Pedro Ávila

The City receives me… São Paulo, a Beast stretching beyond the horizon from 20K feet and we still can’t see a discernible end to this place. For the first time, I enter as an outsider, I feel as if home is distant and blue-tinted like a mountain you never reach. A citizen of nowhere for a moment, even if that moment will only last a few months. A new found perspective already begins to form around me like a gaseous cloud of vapor from a fog machine.

For the first time, though, the city doesn’t seem so ugly, so hopelessly destroyed. Many buildings lie in ruins from neglect, this is true, but for the first time I sense the history in them, the injustice. I see that it’s not entirely their fault.

This is the point where we begin to sink if we’re not careful. Or sometimes even where we’re careful, it doesn’t do any good. The mud slides between our fingers, the water pours in and when it starts, there’s no stopping it. And even if it eventually recedes, there’s always a water line you can’t seem to erase.

Outside the rain falls, half-asleep — almost as I am.

I notice that truck drivers here are tougher and have more calloused faces, as if life were a steel string guitar and they played it with their cheeks. I can’t say that its a hardship that I know or could even understand. But it certainly is apparent.

And for all the irony in a man who achieves so much at so young an age, I feel that there is some appeal in this scratched living, some nobility. Not so much because of the pride of doing honest work instead of falling off the wagon into the ditch of easy villainy, as I often feel I have. But there is a certain admiration that you have to have for someone who persists, even if it’s because that’s the only way they know how.

I just happen to know better, but what if I didn’t, you know? Could I be a Bruce Wayne and shed my privileges to earn the knowledge of such a state? Could I be born from my own ashes and rise back to where I am? Would it work?

It’s a shame I’m not sure what I’m looking for…I have a feeling I’d find it real quick.

So I continue to admire the rough edges on everything, slowly sanded by time. The rain, castigating and unforgiving like the roads in this place; it calms me and helps age the country just right.

So be it. Let’s see what adventures are in store for us in this episode of life, eh?

On BR-381: The Fernao Dias – March, 2006

Pedro Ávila

Monday doesn’t always just encroach, as we are so used to thinking. It doesn’t always creep up from the shameful ashes of Sunday night with its tentacles of consequence and fault. It doesn’t always bleed unknowingly into your waking cells like warm liquor on a winter day.

…no friends, sometimes it smashes into our existence like a temporal eighteen-wheeler doing 90 down a one-way.

Sometimes, I’m standing right in front of it.

LA again. The Grid. Traffic for days.

The Desert. the Basin.

Fake plastic trees.


I put on my money face: best suit and straight posture with a stern business look on my face that could paralyze a rhinoceros.

I fly.

Fantastic vessels of perfect engineering, beautiful and exotic people, the majestic sky in style, with entertainment and a level of service second to none.

Yeah, fucking right.

My well-traveled body knows this drill. The slow realization that what is a hip-tight seat has somehow stretched to what I’m sure is more than triple its size to squeeze the sea lion that, of course, opted to sit next to me.

And if any of you are thinking, “Oh, a sea lion – that’s like a seal right? They’re so cute. Maybe a little bigger?”

No, friend. No.

A sea lion can easily reach a length at least equal to the diameter of the fuselage of a 737, with a girth that could easily clog its turbines…I know. I know because it sat next to me.

To be shoved against the window, not by the wide shoulders of a large man, but rather by the leg fat that creeps like liquid under the armrest…that was truly a new experience for me.

If you’ve ever seen a sea lion’s skull (or seen it yawn) then you know that there are 4 canines in there large enough to shotgun a Keg with no hands or flippers. Vulnerable? Sure, it’s vulnerable…to being hit by asteroids.

The slow realizations set in:

…that the tea I’m drinking is aged and fermented enough to put some whiskeys to shame…

…that the peanuts are as stale as Jimmy Carter.

…that the thing moo-ing instructions on seat belts into the mic is the flight-attendant and that the most service that I may get out of her is the cup of tea…

…that the most cleaning this old cloth seat – this sweated-on, farted-on, spilled-on, drooled-on, stepped-on, dandruffed-on seat – has seen, is a…well, it probably hasn’t been cleaned at all since there is still a copy of last month’s LA Times and napkin-wrapped gum in the pocket in front of me…

I should have been born in the 1920′s if I wanted the sky to be glamorous.

