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Friday, May 09, 2008

In my thirty-third year

I read maybe eighty books--including The Road to Oxiana and Explosion in a Cathedral and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao--and some I liked better than others. I wrote many thousands of words, of which about thirty-four thousand were printed in various places, and who knows how many appeared online. I wrote about 240 blog posts, here, there, elsewhere. I edited four issues of the CRB and finished working on a new edition of V.S. Naipaul's early family correspondence. I took about four thousand photos. I listened to lots of John Coltrane and Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald and Anita O'Day. I wished jointpop would start playing their old songs again. I drank nearly four hundred cups of coffee (mostly Blue Mountain), and maybe as many glasses of wine; more than a thousand cups of green tea, and five or six caipirinhas. I ate the best pizza I've ever eaten. I spent ten weeks or so abroad and visited five countries; eleven art museums; three cathedrals; one opera house. I slept three nights in a hammock. I climbed Blue Mountain Peak with Brian. I hiked a very brief stretch of the Appalachian Trail. I swam in the Rupununi River and watched the sun set from the brink of Kaieteur. I crossed the Equator for the first time. I spent a sybaritic long weekend in Treasure Beach with Georgia and Annie. I slept on one Chris's sofa in New York and another's in Hanover, NH. I strolled across the Mississippi with Marlon and back again. I got lost in a bioluminescent lagoon with Joanna and Dan. I went back to Karanambo, and they remembered me. I went to the Lethem Rodeo with Alastair and Jonathan. I followed Fitzcarraldo to Manaus. I made seventeen trips by aeroplane, two by train, one by overnight bus. I bought new hiking shoes, a trekking pole, a map of the Amazon Basin; a black velvet blazer and two pairs of black-and-white-striped socks; the wrong kind of cough syrup in Boa Vista; a subscription to Artforum; four (unsigned) Boscoe Holder drawings. I was appointed the 2007 Rex Nettleford Fellow in Cultural Studies. I set up my own website. I used Facebook to check up on various old and hopeless crushes. I found myself at Alice Yard many Friday nights. I played J'Ouvert in a costume made from recycled insulation foil. I joined a reading group. I made my first clafoutis. I tried to save the Boissiere House, and don't yet know if I succeeded. I buried my dog Marlo. I learned to say "I don't speak Portuguese" in Portuguese. I stopped watching TV. I worried, and doubted, and longed. My shortsighted eyes got a little worse. My heart beat thirty-eight million times.

4 comments:

Ewan said...

only one year behind... and I hope to do as much.

tillahwillah said...

totally used FB for the same thing...

Kamal said...

Didn't they say to you, "but you are speaking Portuguese"?

steups said...

Happy Birthday, mate.