Pedro Ávila

In the earliest hours of the solitary morning, in the wake of the savage night, just before the first photons expose the dull blade of the December air which has not yet been sharpened by the icy metal of winter, I am held captive to the renegade thoughts of doubt infused by the demons I swore so long ago to ignore; these days that fade so quickly and were so thin to start hold little promise of a renewed ability to stave off the starving feeling of becoming transparent. It’s probably a sin to be fading into quiet obscurity but why can’t I just fucking do it like a good little boy and stop it already with the dreams and the perseverance and the futile hope?

I need new juice, new blood in my veins. Only travel can cure me of this sickly state; only the consistent change of surroundings brought on by the bouncing from station to station in a foreign land. Everything else is just numbing the senses — drugs for the symptoms.

From thirty thousand feet I’m just a consultant working from home. Casually dressed in jeans, fleece and wool socks, laptop on lap and feet up on the coffee table. It may seem that I’m one hell of a comfortable human being.


On a diet of teas and no-ice smoothies for fear of Jell-o being too viscous, I bathe in the agony, not of starvation, but of not being able to satisfy wants. Plugged to a monitor and existing on nothing but liquids and pseudo-plasmas, I loath people in diner windows, enjoying flavors and swallowing things with no second thought.


Re-cauterization of a few blood vessels in my throat was necessary and I had to be operated on again. Going under is not so bad but having to stay overnight in the recovery ward is. Today I am in extreme pain and have phlegm in my throat the size of a bull frog.

If you’ve never seen a bull frog or are not in the know, take the volume of your fist and quadruple it and you’re looking at an average. I am forbidden by the people in white from clearing my throat in any way so I lay awake at odd hours of the night trying to come up with creative ways of swallowing the damn blockage so that I can breathe. As you may have imagined, a bull frog is hard to swallow in one swig. After a good hour of effort I am half-way convinced that it’s my swollen uvula I’m trying to swallow. Fucking uvula.

I fight. Everyday for me is a fight…sometime it takes many in the course of a day to come out victorious. I strive to kick the shit out of the oppressive chains of routine, of monotony, of normality and the gray existence to which so many people resign themselves after they get married. It’s no wonder our single friends whisper under their breaths and talk of shadows in my future. They think, like so many others do, that nothing survives marriage, that people become monotonous drones overnight whose purpose is to earn enough money to afford the apartment they live in and clean the china for guests that never come.

Still though — it doesn’t always work.

Pedro Ávila Pedro Ávila

For a reasonably sane & productive member of society (arguable, but let’s not complicate things), I’m far too mobile and unrooted. I travel quite a bit for a job that is simultaneously my greatest privilege and my worst burden.

So I write. And I write. Travel pieces, political journalism (a stretch from ranting but, still), short stories, poetry and other such riff-raff. I contribute to a handful of publications and will probably just keep going until something gives out, or someone gives in.


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Of smiles and roars