…ahh, hell. Where’s my tea?

Airlines suck balls.

Pedro Ávila

Mist and fog hangs in the air — warmer days all but trail behind.

I think of nothing sometimes, and let the fury of it all just rush past me like an uninteresting cloud. Of course, it needs to be that way sometimes, when the winds of change are stagnant. Outside, the little creek streams past and sometimes it’s in an awful hurry. Outside, the heat dissipates as the sun angles off and gray rain falls on the bay.

There is a dense air over the creek, slapping any urge to leave in the face…laying on me a smack-down to stay in today.

So be it. Let us sit then, and tell sad stories; leash our words of war for another day. And let us write of the neuronic misfirings that took us wherever it is that we ventured off to last night in slumber…

While driving I am rocked by waves of uncharacteristic darkness in my thoughts. In my thoughts I swim in waters of black venomous heat and am taken by a tide of despair. An old man, thin and sweaty-browed stops my sinking, takes me by the ankles and drags me to his cave for professional advice.

“I have none to offer,” I tell him, arrogantly, I guess. But still, he drags me.

“It is not yours that I seek,” he says, “but mine that I wish to give.”

“What makes you think I want or need it?” is all I can think of as a reply to such unexpected words. He drops me as we enter a cave; a small cloud of dirt scuttles from the ground where I fall. He doesn’t seem to mind.

“You let yourself be dragged all the way up this hill from the black pool.”

“You dragged me, dude” I accuse him.

“So you say.”

A moment passes between us. I use it to ponder his cryptic words and how they’ve brought me to this place that is so damn cold. It occurs to me that the words are not his but belong to something much more ancient – this cave perhaps. But it is no matter, silence only works for so long.

“So?” I ask.

“You are wondering about the choices you’ve made.”

“That’s silly. They’re already made. Done. Besides, what makes you think that?” I ask him with a serious look.

“You are here, with your heart in your hands, recently come from a plunge in a pool of the darkest thoughts you’ve never let out.”

“You don’t scare me with your dark words, wizard.”

“Ahh,” he says, slowly, taking his time to finish the expression, as if he really did just comprehend something, “but they are not my words – you thought so yourself.”

“That’s right, I di…wait a minute — I only thought that! How’d you…”

“Wizard,” he says curtly.

“Oh. right,” I say, stupidly. “Shoulda known.”

“You did know, which is part of why you are even here,” he says, again, in as drawn out a manner as I can stand.

Sometimes I wonder if I watch too much TV; I will definitely be looking to cut back after this.

“I see…” It is of little importance to me now why I am here. What matters is, he’s certainly got a point. “Why would an answer you provide be different from one that I could conjure?” I wonder out loud.

“It isn’t, necessarily. But you’re not here to listen to whatever it is that you have to say.” Damn. He certainly is nimble with the deep answers.

“Ok, fine. So how about these choices I’ve made?”

“I see you are ready know – you will listen,” he says, this time with somewhat more hesitance than he has yet shown. Old men typically have little faith in the young.

“It’s still damn cold in here…do you think you could conjure up a solution to that?” I ask him.

…another moment passes during which I am certain he is pondering whether to turn me into a muppet, but then he smiles. As he does, the cave warms and the air doesn’t feel so thin and sharp. Damn wizards and their subtlety.

“Neat,” I try to lie with some sarcasm in my voice, but the truth is I think it’s pretty damn cool. I would never tell a wizard that, though… my guess is that he would consider it obvious – and I hate being obvious.

“You are, undoubtedly, thinking that it’s too soon for all this, am I right?” He begins, this time with a warmer tone in his voice.

“Well, perhaps, but even if I thought that, it wouldn’t make any sense and I’d discard it,” I say.

“And why would that be?” I know he already knows the answer to this.

“Because there is no temporal frame of reference,” I respond. “You do things when it seems right for you – not for your age group or your generation.”

“That’s a good story,” he retorts.


“Does it seem right for you then, I wonder?” He asks, cynically.

“Well, certainly it’s not what I would have seen myself doing even two years ago, but life led me this way by the choices I made.”

