Tag Archives: Quito

Junot Diaz Day, Completely Lost

View from an old room in Quito

i’m very busy and bad at juggling several projects at once, so that’s why things have been silent around here. been discussing boston bombing conspiracies with backpackers in assorted hotels and hostels, changing rooms every two days or so. i’m ghostwriting a book on the slowest virus-infected laptop on earth, in a place where WIFI is indeed a four letter word. but i’m just whining. to make up for the lack of things to say, i’ve stolen some things junot diaz has said, which are 1,000,000 x better than anything i could write right now.

“In a ‘post-race’ country like America where nothing and no one is racist, where people are more likely to believe in UFO’s than in institutional bias, which does back flips to obfuscate the operations of white hegemonic power and therefore ensure its continuance, anyone seeking to expose white supremacy or battle it is in for some serious uphill. You will be attacked. You will be censured, usually by your own community. People will say that you are obsessed with race and that even mentioning white people in the context of white supremacy is itself racist. These days the average person doesn’t even have to be taught not to bring up white supremacy. Here in our country, as in Mordor, everybody knows not to say the dark lord’s name.”

“If you’re not lost, you’re at a place that somebody has already found. If you’re comfortable or familiar, you’re in mapped territory. If you feel like you know where you’re at, somebody’s already done it. So if you want to create something new, you need to get completely lost.”

“A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”

Lost in Quito

Got lost in the Centro Historico – the Old Town – riding past crumbly colored houses stacked on hillsides, smushed breathlessly with a million other Quitenos on the bus. Accepting that I had no idea where I was, I tried to get off, but the doors shut sooner than I could finish climbing my way through the forest of thick sweaty limbs tangled together in the limbo between stops, reaching for steel poles and gasping for air. I got out at the next stop and walked who-knows-where – along a busy road strangling a vacant mountain – no people around except for in cars. Reminded me of long stretches of roads all over the U.S. with sidewalks unwalked on for ages – 15 miles to the next stoplight, islands of forest breaking up the homes from the roads – except that walking along the road in Quito I saw some abandoned building in the valley to my right; nothing really keeping me from the fall. About three walls survived whatever destroyed everything else – reddish, sandy pillars cascading in linear ruins overgrown with a wild green, hugged by a frothy river. The road curved to a bus stop and I waited there in the sun. Tons of buses passed by, men swinging by their open doors shouting destinations like superfast spoken word poems –Chillogallo Quitumbe Eugenio Espejo La Mayorista El Trebol todo el Colon; they stop and start with the coming and going of clients leaving great black clouds and whirlwinds of dust in their wake, all of Quito a terminal, the following stops all foreign; titles of books not yet read.

Full Moon

In the time it takes to blink, your whole life can change.

Well, mine has, in a very beautiful way. My life is full of unplanned, random, magical changes. Sometimes not so good, but I’ve become a professional at keeping my heart open and my mind open and not worrying too much and working very, very hard. So when I blinked and saw my life had changed, not even how or why or any of that stuff, just saw it, I was watching the sphere of the full moon rise above one of the highest Volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi. I became emotional.

I’ve been asked to work at an incredible place, a once in an lifetime opportunity. So, what do ya think I said? IncaHacienda.com