Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Problem of Good Writing

“We don’t have to go to Tangiers,” I tell him.
“No way,” he says. “I’m not going to be the one who
messes up your chance to go to Africa.”

“It’s not that, I tell him,
it was just that book.
I got this crazy idea in my head that
I would step foot on every continent
from that book.”

But what if there are other places I want to go?
I ask the empty room, looking at the map taped to the wall.
There just isn’t enough time, I worry.

“Sure,” he says, from the bathroom,
then there is the sound of him spitting
out toothpaste. “Doesn’t matter to me. Besides,
that crazy fuck is burning the Koran down in Florida so…who knows.
I don’t know if we want to walk around a Muslim country
screaming ‘American’ you know?”
Then the sharp inhale as he sucks in
and looks at his teeth.

I examine the map again and I think to myself,
man, these books, all of them, not just these ones,
but all of them,
even the ones about to be written,
they are going to be the death of us.

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