“So why is there a conflict?”

Man, you ask a lot of questions…”

“Wizards usually do.” And he smiles again, giving the room another wave of comfort.

I feel bad for wasting his time too. I know that I’m already aware of the reasons for my own problems. I don’t think he either intends or is capable of showing me a way out of them, except to make me face them — fix them myself. But I fully intend to anyway, so what’s the point?

“Why is there a conflict…indeed.” I say as I face him, returning to the conversation. Eons seem to pass. “On the surface, it seems I am trapped between what I want now and what I’d like later in life.”

I pause.

“It may be that the two are not mutually exclusive; that having one will not even scathe my efforts at getting the other. But it is certainly hard to see at this point.

“Planning when you’re traveling shouldn’t be done in detail more than a couple of days ahead…that’s one way to keep it fun and relaxed. But life is different, isn’t it? I mean, the consequences of not planning your trip is that you may have to come up with a different plan; do something else. If you fuck up the later part of your dreams, you can’t be resigned to re-dream it.”

“Can’t you?”

“I never want to stop traveling. But when I’m 35, 45, 60…I want to be sailing, staying where I want to stay, going where I want to go, and not necessarily where it’s cheapest. It’s not that I want to be rich; it’s just that there will be other challenges…money shouldn’t be one of them. Neither should time.”

“Let me ask you a question,” he says slowly, “How do you know what you’ll want in your middle age? You’re already starting to feel the pressures of nature and time, aren’t you? Your thoughts already dwell less often on New Zealand and more on San Francisco…am I right?”

“Maybe — but I could still make a split-second decision and go live in Spain or Switzerland over buying a house and settling down.”

“So you want to plan for your middle age so that you can continue doing what you do today, but with less worries?”

“…fewer worries,” I correct him. “And yes, that’s about right. But there’s more that complicates it.” I sense the room get noticeably colder for a moment but it seems to pass.


“Yeah, to say the least. What about kids? What about all their dreams? What about marriage? What about my parents, and my brother? I can do what I want to now, or I could spend these days planning for what I know will be important to have then…”

“You already see the problem with that, don’t you? Don’t be silly.”

A cold chill passes through me as I realize what demons are holding on to my will, trying to drown it in worries. It hasn’t occurred to me before that I am not looking for an answer to my problems…that I already know it. But it’s so much easier to look for an answer than it is to understand why that answer is the correct one. So many problems have many answers.

He continued, “You give up what you have to sometimes. They’re things you want badly, but it is a necessary exchange to have something you want more. That’s called sacrifice, and life is made of it, kid. But you cannot stop the events of today, any more than you can stop imagining what may happen tomorrow.”

“So what’s your answer?” I sneak in, hoping for something good and solid. Such a fool’s hope.

“Think about tomorrow, by all means. And if you must plan, be ready to re-dream. After all, it just won’t serve you to dwell on your dreams if you forget to live.”

DAMN. That was deep.

“I like things that suck now, but will later become funny as we look back at them; it shows how fleetingly irrelevant the present is.”

“True, but you don’t really mean that,” he says. And perhaps he’s right. So much time passes every second, I don’t even feel it sometimes.

Again, I pause. His dragon eyes are ripe with experience and the hardship of learning over many years. Of course, he’s right. I’ve known it all along. I too have fallen and stood up again. I too have learned all I know by doing it for myself. I too, have lived.

I continue to pause but his look of amused-certainty does not change.

I’m guessing here, but I think that neither does mine.

Pedro Ávila

As the days wane my excitement grows. Smiles escape me more easily with the night coming sooner, darker.

Winter — real winter — approaches. Snows fall on distant mountains. Waves on the coast swell like a cornered animal. A storm looms__ on the horizon. It is dark, I am alone, and outside it is cold.

I am glad.

With this change in the viscosity of the air comes a new kind of inspiration, one desperately needed in the days past. My summer juice is all but depleted and new blood do I require. I have been hidden by forces outside my control for far too long by sickness and injury, and soon the shackles must break. Nature will feel my touch again as I venture through its fingers unhampered by intimidation.

I’m talking about Europe, of course.

