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I flew to Chicago last Friday night
my great uncle was turning a hundred.
The plan was to fly-in Friday, party Saturday,
and fly out Sunday. No missed school.

The air felt colder in Chicago, the wind really bit,
and the sun seemed to be at an odd angle.
We stopped by the beach of a lake so large
that there were waves breaking on the beach.
The party was great. EVERYONE was there.

But then there was the choreography of luck.
I woke up sick Sunday morning - really sick -
deathly sick, you know the drill, weak
like my muscles were falling off my bones.
At 8am Charles called - I should have met him.
I couldn’t lift the phone - I poked the button.
“I’m not going anywhere,” I told him before falling back asleep.
KLUNK I heard my hotel room door open, it was Charles.
He came in looking like he expected a threat.

I could only open my eyes for a second.
“I’ve GOT it,” I told him, (not knowing what ‘it’ was)
“Get out, save yourself.”
So went Sunday and Monday - I didn’t eat or drink.
Charles canceled flights, extended hotel room bookings,
and the car rental. Finally, Tuesday morning, he said,
“I think you’d better try.” So somehow, we flew and we made it.

There was a famous football player across the aisle from me
He’s retired now, like all of my heroes - Brady, Manning.
He played for the Ravens, I’d hated the ravens, I’d hated him,
the way you hate someone just because they’re great
but they play for the other team. I didn’t tell him, and sadly,
I didn’t warn him that I might just throw up on him (I was masked).
Charles bought me one of those horseshoe pillows and I passed out.

Before I knew it I was back in the dorm.
Being sick and helpless, away from the comforts of home is the worst.
I’ll have to remember that - someday - If I’m a doctor.
If Pablo Picasso's name doesn't ring a bell, it is indeed a rarity,
Welcome to Malaga, Picasso's birthplace - an unique identity,
Known for his exquisite paintings & sculptures, Picasso is a legend,
That his work is still considered sensational, need not be questioned

As Costa del Sol's capital, Malaga in Spain's Andalusia is a vibrant coastal city,
Lying along a wide bay of the Mediterranean Sea, it constantly bustles with activity,
Excellent weather all-year round, renders it an idyllic tourist haven,
It's mountain geography and sun-drenched beaches - delight for a travel maven

The city is replete with a profusion of museums, daring street art and eateries,
Add to it, centuries-old heritage and beaches, that always hold peasant memories,
Delightful pedestrianized centers and stunning views add to the city's intrigue,
Casual strolls to several picturesque locales hardly gives room for any fatigue

The hilltop Arab palace fortress of Alcazaba provides panoramic sweeping sea views,
Roman marble pillars & Moorish horseshoe arches add to stunning architectural hues,
The once coastal-facing defense of Plaza de Armas now features beautiful gardens,
Evocative vast courtyards & bubbling fountains yield a pathway that seldom straightens

A Picasso museum visit is unmissable on the itinerary for anyone visiting Malaga,
The stamp of conceptual brilliance seen in the exhibits makes art lovers go gaga,
The manner in which cubism art has been displayed is thoughtfully amazing,
Picasso's  genius is reflected in his works and was perhaps his way of proclaiming

The majestic Cathedral de Malaga is situated right in the historic town's center,
A blend of Gothic, Renaissance & Baroque architectural styles adds to the splendor,
The grand marble staircase and a beautiful assortment of frescoes are a visual treat,
The vast colonaded nave, housing an enormous cedar-wood choir stall, is no mean feat

The Carmen Thyssen Museum is located in an aesthetically renovated 16th-century palace,
It features an unique cocktail of paintings with thematic variations, not in the least hapless,
The almost cartoonish costumbrismo paintings are a throwback to 19th-century Spain myths,
That depicted fiestas, banditry, flamenco, bar-room brawls as if 'twas the work of a jokesmith!

Beaches in Malaga are characterized by dark, long stretches of sand skirted by lofty palm trees,
With boarded promenades, shorefronts are adorned with colorful parasols, wafting in the breeze,
Visitors swarming the beaches can be seen lazing in hammocks while basking in the sunshine,
Having all the trappings of a sunbather's paradise, that can be seen along the entire coastline

Ever experienced walking along a walkway dangling up to 100 meters in the air?
Its Caminito del Rey, pinned along the steep hills of a narrow gorge - indeed rare,
Parts of the route clinging recklessly to the sheer rock face of the gorge are awe-inspiring,
While completely safe, the linear 8-km walk can cause vertigo and culminate in respiring

This walkway was once dubbed the most dangerous hike in Spain - yet, so far from reality,
Multi-layered landscapes encompass reservoirs, mountains, gorges & valleys in totality,
The accompanying guide regales trekkers with the canyon's fascinating history and folklore,
While numerous selfie-worthy clicks of the breath-taking dizzy views, are like never before

Malaga is centric for day trips to Tangier, Morocco and The Rock of Gibraltar,
It is one of the few European cities that experiences a relatively warm winter,
It's coastal location with the Mediterranean Sea wind makes summer less oppressive,
Loaded with history and a multi-layered past, is what makes the city so impressive

Malaga is a typical port city that epitomizes Andalusian lifestyle to the fullest,
The warmth and camaraderie displayed by locals can be experienced at its best,
Streets and by-lanes are always pleasantly crowded with folks in colorful attire,
A wholesome feeling of utmost satisfaction at the trip's end, is for all to aspire
outskirts of
Seagull-Sunday
tethered
in darkness
the road
is moving
at the perfect
speed

intermediary
spaces
like peaceful
trees
blend into
the fog
of circling
insects

brittle
nocturnes
an overnight
journey
spent
staring out
the window

forming
itself
entirely out
of the interstitial
moments
that make
for a sort of
homecoming
Anais Vionet Mar 20
(There’s a song for this: ‘Confessions’ by Sudan Archives)

I remember it like it was yesterday (it was yesterday).

