December 31, 2002

understand me, nice gay??

sometimes i get in trouble and sometimes i almost get in trouble.

my first day in panama city, actually just a few hours after getting off the night bus, i went to the supermarket, tired and grubby, in ripped jeans because my other pants were dirty. this guy approached me and asked if i was panamian, and i said No. he said, That’s too bad, and i said, Why?

he said, Well, do you want to do some modeling? i said i'd think about it. i asked him where the clothes were made, and he said the french company owned factories in mexico. so i asked him what the conditions were like in the mexican factories where the clothes are made. he didn't understand, or pretended not to ...

he said, Don’t worry, you’ll be treated very well. i said, No no, I’m talking about the workers in the factories. he looked perplexed. i explained how european and american companies exploit workers in poor countries and all the rest of it, and how the conditions in the factories were rough for the workers, and they have to work really long hours. and he said, Oh! Now I get it! Don’t worry, you’ll be treated well, and it’s only a few hours a day! i said i'd think about it.

the next day i ran into him again, and told him no, because i don't really like the whole idea of using your smile and charm to sell things, and also because of the factories. he looked sad but said ok, although he wanted to try to convince me. he wanted to take me out but i declined.

well, the next day, they tell me when i wake up, Someone dropped off a note for you.

it was in english, despite the fact that we had spoken only spanish before.



hi ... good morning, i will like to invite you to eat some, you now, like a cool food in my house (den) and that you will stay like last night* ... rock jeans, t-shirt, no shoes, no u/w**, really, why not. ! you will not participate with our publicity program....ok...! so ...
¿will you please give to me oportunity ot show you panamá & now you better before you leave??? you are special diferent, nice, so nice like a pu.... (you now). ok is it a invitacion....can you call me before mid day?***
i have a new offer for you, not thinking in employee's, ok? ...only on bussinnes! if you want...don't pay more hotel. you cant stay where i live & don't worry! good bread, salad, meats, chicken an bb'q special for you allan! ok, please call me fast.
like Tom C. Brad P. or, it is simple, is true!
welcome to panamá!
will you like to visit island in front panama bay, is it 1 hour from here, also really nice trip! good experience leaving from panamá canal piers under america's bridge! ok it is your personal decision....
you have to know that, i'm not a bad gay****, my only reason is it in the note #2, from this message!
thank you four smile....
god bless allan
i'm sorry --------- ily...!
i will like to take you to colombia, and say goodby over there, not in my country! 11:05 pm thank for read me allan! ok, if you want to make me a question....not and yes, two experience on high scholl, i have a nice family, but now you will like a new sun! ok, don't worry, i will like to be your best friend out usa! ok?? you are special so, i need to give you my true! understand me,
nice gay??
every time, i will remember you, walking inside super market, fresh, nice, with your switt smile like a i.d. presentation! please, remember me & panama!
i hope to receive your call.*****

* i.e., he was _stalking_ me
** how could he know that?
*** i didn't call.
**** simply uncanny
***** too bad!

this one goes in the category of ‘almost’. what if i had accepted?


or worse. oh allen.

Posted by at 02:34 PM

December 25, 2002


in ecuador alex and i saw this one tiny kid explaining something in an adult manner to another tiny kid. i wish there was a way to express the feelings that are caused by these glimpses into the lost world of childhood, but usually i can only express them passively. like by making comically serious faces at them when their parents aren't looking to try to get a rise out of them.

or by taking pictures. a few days ago for example, i nearly got a killer one of this kid reaching for a butterfly. but the butterfly flew away right as the shutter snapped.

but occasionally i can express it actively, like a few nights ago, on a night bus, there was this little kid sleeping in the aisle (that way they don't have to pay for the kid's seat). i gave him one ear of my earphones. his eyes lit up. he was so happy.

the music was very different from the accordion-and-bass stuff coming out of the speakers of the bus, and we shared a look of complicity at this secret between us. somewhere between 'high and dry' and 'fake plastic trees', he fell asleep against my legs.

Posted by at 02:52 PM

December 22, 2002


i met people with all kinds of eyes, bloodshot eyes, missing eyes, eyes with strange colored splotches, eyes for help me and eyes for i can handle it, drunk eyes and tired eyes, happy eyes and uncertain eyes, eyes for looking and eyes for being seen. the most pervasive quality to the eyes, though, is this yellowish hue -- like in michael jackson's 'thriller' -- and sometimes several yellowish splotches. i don't know whether it is due to malnutrition or a particular contaminant in the water, or maybe just too much sun? it has a sad, sickly look to it -- but after seeing so many yellow-eyed people, i suppose i got accustomed, after a fashion.

Posted by at 04:35 PM

December 16, 2002


the only episode of the best and worst show ever:

Sean Keane, Toddler Negotiator

[scene: a bank. enter two armed toddlers with masks.]

toddler michele: this is a thtick-up!
toddler didofoot: give uth all your money and candy and thtickers!

bank manager haim: get keane over here, quick!

haim: [in mock whisper to keane] hey, keane, what does the book say about this?

KEANE: [in mock whisper to haim, looking at book very seriously] well haim, it says here only BABIES try to hold up banks for money and candy!

[toddler didofoot starts crying]
[toddler michele takes off babs bunny mask, puts down water pistol and storms out with dignity]

toddler michele: are you coming, didofoot?
toddler didofoot: i think i just wet mythelf.