Again its history will be experienced as the ancient air runs over my skin, its worn cobblestones pass under my feet.

My words and my wonders will latch on to its novelty and intrigue like moss on stone or ivy on wood, and when I return I will be more invigorated than ever. Like a junkie I crave it more and more with each use of the drug, but unlike the addict, with each new hit the ecstasy is more intense and the anticipation of the next is difficult, at best.

Sometimes it is debilitating to the point of near depression. Sometimes, if routine kicks in too deeply; if the fat on me grows; if the air thickens too much with triviality to the point where change seems inconvenient; where Gap is a creative venture, where I start to look like one of them

No, friends. That just can’t happen. I abhor the thought.

I am too much of a human being to let myself become such a nationalist. Too many have been my laughs with the different folk of foreign lands; my frowns at the diverse difficulties of others, too many in number. On too much despair have my eyes fallen; on too many troubles has my mind dwelled. I am not one of these people. I came from afar, and thus will I continue. I will not linger longer than life will allow…

This life of stability, of contentment, of perfect bliss will someday change. It may fall apart, or it may find its way to a better one…

I don’t know.

But I must be ready for it when it does.

Pedro Ávila

When you stumble off of a dream you don’t really wake. When you brain becomes involved in emotional entanglements with its own subconscious creations and you don’t provide adequate time to drown the rogue neurons, a dark day indeed will lay before you. A day that follows such awakenings is sure to be rife with irrationalities and general suckage.

Lately, with the new found everything that comes along with married life, I find that the demons, though muffled, are there…not yelling or whispering but just there. Whereas they used to keep me till odd hours of the night with the screen alight, they now seem satisfied creeping stealthily into my thoughts and nighttime dreams. I find them lurking in my rapid eye movement, sinister and dark like the confusion they come to instill.

But I’m not one to cower in the face of pain or limitation.Already there are plans in motion. Think of that. At the merest mention of going to REI yesterday (a store, among few, towards which I have a clinical addiction), thoughts of travel flooded my mind. Before a minute had passed, I had already looked up two separate itineraries and was already filtering out tickets by prices. Images of Pyramids, Sphinxes, tombs and ancient runes came forth. My recovering health improved by a factor of days in a matter of minutes and the merest whisper of solidifying plans. What chance have my foes of defeating me while I am armed with such spirit and determination?

Eat shit demons. I am the victor this round, as in all other rounds before this. You may taunt and persist, but you will never finish me. You have not the conditioning necessary to contest my will. You’ll be back — this I know — but I will be here, once again, armed with thousands of frequent flier miles and the will to use them to the end of the Earth.

Also, there may have been a haiku in there somewhere. I recognize that.

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

“It looks like he went for the throat,” Trevor said as they dragged me to the sidewalk. I was clutching my left cheekbone, which seemed to be loose. I remember the punch that did it, too.

A mighty adversary he was if he had indeed been aiming for the sub-mandibular region housing the vocal chords and sub-lingual tonsils. Those are gonna swell up big and they’ll probably want to remove them.

“I don’t know — me? I would’ve done the same,” he continued, “Gut punching is for frat boys. Real men go for the throat and…”

“Trevor — ” I stopped him.


“Shut up. Save it for your blog.”


Tired and weary from the brawl in the last pub we found open that night, I check the swollen neck under my head. A relic I took home with me from the fight we found ourselves in that night. I had plenty of their blood on my fists too, but that’s another story. It will probably leave no permanent scar, which is a shame. Still, totally worth it to have seen those shit heads sprawled between the bar and the floor and still have to pick up our bar tabs.

There’s no need to go into the details of the fight except to say that it was a good and old-fashioned fair fight. We just happened to kick the shit out of them, though not before one of them got a clear shot at my throat. Also, there’s no cause to delve into the reason for the thing.

How we got to the hospital is sort of a mystery to me though my cohorts have told me a few details. How they determined it was necessary was not part of those details but I did hear that it involved an epic arm-wrestling match between Nate and Shak followed by the running of countless red lights.

After the lengthy and arduous check-in process at the emergency room, I was finally seen by a nurse in training who had less field experience than most Foster Farms chickens. Nate navigated their bureaucracy like an expert and eventually they let me talk to someone who had actually been to a medical school.

