Prologue

It was women who led me to travel. In 1982, there was the Eurail trip across Europe on discounted trains. I swept through Paris, Geneva, Milan, then a bit of Germany before Amsterdam and back. A Gilded Age Grand Tour. But the following summer, Sophie stayed on a kibbutz and then travelled through the West Bank to Jordan and beyond. Going further afield was a thing, no matter what the news reported. And when I met up with Peggy, she showed me photos of 14 months around Asia and the world opened up.

Veintiuno. Alice Part 1

When the woman I was making love to turned into a pig I knew that I had become too cynical. I watched her face fill out, her cheeks lose their definition and her nose turn up at me to form a perfectly cylindrical snout. Her skin became rough. It became pockmarked and covered in fine grey hairs and then her mouth widened and opened up to reveal a coarse and unclean set of teeth.

Then her ears retreated, grew longer into sharp points that flopped over like a dog’s ears. And her eyes too lost their shine and their beauty. They contracted and sank into the skin and they became red and as fired as a madman’s. I watched her and I laughed and cried for atop of this perverse metamorphosis was her hair, untouched by the transformation and spread loosely across the pillow: a blonde wig on the head of a pig.

It was the one hope for my salvation.

Continue

Veinticuatro. Alice Part 2

Alice slipped her arm under mine as if to seek protection in the folds of my body but I felt like a child warmed in her embrace. Each step we took through the mist revealed a new tree broken from its roots and lain flat on grass that shone with the morning dew. I asked: “Why does your father always talk to me about religion?”

Vo’ob Xcha’-vinik. Alice Part 3

After the pig dream, I rose from the bed and wrote a letter to Alice in the hope that it would sort things out…

I wandered out into the cool night air and headed away from the quiet end of Roma Norte towards the bars along the Avenida Álvaro Obregón. Then I stopped to look at a bulletin on the door of a jazz café when a man pulled me by the arm and shoved me inside.

Continue