I arrived on a cool (42°f), blindingly sunny New Haven afternoon. It was as if they’d opened up that troubling ozone hole just for me.
I was as happy as I’ve ever been to be back. It was as if New Haven actually meant freedom.

I’d opened the door to our suite, dragging every bag I own.
After intense hugs, I'd said, “PIZZA - NOW.”
So, Lisa, Sunny and I, after some debate, selected Town Pizza.
Town Pizza’s specialties are those thin, gourmet pies with crust-free cauliflower crust, oil (not environmentally problematic tomatoes), topped with panda cheese and tofu.
In a shocking development, I got the cheeseburger special which I hit like a vape. †

SO, the three of us were there, happily devouring. Not bothering anyone, when this guy stopped at our table to offer us salvation and introduce us to - whatever (yadda yadda yadda)

I didn’t catch the entire pitch; I may have momentarily dozed off.
“No, Thank you.” Lisa said, politely but dismissively.
Not taking the hint, he reached into his cheap shoulder bag for pamphlets and began a new tac.
“Go away.” Sunny said, unblinkingly, but he jabbered on, showing the unaware persistence of long covid - like we were interested or tolerant.

“I’ll show you my bra if you’ll shut up,” I said, with my best deadpan face. Lisa and Sunny shrieked with several kinds of outraged laughter.
He became a statue, like a Twilight Zone episode where time stops for one person. A second passed during which he didn’t blink or breathe. “eheheheheheheh* I toned, like a buzzer.
“Two late!” I gameshow said, shrugging, “You didn’t verbally accept, sorry, I don’t make the rules.”
He shook his head and walked away—with Lisa and Sunny giggling and waving him off stage.
Our mission was accomplished. We’d defended our water hole like lionesses.

A few minutes later Lisa said, “He DID shut up, I’m not in law school, but I think you owe him a flashing.”
“I guess he wasn’t in law school either.” Sunny observed, between bites.
“I’m taking this to the supreme court,” I promised.
“How did the supreme court get to decide every ******-little thing?” Lisa asked, biting her abomination flavored pizza.
.
.
slang and notes…
devouring = eating like barnyard animals
Twilight Zone = More, so much more, than the most creative moment in man’s evolution. *
panda cheese = Ok, I made that up because it sounded gross.
† the author, in no way, endorses vaping, vape-related consumables or accessories
BLT Merriam Webster word of the day challenge: ******: considered cheap and distasteful

*our cast*:
Lisa, (roommate) 20, grew up in a posh 50th floor walk-up on Central Park South, Manhattan. She shares my major (Molecular biophysics and biochemistry) and is easily the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen in person (and she’s sensitive about it). Our tastes match, in everything (fashion, media, music, humor) except men.

Sunny, (suitemate) 20, is from Nebraska, she’s a cowgirl (seriously, she has a quarter horse and barrel races). She’s an outspoken fem-facing ladies-lady whose life is an endless parade of ‘sleepovers.’ Sunny always knows all the best gossip and she’s somehow befriended all the professors.
Anais Vionet Mar 17
Peter (my bf) had to fly,
was that just last night?
I have attachment issues.
I hate saying goodbye
- it always makes me cry
an embarrassing tear or two.

Holidays go so fast
relativity’s been proven at last!
Fourteen days of leisure
of sordid intertwined pleasures
on days free of study pressures.

This morning i was in despair
splayed out on an uncomfortable chair
with tangled, unbrushed hair
wearing faded PowerPuff underwear
bored, and wishing Peter was there.
Gabrielle Mar 13
I got on the go-away train
The same one I wished on while you were gone

My bags all packed for the plane
One last hope left in the side pocket

A hope you might not let me go
Squished between my toothbrush and t-shirts

But we both listened to the whistle blow
And you watched the go-away train take me

How could you let there be oceans between us?
When I can barely stand a centimetre

Why, when you just sit there motionless,
Do I have to crawl the earth to keep up with you?
Heather Mar 5
Bi
Was I born with this
The part that  can’t be tamed
She craves chaos
A cigarette between my fingers
A straw parting my lips
My bare feet on stone, sand, tile, dirt, mulch, glass
But she’s never here when I wake to wash the cuts, to rinse the sin, to recover the funds
Is she me or is she chemical
Heather Feb 29
Squeak squeak
Rumbleeeeee
Tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk
“MOMMMM”
“Hey babe I just got through security”
Rumbleeeeeeee
Tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk
“Those flying to Charlotte will board on gate A11”
“Girl let’s get a drink”
“Dad I’m on my way home, I board in 20”
Squeak squeak
Tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk tuk
“Ladies and gentleman may I have your attention please”

You’ll go far and you’ll go home
You’ll run to love or from heartbreak
But nothing brings clarity like the unbelievable stillness in your heart as a wallflower in an airport gate.
Louise Feb 22
I miss her.
Me on the island.
The me that's carefree,
doesn't care about schedules,
about no rules,
eats healthier, sleeps better,
wears flowers on her hair
instead of carrying burdens in her head,
dances like no one's watching
and sings like no one has ever hurt her,
laughs her heart out
and hugs people and means it.
I miss the person that I was on the island;
she was everything I'm not
or I cannot be at home and in reality.

I miss her and I'm gonna keep missing her...
until I meet her again.
Summer is finally near... 🌞
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