And having people like Tanis in town means weirdos will hit on you while you are having dinner. No wonder she's Canadian, this place is terrible.

There were high points though, like when I scheduled some time at a local spa complete with smuggled in bellinis so I could get her drunk in the hot tub. Or when I took her to a great restaurant for lunch and let her believe I'd actually eaten there before instead of telling her I'd begged some MOMocrats for help so I could look fancier than I really am.

There was supposed to be a boy around on Saturday night but apparently the thought of hanging out with us freaked him out enough that he made up some story about having to go to New York to get pictures taken for a blogger calender. A Blogger Calendar? That's kinda like cranberries on pizza or hunting wolves from a helicopter, it's just not right. Since he was gone she made me do the one thing I think she's been dreaming about her entire life. That's right, people. I took her to Target.

No really, I did. And she was way too excited about it, but that's why I love her. She's the most complex woman I know. She's got the proof so I'll leave it to her to show you. Or try to deny it. Whatever. But no matter what she says, it was her idea. It. Was. Her. Idea. After all the other classy stuff I just don't think I could recover from this one too.

All the hoopla caused me to forget to remind you about the upcoming Just Post Roundtable. It's not too late to send your September posts on social justice to me at girlplustwo(at)yahoodotcom. All the posts will be featured on the 10th. If this is new to you click on one of the purple buttons down the page on your right.

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If you are here from there you can leave your ransom in the comments. remember, we are in a financial crisis down here. consider it a patriotic gesture.

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postcards from the jungle

So, about the house, he says. I don't think you are going to want to live here. Why? I ask. Well, there were two bats in the house. The roof has a hole in it.

Two? Alive? I say.

Yes, well, yes, until this morning. Now one of them is dead. Silence. And a scorpion as big as my fist.

I don't think I can do that, I say. I know, he says. I already found a new place and we can have it but not till November or December. It's much better. No holes in the roof, he says.

I'm serious, I say. I don't think I can make that radical of a switch, I have to be eased into bats and scorpions. I know, he says, but otherwise it's really....I cut him off. I just can't do that.
I know, he says. And the new place has running water too. What the fuck, I think. No water? I'm not made of this, I say. I know, he says. The new place is much better. But you know, this is going to be hard at first, Jen. Hard but not stressful. Hard is okay. But there are so many good things too. And he proceeds to tell me about neighbors and community and more. These words help, they soothe, I remind myself that colliding with uncharted nature is part of the deal.

He's staying there in this house with the hole and the bats and I can't help but wonder if he's being brave or is actually enjoying it so I ask and he says yes, not only yes but I can tell he loves it. And he probably loves it more because I am not there freaking out. He is at once Tarzan and Don Quixote. The man who has gone before. I picture him tan and sweaty, eyes wide open.

I see my future and it quiets me. We are moving to the jungle. And I can't help but wonder what fortitude this will require of me, the thoughts that I gloss over but in reality have no idea if I will be able to handle.

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it's oh so quiet

It's the first time in years I've been alone. Quiet. Not talking to anyone, doing as I please. I like it. I also like knowing it's temporary, that in a short while things will return to normal. It's almost ridiculous, how lucky that feels. To have this and to have that. Them. I miss them. But for now I will treat it as it deserves, a momentary break, a return to girlhood. Stay up late and watch crappy TV. Drink coffee at midnight. Or not. Talk to no one all night long. Cook what you want. No picking up after anyone. I ate a bowl of pasta with nothing on it but cheese but it was the fancy cheese and I ate it all. It's fun, this. It's like my old self came by for a visit and I'm not surprised at all to find she hasn't changed a bit. Maybe tomorrow we'll go out for drinks she and I. Maybe not. Maybe we'll read a book. It won't matter. This.

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