“I can’t advise you enough to take immediate action,” the doctor said.

I didn’t trust him. “Has he looked at me at all?”, I asked Shak.

“What do you recommend, doctor?” Shak asked in his most respectful tone.

But Trevor interjected. “What kind of doctor are you? Have you seen this kind of swelling before? It was a very rare kind of kick,” he insisted.

The doctor looked hard at Trevor. “Tell me about this kick,” he said.

Trevor launched into a second by second replay of the fight while I struggled to breath but the doctor’s attention was totally ensnared.

“So, do you think you can fix him,” Mo asked.

“It was a very rare kind of kick,” the doctor repeated, “but I think I have the right tools for the job here.”

“Good,” Shak said. “How soon can we start?”

“Shak, no,” I interrupted him, “we really should go to my real doctor…”

Trevor cut me off. “You fool. Didn’t you just hear this man? Action must be immediate. You can call your insurance company later.”

“Don’t worry, mate,” Mo said. “This is a good man. He’ll keep you together, right doc?”

“Why not?” he said. “But it was a very rare kind of kick, so we’ll just have to do our best.”

They all seemed resolved to start immediately and I was getting weak, unable to keep my focus so I agreed to the thing and the doctor disappeared into his office for a few minutes.

As I lay in the cold, empty white hallway, waiting for the surgeon I leafed through the 3-inch binder they had left on my stretcher. I was hoping to get a glimpse of something I wasn’t supposed to see, but every piece of paper in the binder had my name on it, and it went back to something like 1994. I didn’t even remember having come to Kaiser that many times but there it was, my entire medical file, sitting on my lap.

They stuck my IV with something tingly and I didn’t last long.

Let me tell you now — it comes down to this: general anesthesia is the best sleep there is. That’s all there is to it. It’s replete with cool dreams, no chance of waking and a firm grasp on your subconscious. I highly recommend it.

As I realized I could open my eyes I wondered if it would be such a hot idea. It felt like days had passed since they’d been open, and when I saw my surroundings, my brain felt what I can only describe as cautious surprise.

“How do you feel?” somebody asked. I thought it sounded like kind of a dumb question at the time, but I said, “meh,” which I immediately thought was kind of dumb reply. Still deeply drugged and severely malnourished, I lay in that hospital bed, limp as sod. Someone took out a camera and snapped pictures of me in this absurd state.

Why would you do this?

I was to spend the next two weeks cauterizing the wounds the doctore had left in the back of my throat for all of the swelling to subside. They’ve removed my tonsils and I would have to survive for the time on liquids and gels.

Fantastic, I thought. I could use more gels in my diet.

I don’t know what happened to the dudes whose asses we’d handed to them on that late night. The doctor who’d put me up to all of this had seemed to go missing and no staff person had any record of him. I hadn’t seen or heard from the guys since I passed out on that gurney, but I knew they would be back. They always come back.

Pedro Ávila

The earl gray cools rapidly when contained withing the chill of these walls. The creek outside won’t shut up about this and that and now that I think about it, why the goat-blowing Jesus should I?

Fair warning then. I’m going to get self-righteous for a second. Excuse me while I point out that you’re all acting like a bunch of sackless dolts with no opinion of your own. Forgive me because I…

no. You know what? Don’t forgive me.

Fuck it. Hate me if you want. Think of me as a revolting self-loving blogger if that’s how you roll. In fact, think whatever the hell you want of me, so long as you think for yourself.

That’s right.

The things is: there’s something basic missing from all the latest rants about the Bush Administration’s latest rip into the trust of the American People, and it really speak to the tiny size of America’s balls. Eye balls, that is.

All the most impressive big-name papers are discussing the legality (illegality) of the the Bush Administration’s approval/ordering of spying on it’s citizens. They all have some point or other about why it’s legal or why it’s illegal. They all have some crafty way of getting their own agenda across the filthy governmental lies concerning the data gathering and the wire tapping and the Patriot Act-ing and the whatever-else-who-knows-what-the-fuck they’re doing to turn this society into the closest thing to a police state we’ve seen in many, many, many years.


