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A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies


Threads crisscross the planet binding portico to rooftop, my Dakar stoop to your Chicago flat. This is where underdeveloped meets tech; two women are grinding grain, one is taken, and the other takes a call on her Samsung.

On language

After one month it’s become clear that I’ve been subconsciously hoping that I was, at soul, fluent. That after a few weeks of verbal stumbling along one day I’d open my mouth and all this forgotten language would gush out with perfect accent, perfect pitch and I’d be witty and interesting in Wolof and French. It didn’t happen exactly that way so, onward language lessons ahoy. I am finding them adventurous somewhat and I do enjoy learning but I’m impatient because there is so much to do, and more easily done if I could communicate better, or at all. I long for the future of cyberpunk when I can lie back, plug in and upload a language program directly into my brain, a la the Matrix, or have a memory chip inserted like Hiro Protagonist. But I begrudgingly guess the reward is in the struggle and muddle and study until you finally have that aha moment, that epiphany, the hard shell cracking before you in all its pearly glory.

And this is why I came here, to be out of my element. To live in a place where it would take real commitment to be complacent. The frustrations pale next to the payoffs, when things I agonized over in my last life, things I tossed and turned and petitioned, some of those thank god are but shadows of dreams.


Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.

So on the ocean of life we pass

donkey carts pulling maribout and boy

Years later I still remember eyes that met mine on city streets and in museums, on car rapides and in the village. We’re only souls poured into skin, I could have been anyone.