september, xi.

I wake up in the morning and realize that I feel completely differently about the entire situation. There’s no relief. Only distance. The self-preservation kicks in again and I am glad it’s back. I was becoming careless.

The multilateral experience of my life blows me away. It’s almost like living multiple lives. Almost.

What did Sartre think of Goethe’s color study?

“There are things that you know are wrong but you won’t stop doing them. Lack of discipline, secondary payoff, too much of a sacrifice, or because you’re angry or resentful.” It takes me three hours to watch the lecture because I keep rewinding and writing notes.

I also make a note to finally read some Kafka. As a permanent resident of his birth city, it is my duty.

Day two: of learning to breathe, of keeping my mind still. I can always pinpoint the moment when I stop meditating and that’s when everything begins to crumble. I’ve made enough of these circles already.

I accused him of not protecting me but at the time same I am fooling myself thinking that it is his responsibility to do so.

It’s still sunny and blue. I’m grateful for this.

I occupy myself by writing lists: of Prague, of things I’ll do, write, read. It’s therapeutic and it gives me the illusion that I am, in fact, disciplined.

Forty titles for autumn. It is obviously unrealistic but I like the challenge.

september, x.

Monday ate me whole as soon as I came to senses and then it spit me out by the afternoon. 

Two hours of sleep.

One of those nights when I could hear my brain buzzing and fizzling with thoughts.

« Didn’t you? » 

I remember what he said just a few days before that. One’s conviction of their version of an emotional narrative. We are all guilty of it just the same.

« I am sorry » and « How are you? » My anxiety melted away almost immediately. I wouldn’t have to prove myself to him after all. 

We’ve made progress. He didn’t let me go to bed without resolving the misunderstanding. It felt like a mark of maturity versus what we used to be like six years ago. At least, I hope that’s what it is.

No one has the right to tell your story, my dear.

Mi Cama. I think of those two teenagers by the river, fully engrossed in a psychotropic dance. I prefer it for high-powered flows on the yoga mat.

I keep looking up flights, writing lists of cities I’ll travel to. There was a time when this practice resulted in only unrealistic hopes. But not anymore.

Autumn, I can smell it now.

september, ix.

Heidegger’s concept of Dasein.

Sometimes the only thing I need is sleep.

And to be alone.

We meet in Havlíčkovy Sady for his first burčák (Federweisser, which is not to be confused with the Swiss term). Conversation flows easily. I am pleasantly inebriated.

Dinner with J. on the bench. I remembered a list I wrote in Hong Kong, a list that contained things, that I knew even before leaving, I would miss once I did leave. Our dinners will be on that list when I leave Prague. She will be the whole list.

Writing these in retrospect defeats the purpose. But I am learning.

I made the coffee in the new red cezve. It makes all the difference.

What was on my mind? What was I feeling?

This is why I need to write this down. For something tangible.

I recall making a smoothie. What was it? Spinach, blueberries, banana.

The rest is a blur of a lovely weekend spent in Prague. The first after more than two months.

september, viii.

Lévy’s Sartre. I’ve been reading the book for a good three months now. Slowly. Savoring each chapter on its own, turning back the pages, re-reading. And every time I pick it up, I am impressed by his writing style over and over again.

“Death on the installment plan. I will hound you down even in your grave. The Spinoza-Voltaire-Sartre axis. The club, now full, of the greatly execrated.”

From Sartre to existentialism to Arab revolutions; then I circled around for a while and ended up with the origins of the Arab existentialism. Yoav Di-Capua is taking me places. I’ll start writing soon. I can feel it.

Since returning from Jaffa last November, I have not given up on the subject. I am reading through this list slowly but surely. I wish so would everyone else.

“Hasan squeezed another olive as if trying to pinch Ari’s words from the air where they hung like a betrayal.” Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa.

Scrambled eggs for breakfast, sunny-side-up for dinner.

I am still mourning Oliver. Dvi, tri riči feels like putting on an iron shirt and wearing it on purpose.

I water the oleander with an air of gratitude. We are almost the same age and we are from the same region.

Aurelius’ Meditations. I think I might watch the Roman Empire again.

I want to do something different. Something new. I started the list London vs Prague. And then I realized that it wasn’t a debate. No, not really.

september, vii.

With autumn, I’ve returned to a seasonal hobby of mine, which is mixing different teas together and experimenting with flavor combinations. It’s mint and dark cherry for now.

I am still reading A Passage To India. I am definitely going to continue with the author’s other works.

The weather agrees with me. It’s not too hot, not too cold yet either.

Friday night at Blatouch. It is a thing with us now. One day I will introduce them and it will make me happy that they’ll have me in common.

Being okay with the space I occupy is sometimes a little harder than it should be.

A little bout of panic when I realize that it’s September already. I need to start writing. Carrying it around in my head is not how it works.

The entire Zuckerman Bound trilogy for £2.34. Prague is a book lover’s paradise. Paradoxically, they didn’t have the Prague Orgy in the same edition. Eventually, I switched to the original version. I have to stop reading translated works and read Czech authors instead.

Bukowski’s again. But it’s not the same when you meet a literature student. It’s a different bar conversation.

Tchaikovsky’s Street is my street and every once in a while I find myself thinking that it would seem improbable that I should live anywhere else.

It’s no longer summer. I’m slowly preparing myself. Bracing myself.