It strikes me as horribly unlikely that they haven’t been doing this for years already anyway. It strikes me that this atrocious raping of our constitutional rights, like so many of the other wonders and blunders of the American Presidency, is nothing new. It’s only now being exposed.  Whether the harm is done or not, whether it’s illegal or not, whether it’s helping to “improve matters of national security” or not, has it not occurred to anyone that it’s just not right?

After all the shady things this guy has done, how is he still in office? You guys must be mental.

Like an obedient puppy, the Attorney General explained during a press conference that I’m sure nobody watched since it was conveniently placed during the holidays, that because one of the parties listening to the conversations was overseas and not inside the country that what the NSA was ordered to do was legal. Most of you might read this as:


In between the snot and slime covered lines you should read: “technically, this is legal — we’re spying on you twats because of a loophole. There’s nothing you can do about so go back to being mediocre.”

So who the fuck cares if it’s legal? It’s wrong and shady and dark and twisted and you fucking know it. All of you know it. And not only did you vote for this evil but you continue to think that things like this are a necessity because you don’t understand it but you’re sure they do and they must have the country’s best interest in mind, right?


Any of you noobs think the country is safer now than before 9/11? Anyone think that the innumerable amount of dollars that have been spent on “security” have amounted to anything other than the retard with the ears at the White House getting re-elected? Anyone buy this business about the terrorists in Iraq slowly being defeated?

Think different. Think again. Whatever — just think.

Yesterday several blocks in the lovely city were shut down for the whole day because a suitcase was spotted in the street with no owner. Dozens of businesses disrupted, revenues unearned, lattes undrunken — shit, they weren’t even ordered. That’s hurting our economy, people. Billions of dollars of lost revenue to Starbucks. Tragic. Also: police barricades, bomb-sniffing dogs, bomb-squad…the works. For a suitcase.

…A suitcase on the street.

by itself.

And guess what? No bomb. Just a suitcase.

The point is…and first off, stop using the term “the terrorists”. They are not a group. They are not an organization. They are not an enemy to be fought. Mr. Bush would have you think otherwise because it gives him a target. It doesn’t do us any good because the target isn’t really there. But he sleeps better because he can say he has a target.

The point is that terrorism won. It’s done what it set out to do.

See, before 9/11, someone would’ve kicked the suitcase or opened it. Some may have turned it into authorities, or just grabbed it and walked away. Maybe one in a hundred people would’ve thought to call the bomb squad. Maybe one in a million times (probably less) they would’ve been right to do so. And you know what? That hasn’t changed. The only thing that’s changed is that we’re thinking more about the threat and perceiving it differently. Maybe suitcase stores will have to start handing over their records of who bought suitcases and everyone with a suitcase or briefcase or gym bag (if they have the foresight for that) will be on the terror watch list.

The only thing that’s changed is that now a person who wants to commit an act of terror simply has to place a suitcase on the sidewalk and walk away. The terror isn’t in the explosion of the bomb. It’s in the fear of that explosion.

And the fear is all around us today. The air is rank with it.

Terrorism has won. And it’s your fault because you’re the one who’s afraid.

I hate you all and I’m moving to Rapanui.

Pedro Ávila

Hidden from the view of many an unsuspecting eye, the day approached like so many holidays out of nowhere. Scurrying to save face in the light of so much presence, the meek and timid who were so lucky to be invited attempt a last minute preparation for the event. It is coming, like it or not, and all are prepared for this.

But I’ll tell you this: the Beautiful and Talented Planning Committee of the Winter Ball at the Japra Mahal are ready.

I usually wait until after the events in which we participate to rain down fury on the wicked females that so savagely ignore the treasure that is thrust before their very faces from time to time. I usually wait until after the hoe’s leave the sides of my unerringly perfect homies for none other than (and always, ALWAYS) a class D tool with a drunk smirk and NO game before I start hating them again.

Well guess the fuck what, bitches?

This year the rain comes down sooner. This time, there is fair warning and plenty of time for you to think abo…


Listen honey, you will be so fortunate to even be in the same room as my folk that it blows my mind that yours isn’t blown yet. So before I lose it, PAY ATTENTION.

Now, where was I? Ahh, yes: fair warning.