[scene 2, same bank.]

phone rings.

haim: hello?

toddler didofoot: [deepening voice to 1000Hz] thith is controller hollohan thpeaking. [clears throat loudly and forcefully. tells personal anecdote]

haim: yes?

toddler didofoot: tranthfer all your money and thtuff to michele's account.

haim: hey, keane, what do you make of this?

KEANE: [very seriously] it says here only BABIES act like inspector holohan and try to trick us.

[toddler didofoot starts crying]

gene: allen, this is the voice of GOD speaking.
allen: yes, gen--, uh god?
gene: allen i need you to end this submission at once.
allen: but god, i was just starting to have f--
gene: i said NOW!
allen: what a bummer, this is just like the odyssey
gene: WHAT?
allen: can i at least write 'fin'?
gene: [after a pause.] proceed.


Posted by at 04:37 PM

December 13, 2002

love letter to megs

internet is getting scarce. for now, please enjoy 'love letter to megs'.

and, like colin powell, i'll be right black.

---love letter to megs

is megs the one i like? that's great, cuz i could ONLY fall for her in an emotional sense. we would never have sex. we would play chess, eat omelettes and mango juice on sundays, and discuss the sexual act as though we had actually participated in it, and even give each other suggestions on how to make it more (virtually) pleasurable for the other. we would rent movies and frolick in the supermarket without actually making physical contact. she would surprise me with little vegan treats all around the house and i would surprise her by giving them to needy children. she would feel such strong emotions for me that she would start crying every time i walk in to the room in that way that only i can walk in to a room. i would cry every time someone said 'legs' or talked about 'pegs'. we would finish each other's sentences. like she would say, Sean connery is THE best james bond, and i would say, PERIOD. and people would shake their heads and tear at the corner of their eyes. at the dinner table we would make faces as though we were playing footsie, without, of course, actually
doing it. i would notice when she folded the towels with a 3-inch frill instead of a 2-inch one, and say, Hmm, megs must be sad today. megs would review my day's perl coding, notice that i was using an all-out 'if' clause instead of the '&&' shortcut, and say to herself, Allen is feeling anger mixed with frustration, but also, he realises that it will pass. and her world will go hazy for a moment as she
loses her balance and thinks about how wonderful i am: my strange nose, my habit of never chewing the same piece of gum for more than 5 minutes, the sad stoop to my shoulders. she'll remember the time we commandeered that goose and cooked it over a low flame for hours and hours. i would see her melting alex with that smile of hers, and i would love them both so much that i would say, Go on alex, have a night with her beneath our quilted sheet protector; or, alternatively, Go on megs, go into the bathroom and give alex all the attention he needs, you can even do the tricks i like (virtually). You have exactly 5 minutes. i would write her haikus and she would forgive me if the middle line was 8 or 9 syllables. she would refer to '3 mooses' or a 'herd' of fish. i wouldn't forgive her though, because i don't forgive that kind of sloppiness in anyone. i would call her 'megalicious' loud enough for people to hear, and make a slapping noise against my own thigh, and she would execute a perfectly choreographed jump and squeal, Ooooh! people would wait till they passed us on the street, then give each other a pitying look and shake their head, expressing how childish, vulnerable, and edenic they found a love like ours. sometimes schoolgirls on the bus would giggle about how we held hands even while paying the fare. i would sing her 'she's like the wind' and she would forgive me not sounding like patrick swayze. come on, no one sounds like patrick swayze! when school would end and she would return to maine and i to locust, pennsylvania, she would swear to maintain a certain fidelity. she would date occasionally, but merely as amusement. i would ...

who am i kidding, i don't fall for ANYONE emotionally. she will have to make do with the old blindfolded anonymous in and out, the famous 'haim maneuver'.

alternatively, i fall for EVERY girl emotionally. but there's no middle ground, especially not for a passive-aggressive, weak-willed, feelings-hiding no-fish-aggregating goose-stealing no-good physicist chick like pegs or dregs or whatever the hell her name is.

-the captain (shook his head)

[debt acknowledged to miles z. for that last part]

nov 24, 2002

Posted by at 01:38 PM

December 10, 2002

corn variously opped

the women here are simply stunning and the men odiously boring. this should be heaven, right? or at least a really fun playground?

it's not, for whatever reason.

the good thing is that if you're sitting alone at a bar the waitpeople bring you a complimentary bowl of flop- and/or popcorn.

i still don't really know how to approach a woman and say, 'i want to bite your shoulder.' how do you convince a woman that she's beautiful in a culture where she's taught to feel like shit?

and with little bits of popcorn stuck to your face and teeth at that, yeah you can imagine.

puyo, ecuador
dec 4, 2002


and another thing, puyo, although a tiny town, has several karaoke bars. the thing is this: that the people do karaoke _even in the daytime_. it's just simply unsettling.

you've just woken up, you're stumbling to the comedor to see what
disappointment they've got in store for you today, and suddenly your ears are accosted by the sounds of 'no hay nada más difícil que vivir sin tí' belted out with all the tunefulness of a passing truck.

you pray a passing asteroid will block out the sun and save this modern day sodom from the divine wrath that awaits it -- just you see -- but no, you look around, you blink, and you resign yourself to the fact that now you've found the one place, the only place in the world, where the people do karaoke in the daytime.

you shake your head sadly and move on.

puyo, ecuador
dec 4, 2002

Posted by at 07:49 PM

December 06, 2002


hello people,

welcome to my blog.

please don't take your shoes off and don't feel at home.

just read it and move along ok pal?

Posted by at 11:38 AM