Pedro Ávila

The following is an internal communication leaked moments ago that I thought was worthy of sharing. Our writing traveler and international man of mystery, Oscar Bjorne has been sharing his thoughts on New York with Dylan Cormack, our own political correspondent around the globe. Dylan’s current place of residence is a secret he shares with few but from this document it stands to reason that he has his eye on Manhattan. We’ll update you as more details become known.


More trouble brews on the horizon, comrade. Things stir and I follow. You know how it is.

2008 is already proving to be what I expected it would be: a setup. This year will either give me much insight into what’s to come, or else it will be the step into whatever direction my life goes from here… what it will NOT be is indecisive.

In response to some plans of yours that I remember discussing a few weeks ago, I want to make sure you know what you’re getting into if you’re serious about this madness of moving to New York City.

The city, as you know, is dark and full of thieves and scum. You thought, my man, that SF was bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The vagrants in SF are junkies, filthy and unbathed hippies in a coffee-soaked town that left them behind in the housing market of the late seventies. Degenerates of New York are another breed – they are the vermin of shadows; they are doctorate students addicted to vodka and spritzers. Many are aspiring musicians and bartenders that dress in designer shirts by night and American Eagle by day. The dangers are many and the problems extend from battery park until the very tips of Harlem, and right through such things as the natural history museum in the middle latitudes of central park. Nothing is what it seems here, and you should keep your hands in your pockets at all times, fists curled in a death grip that could choke a camel. Do not be fooled by what the people will refer to as “the energy.” I don’t suspect you would, but it can’t hurt to warn you just the same.

Under no circumstances should you (of all people) look down the street in search of a horizon. The infinity point where the two parallel lines of buildings and skyscrapers intersect is unblocked: there are literally buildings stretching to the end. Beyond that, who knows? Perhaps they continue. But what is certain is that no matter what direction you turn to there are more people; there are more buildings, more concrete, more villainy and more confusion. Who needs it?

If you followed through with the plan we discussed you would quickly join the ranks of the productive folk of the city; this is true. Never forget, though, that in doing so you will be inextricably surrounded by freaks, pill-hungry stockbrokers and out-of-work journalists. You will not find a decent cup of coffee anywhere; I suspect because it all comes from the same machine. What you will find a lot of is curry. I hope you like curry.

Laughter will be evasive and curt. You will likely not find it at all, so don’t bother. Be content if you’re able to curtail the cursing to a minimum of 2 hours a day and if you have a moment or two of silence and solitude to write at any time. Avoid any place that has more than 5 people within a radius of 20 feet and for the love of god, stay away from the public libraries. If you see crazy-looking people (or anyone, for that matter) putting pigeons inside their socks or other articles of clothing, do not show alarm; simply turn around and walk the other way with a quick stride. Remember the fist thing I told you about in this letter.

Objectively, I’m writing you this letter because my thoughts need coherency and this helps. Also, there is a large project that needs doing and what better way to not do it than to do something else, right?

Right. And you know of these projects, or at least one about one of them, the many things we have brewing with our mutual good company from New Year’s in Portland, but looming in the file just next to this one is a story that needs my attention; naturally, I’m ignoring it completely. I seem to do that whenever something or someone worth my thoughts is at hand, and maybe that’s why I am where I am today. Step up to the corner and look down, seeing the cars below. I am not just drunk, I’m mostly tired. But I am not impaired; I am lucid. I convince myself to stay grounded only enough to put pencil to paper and give this round another whirl. Without this option it occurs to me that raising sheep in New Zealand is not so bleak an outcome, even if it is not likely a fate for this life. Perhaps we’ll come to that yet.

And so much for that, at least for now. I think you know what I’m saying, so I’ll leave you with that one. I’m too tire to stay awake, too angry to go to sleep, and to indifferent to care, at this point. Let’s let gravity decide for now. While it does, I have stories to write.



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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