Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Official summer is two months away, but since we've seen the last of cool breezes at six in the morning, and the humidity is beginning to cloud my already hazy thinking, there is a sense of summer approaching and it will be here soon enough and when it comes the heat will hit us as sudden as a suicide bomber yelling "Allahu Akbar" like a banshee on a Pacific sumatra as he lights his fuse. Ka Boom.

This is the time of year when I really give thought to jumping ship. For the past week I've dreamed relentless dreams about being somewhere other than here. I get up for my 3 AM slash, stumble to the loo whispering, "Fuck. Still in Abu Dhabi." But then that's me. No matter where I go--there I am pissing and moaning at 3 AM "Fuck, still here." And where else would I go, can I go, should I go? New Orleans is gone. For me there was no other city to live in back home and thinking outside the box would be settling for something far lesser than.

I'll spend about ten days in Houston in May. As Steve Earle says, "Houston ain't that bad a town," and he's right. I wonder if the Ima Hogg Theater of the Performing Arts is still home to the Houston Ballet.

And what Houston lacks in red beans and rice, it makes up for in some of the world's best Meskin food.

In two weeks I take Ana Zoiji to Houston, to the United States. She's got immigration fever. She'll get a social security card, a green card and a Texas state driver's license. She deserves to be an American more than I do. She is a member of a huddled mass yearning to be free.

She loves Oprah for Chrissakes (can one get anymore middle class American than Oprah?)--she spells her name "Opera", but I don't correct her because the malaproprism makes a lot of sense.

I only hope we can get her citizenship before George Dumberer starts dropping bombs on her country. Not that there is any love loss between Ana Zoiji and Iran in its current state.
I see a white picket fence in my future.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


No longer in pursuit of elusive happiness, at fifty-one I acknowledge that I don't have to chase it down. Running after it wears me out. It comes to me when it comes; when it is supposed to be there, it's there regardless of my own efforts to bring it to me.

When it comes, I hold it in my cupped hands like water.