I’ve started digging out my old ALA posts from years ago. I had started to republish them earlier, and then became distracted in completing line edits for a novel. The years through 2010 should be easy, they were already on the old site.
What surprised me in reading this small stretch of time between leaving Prague and getting settled in Chicago (approx June 2008 through August 2008) is how restrained the posts are. I was clearly going through a quarter life crisis and frantically grabbing at anything that could keep me afloat, and yet in the writing I come off as (somewhat) under control. Specifically, the part about the cruise through the Baltic is almost coy. Yes, I did threaten to give someone who worked on the ship rabies, but that was a fragment of those weeks.
It was a rich geriatric cruise and I did my best to relieve the boredom by terrorizing the ship: falling asleep wasted in various beautiful rooms filled with expensive books and artifacts, saying insane scripted shit for a reality tv show the Travel Channel was filming while the director screamed “The camera loves you!”, disappearing with people into secluded bathrooms, and finally on the last night bribing Polish workers for champagne at 4 am in the morning and drinking on the deck with the only young girl that didn’t hate me by that point. These are the actions of someone on the verge. It was a dire to establish some sort of adult life after Prague, and having no idea how to go about it. That feeling continued for a year.
Also published on Medium.