I write this to you from a suburb of Paris. I landed in France about 12 hours ago and it is my first time ever in Europe. I will be sending out timely reports of my journey, but for this post I will focus attention on the meaningful codes behind the journal spread above from five years ago.
Sometimes I like to sit in awkward places, where I'm potentially in the way, but not really. Other times I like to sit where I can be absolutely sure that I'm not interfering in anyway. Stairwells, sidewalks, and other public passageways with unusually ample nook spaces make me daydream of setting up camp in those nooks, simply just to smile everlastingly at every jaded passerby, or to offer them an exchange of some sort, whether material or informational. Unless of course I'm asleep. Then again they're more than welcome to awaken me. That is the whole point of a twenty four hour, non-violent community foot soldier.
Toward the end of July 2005, I was at the height of lining up odd-job manual labor gigs, not only for myself, but for two friends of the family who were like night and day. Mauricio, our beloved humble oil muralist from El Salvador, and Mariusz, a miserable and arrogant acquaintance from Poland (via Canada) who wanted very badly to be Brazilian. Both were newcomers to our little oceanside town of Lake Worth, so I devoted lots of time and energy showing them the best spots, like thrift stores and roadside burrito joints, to frequent. The latter of them became competitive and ungrateful. Eventually the work dried up for all of us.
It was also around this time that I was studying hard for the exam that would allow me to trade in my resident alien green card for a naturalized blue citizen passport. At the same time I was helping both my parents to prepare for the same hurdle, and soon enough we all became United Statesians, if you will. Mind you, my mother and I were born (South) Americans.