Have you noticed that a lukewarm coffee and a used paperback smell the same? That a full mug and a hardcover book weigh the same in your hand?
“Cultural constants,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, July 2015
“The point is to go on an adventure. Doesn’t biking across an international border through the Flemish dunes sound like an adventure?”
“De Noordzee & Belgian fries,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, February 2015
I wondered what it was like to go to school surrounded by the ghosts of war. I could feel them, practically see them shimmering in the heat.
“The YMCA POW camp: Oflag 64,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, February 2015
In those moments of detached time, I can see the things I will miss, and how much I will miss them, and how quickly they will lose their high definition. I try to seize these slivers of everyday actions, sights, words, sounds, the foundation and the proof of a life lived; I try to keep them from melting through my fingers.
“Division, transition,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, May 2015
Our afternoon on the island is the only full afternoon that distinguishes itself from the rest, radiating bright colors of sun and surf, standing out in the form of a tree, the tree we spotted from the beach, the tree that prompted Joel to turn to the Boat Boys and Babes and say, “We’re hiking to that point there.”
“Idyll in Hydra, Greece,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, March 2015
I’ve never liked going to the beach, but I’d never had a reason to cry about it before. Did Grandpa think this would be the way he’d return to his homeland?
“What is inherited,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, July 2015
We sat in silence, stunned, the man still leaning through the window, hands on his knees. A single moment followed this extraordinary and unbelievable proclamation, extending endlessly, a moment in which I questioned whether or not we were in a movie, in which I wondered whether the festival was real, whether Pont-à-Celles was real, whether we were real, whether the day had slipped from one dimension of time and space to another without our realizing it.
“Pont-à-Celles, or, how I saw Peter Kernel,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, May 2015
The valley below the hills was scattered with red roofs of white-washed houses, jammed together on cobbled roads and separated by lichen-covered stone walls and rusty barbed wire. Lemon trees, bearing clusters of fat fruit, pruned by wrinkled men wearing wool caps and sweaters, lined the streets and the edges of fields left empty during the winter months. The manors of the former aristocracy, remodeled and refurbished for tours, dot the hillsides, their bright colors and neat gardens contrasting with their tangled surroundings. The roads were narrow and bumpy, twisting abruptly, throwing passengers into one another, sending bags and damp umbrellas skittering across the floor of the bus.
“Sintra, glorious Eden,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, April 2015
The peloton would be here in a matter of minutes, every cyclist pounding his way up the worn, cracked pavé, fighting to be the first one to the top and to have better odds of crossing the finish line first, twenty kilometers later.
“What we talk about when we talk about cycling,” [wherever]: an out of place journal, August 2015