september 9

josh and i have been planning to visit our journeying brothers, greg and wayne, in the grand old country of italy. i hear reports of incredible wine and cheap espresso, sipped upon the spanish steps. at first i hesitated to spend most of my remaining summer money to get out there only for seven days, but josh reminded me of something - "this is what i make money for" - to have fun. it'll be my first time staying in hostels, surviving off of bread and cheese... all be it some of the best bread and cheese in the world.

i found a guy who lived on my hall last year, one who hiked around costa rica on the cheap, the local pro on air courier flights. it's the last of the truly cheap ways to travel and still make it back for classes.

i talked to a girl the other day about how she hitchhiked from portland to somewhere in colorado. she said it took only one and a half days, that people fed them and even put them up for a night. i had thought all this to be a thing of the past, of cool stories from my old anthro professor, of kerouac books, of a wanderer's golden freedom time that's faded, but apparently all the "hitchhiking prohibited" signs out west haven't killed it off completely, only scared away the weak like me, the easily freightened or intimidated. my travels have been slowly building on themselves, getting bolder and more in tune with true freedom of self and the world, first driving to the west coast, then living in central america, now shoe-stringing it to europe. i'm not the wiley guy i dream of being, looking convention and restraint in the eye and laughing hartily... instead i think i am a steady climber, unrushed and dreamy eyed.

i got a leter this morning from laura, who is now in sri lanka for a term. it was one of those blue airmail envelopes, in places scrawled with the beautiful curving letters of southern asia. you had to rip three sides and the letter was actually on the inside of the envelope itself. handling the thin paper was like holding a butterfly. it gave me a sense of deceptive strength, of rugged beauty, like i could shove it in my pocket and not worry about creasing it. i couldn't do that to normal white paper, my class notes, a bank statement.

i wonder what the streets of rome will be like, empty, at night. it won't be the same as an american wasteland, the blinking fluorescents, the dirty seams. it'll be more of an ancient sorrow, of air that has seen so many stories and is tired or at least silent. of worn statues and strange gay voices in the distance. of layers of time.

09.07 | september | 09.16