Silly Grins

Sunday, November 27, 2011

33 Days: Prologue

The following is not mine in the sense that my decrepit hands and my dull mind are in no way skilled enough to have carried out such a task. 

In other words, I did not write it. No siree.

This collection of posts, thirty-three more or less, are the relaying of a story that has been passed along. 

Okay, here it is:

Hello everyone.

I am alive; I cling to this fact with determination staring at my tired eyes in the mirror in the bathroom of my girlyfriend's Angela's house in Rouen.  I am back from Bretagne after having spent a month on a small island (Belle-Ile-en-Mer) off the Morbihan coast selling ice cream to sugar-dependent children and their bourgeois Parisian parents.  The island is gut-kicking beautiful, renowned throughout France for its unique ambience and badass sandy beaches (without French Riviera crowds and snootiness).  So why the hell do I feel nauseous when I think about it now? well...

That's what badly-written travel diaries are for!  Thank you Paget for suggesting that I should write this shit down because I think sitting down and taking up the pencil, looking at my life from a detached reader's perspective, was the only thing that kept me from going completely AWOL and flagellating myself with tent stakes, french hippies' dredlocks, or whatever flagellating apparatus I could find within arm's reach in the municipal campground I called home for a month. 

The Leonard Cohen lyric "You're living for nothing now, I hope you're keeping some kind of record" kept repeating itself in my mind as I realized for once I'd gotten myself into something that I wasn't sure I would be able to write off afterwards as "for the experience" so much as "for the chance to exist in a state of mind-numbing, suffocating idiocy".

It's over.  I hope this journal, written on scraps of paper and the backs of unsigned seasonal worker contracts, will somehow convey the horror I felt as I slowly began to lose my ability to react reasonably, my mental stability, basically my sense of human dignity, in the face of the seasonal tourist economy, which I visualize rising menacingly in front of me in the shape of a giant, dildo-like popsicle...

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