It’s Been Decided

Olavia Kite is the worst writer alive.

She used to think she really had talent, thus deciding to major in Literature. However, she missed a tiny detail… She would not like her major! She would lose her horizon and think about becoming a globetrotter/language teacher instead of gaining worldwide fame with her amazing art, which would not amaze the most curious passerby.

But lo, behold! She has not lost her hopes! She has decided to write a novel in thirty days… just because. She found out there was an opportunity to do it and show everybody how sucky she is, and she will not lose that opportunity!

Join her in her sorry attempt to justify herself as a starving anonymous writer. Beginning November 1, 2004, don’t forget to check this blog and lend her your support.

A Suitcase Full of Memories

She says, ‘I want to go to That Mysterious Country.’

The whole class wants to go there as well.

But what if she arrives there, and nobody’s waiting?

What if her suitcase full of memories gets lost in the mail?

‘But nothing gets lost there, it’s so organized.’

‘Then I know what will happen.

I will exit the airport, ride a shiny vehicle for hours,

While everyone takes pictures with wide smiles,

And suddenly, boom!

My suitcase full of memories will fall on my head!’

‘Don’t say such nonsense!’

She dreams of visiting That Mysterious Country,

Under the sole condition of having Somebody waiting.


‘Yes, don’t you remember him?

‘The one with the perfect smile and the crooked teeth,

The one with heart-shaped lips and shiny brown hair,

With beautiful long hands to play guitar,

And eyebrows like brush strokes.’

The whole class wants to go there,

But she’s scared.

Not only her suitcase will fall.

Buildings and cherry trees and miniature cars

And poles and computers and ducks and fish

And fried rice and ice cream and lacquer boxes

And microphones and ancient houses and saltwater

Will fall onto her.

‘The world must have become one huge memory,’

A passerby will mutter

As blood escapes the amorphous flattened remains.

A Bit of Nonsense

Wake up, it was a dream. A simple dream.

But why did you refuse to wake up with me?

So many memories thrust into a box, sinking in the cold sea.

I’ll wait till nightfall, and then I’ll see you again.

Or maybe not.


Patrick Hanniford was my boss when I worked for the catering company. He was tall, strong, and stubborn. Even though he joked around a lot, he always wanted things to work out perfectly. Your typical leader. I worked quietly under his supervision, letting him joke about my relationship with Minori and noticing how nice and gentle he was to Colombian girls. I can’t say catering was fun, but it wasn’t a complete torture, either. We got to take leftovers home after we protested against the incredible waste of food (you’d be astounded to see how many children you could feed out of a single party’s leftovers). I loved their cesar salad.

Once, we had an event at the school president’s house. I don’t remember what the occasion was, perhaps a private party. That was the first time I tried scargot. I also had to wash the dishes after dinner. It was an interesting evening during which we watched an enormous lady wolf down hors d’oeuvres whose long names we had had to memorize, I tried some starfruit, and we all got hungry just by looking at all that food (not that we didn’t eat properly; Minori is an amazing chef).

The guests were having dinner, I suppose, because all of us were idle when suddenly Patrick began talking to me. It wasn’t one of his usual jokes, which were to be expected. It wasn’t a command, either. His boss-like face for once looked like that belonging to any normal human being, and this more amicable face was directing its words to me, only to me.

Before Patrick became the catering company’s big boss, he had been yet another student in our college. Having shifted from high school to college within walking distance, this man was destined to be anchored to Dubuque, as the vast majority of its inhabitants. In college he met a girl whose name I forgot— I guess it starts with an ‘M’, just because many names in Spanish do. She was beautiful, smart, Colombian. How they fell in love I ignore, but they did. She invited him to her country, which he visited several times despite the usual fear. He named all the places he had visited there, all the sights he had seen, all the dishes he had tried, all the memories which danced before his own gleaming eyes as if he were standing on the Andes once again. If he had seemed milder to me before, he was melting in sweetness now.

Patrick and his girlfriend were together for about four years. I’m quite sure they talked about marriage when they graduated. She had shown him an entirely different side of the world, and his eyes told me she had made him truly happy. Nevertheless, that didn’t seem to be enough. She told him she didn’t like how life in America fell into a mere succession of work days… and that succession was the only life Patrick had ever known, the one he felt comfortable with, the only one he ever wanted to experience.

I don’t have to repeat they broke up. She went back to Colombia while he remained in the States. Later on he met another Dubuquer, and they got married. He became the catering company’s big boss within our college— I don’t know what his wife did, or I don’t remember. Neither do I know what became of the ex girlfriend. Some weeks before the event which placed us in the president’s kitchen among slices of starfruit and stuffed puff pastry, they spoke. She wanted to talk to him more often, she wasn’t feeling very happy lately. When Patrick told me he evaded her under the excuse of his recent marriage, I could tell he missed her as well. He missed life with her. I could tell he was simply following the correct path, traced for him long before he was born. We all have one, and it’s always winding within the ends of one’s city.

Patrick finished his long story, his mouth and eyes speaking different languages. His eyes mourned the loss of his one chance to break the boundaries of monotony, the twist in the story we all wait for in search for our very own “happily ever after,” while his lips praised the correct, productive, successful life he was carrying out now. I understood.

Dinner was over: it was time to clear the table, and for me to wash the dishes with warm water. The boss returned to his usual commands, and I couldn’t wait for the event to be over: I had to hold Minori’s hand after work, and tell him I had walked away from my correct path a long time ago.