This year I’m telling you BEFORE y’all fuck up and run off with some pretty ass frat boy who won’t treat you decently – these are the perfect guys.

Every time I’ve heard women describe the perfect man, both in movies and in real life, it has usually gone something like this (in no particular order):

  • Handsome

  • Masculine

  • Sensitive

  • Funny

  • Intelligent

  • Strong

  • etc.

  • etc.

I’m no expert, but I’ve got two pairs of eyes and ears and anyone with a chipmunk’s sense of perception should see that these guys got everything on that list, and them some. There are positive qualities that you haven’t even thought to want…and these guys already have them.

Honestly, I’ve still got an iota of understanding that you haven’t all met these fine young gentlemen, but I’m fairly sure that about 90% of you have, and the fact that you always, ALWAYS have a great time with them, laugh to your heart’s content around them, find them engaging and cute, and then leave them in the dust is no longer only unjustifiable — it’s unacceptable.

So listen, ladies — Tonight is your chance to redeem yourselves because these gentlemen will be attending. I expect to see some savage competition, including, but not by any means limited to:

  • cat fights

  • shameless flirting

  • dancing…lots of dancing

  • and general underhanded bitch scheming (lord knows you all were born experts at this).

  • Making out in the corner. This is not limited to only one of you. As I said, fight over it.

  • One of you may go home with each of them. Maybe 2 or 3, if they’re down. I won’t stand in the way of anything like that.

If I see any of you potentials running off with some square-jawed kid in a leather jacket and a bad attitude and I EVER hear you complain about not having a nice guy in your life, I will see to it that you are repeatedly run over by lawnmowers. Enough is enough. Buy the ticket take the ride.

You’ve been warned.

Pedro Ávila

“Don’t tell me where you live, you drunken sack of shit,” Wes was yelling at me from the front seat. “I’ve taken your drunk ass home too many time to have to listen to your mindless babbling.”

“butI dontmmmmlive there I-urrp-live here…,” and he turned left at the light. “Turn green at the lightmmmmmmdammit. You’re lllmmbbbpp had to turn green at the left.”

“What’s he saying,” asked Patrick, who was driving the car.

“Never mind what that animal says,” said Wes.

They dropped me off in front of my parents house, where I hadn’t lived for a few weeks since moving into my own place. But they didn’t know that. Fine, I thought. Wonderful. I’ll just stumble into my old bedroom and sober up in the morning. No problem.

It was a cold night and very bright, with the moon a hyperactive beacon in the sky. I stumbled up the two or three steps to my parent’s front door but found it locked. I couldn’t find a key so I took a step back and gathered myself.

Easy, man. Maintain some kind of grip on yourself. You must sleep soon but first you have to get into that door.

Right. Easier said than done, but thanks.

It’s not that cold, I thought to myself. I bet I could make it home in what? An hour? It’s only 3 miles.

And I started walking down the street, towards the bike trail through the woods. A hundred meters down the street I realized that the night was spinning all around me and that things were starting to take the shape of those stories that end up with the guy waking up in a 7-11 bathroom with his back against the wall and one arm supported by the toilet, bile dripping from his lips and his pants soaked in his own urine while the thin Indian man knocks violently on the door and threatens to call the police. And I didn’t need that in the morning.

So I turned around and decided to face the music. It was going to be an ugly story but at least it would have an end to it. I managed to jump over a fence into my mother’s garden without more than a few minor scratches and bruises from landing shoulder-first against the sides of the two-by-fours that hold together the frames for her tomatos. This put me within reach of their bedroom window so that I could tap the window and wake them up.

Aahhh, shame. You think you know shame when you’re walking back from the freshmand dorms on a Saturday morning? Or when you drink that cup full of everyone else’s food and juice in the canteen for $5? You know nothing.

My mother came to the door in the back yard in her pajamas, her hair frazzled and a sleepy look of disgust in her eyes. That much I remember. She took me in, told me I reeked of gin and turned the shower on for me. She smacked me upside the head, kissed my temple and called me a jackass. Then she told me she was glad I was safe and that I hadn’t done anything stupid like drive or worse, and that I was always welcome there.

“But for god’s sake, drink something else. You smell terrible!”