04.28.02



I feel horrible for journalling so little in the month of April. Sad too: because so much has happened, and so much will be forgotten because I haven’t taken the time to sit down in front of this computer and type, type, type for a few hours. I have time to catch up now. So I will.

I think the reason I have not written is because I have been content simply existing. I’ve just been, for a while. And that feels nice.

So many things have happened this month, but mostly things have happened this week. I think this week has been a monumental week in many ways. Today is Sunday, it is 3 pm and I’m going to rewind back to last Monday and work my way up to today.

I could look into Greg Brown’s eyes forever. What a beautiful soul. I am listening to him now as I write these words, and it becomes clearer and clearer to me just how deep he is. He must be fathomless.

So on Monday night, I was running late for this girls-only sex party. We’d received emails about it for weeks, and I was really excited. Amber, one of the most active anarchist activists I’ve ever met, organized this event - so the women that attended were all these intellectual, progressive, creative types. Three of us there were singer-songwriters, there were several painters there, several dykes and bisexual types.

I needed to bring something for the girl party (it was at Kyle and Monica’s house - Kyle is this buddhist singer-songwriter, she’s sweet, and Monica is an extremely active vegan, anarchist painter/photographer. She even made it down to Brazil for the Free World conference.) On the way to the party, I decided to stop at the Food Co-op to pick up dark chocolate bars and dried kiwi slices - decadant food in celebration of sexuality. While I was putting dried kiwi into a plastic bag, I noticed Amber and Kyle. They were picking up chips and salsa. It must have been fated that we would meet each other because I ended up getting a ride with them to the party - which as it turned out, would’ve been an extremely long walk if I’d walked the entire way. Kyle and Monica live in this very beautiful, spacious house that was probably built around the turn of the century. The woodwork and high ceilings and arches make it feel incredibly cozy and warm in there. In one hallway, there were corner windows that looked out into a backyard with a compost pile and trees behind. I felt at home. Light came in through the windows in such a way that I was more drawn to the architecture than the women in the room.

Monica made homemade peach pies - someone else made penis pasta with pesto sauce. There was wine and mixed drinks (though I was already high to begin with) - Kyle acts very awkward around me, which makes me feel sad, but she gave me my drink in an awkward manner and we shuffled around the room introducing ourselves to each other.

I must mention that on the way to the party, with Amber sitting in the backseat, and Kyle and I sitting in the front seat, I heard Amber speak something in such a way that I nearly melted. With her voice disconnected from her body or her face, I suddenly heard her voice as only a voice, and it was an incredibly sexy voice. I told her she had a radio dj voice, and a few minutes later, I felt so embarassed by what I’d said that I felt incredibly sheepish and stupid walking into the party. But when I walked into the room, the first person I glanced at stopped me dead in my tracks. She was a noble woman, with a beautiful profile, a long neck, enormous eyes, and a black cloth wrapped around her head and knotted behind her nape. It was a passing thought, but I thought that perhaps she was the woman for whom I’d written the poem ‘HER’ - (read it in hymnalsongs)

Months ago, back in December, I went to this AIDS Benefit Open Mic at Leonardo’s Cafe at North Campus, and when I sat down, I suddenly found myself transfixed with the sight of the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my entire life. She looked like a young, 18 or 19 year old Ani DiFranco, with lips like Angelina Jolie. She had the flawless, tanned skin, and a shaved head - she had a long neck with many ethnic necklaces stretched around her neck and bracelets all the way up to her elbows. She wore a denim jacket with an ethnic skirt and she blew my mind. It was all I could do to keep myself from ogling all over her. She left the audience just as I stepped onto the stage to begin my performance, which made me sad because I hoped that I would win her heart by performing and she would desire me too.

The next morning, as I rode the bus on the way to class, I wrote a poem called ‘HER’ which is about ‘the most beautiful woman I’ve seen.’

When I walked into the girl party, I thought the woman with the headwrap was the woman I’d written the poem about. When I finally managed to address myself to her, I asked her what her name was. She mumbled to me her name: “My name is Hope.” I was confused - I misheard her. I said, “Did you say your name was Home?” -- “No, no, my name is HOPE.” - “Oh,” and as I shook my head in acknowledgement, a passing thought flitted through my mind. It said, “She is home.”

The rest of the evening progressed, with mixed drinks going around, and an hour long tupperware type party - except this one was hosted by the owner of the local Safe Sex Store, and instead of asking us to purchase tupperware, she showcased her flavored lubricants, her dildoes and vibrators, and her chocolate body paints.

When the sex toys were finished with, we sat around talking, eating peach pie, drinking mixed drinks, eating penis pasta & dried kiwi & dark chocolate bars. For some strange reason, Hope and I really connected, almost too easily, almost too quickly. There was another woman there, with a shaved head, named Joann - she’s a singer-songwriter. They both wanted to buy my CD. I’d brought five of my CDs with me - sold two of them, traded one for Kyle’s demo, and gave away the other two. But it was strange - Hope, Joann and I seemed to completely seclude ourselves from the others. There was this internalness to the way we were - and it was extremely comfortable.

But what struck me was Hope. She’d seen me perform three months ago at the ‘Rising Up Poetics Open Mic & Potluck’ at Hathaway’s Hideaway, and when she realized that I was ‘that girl’ that performed ‘that song’ - she immediately put her arms around me and I tell you - I could actually feel love energy ooze out of her hands. She went on to tell me just how my performance made her feel. She told me that in her entire life, she’d never seen anyone do what I went up there and did that night - that what I did was so deep, that it went into such a deep place within her - a place she didn’t even know existed, that she thought I was lucky to be able to feel anything that deep, and better yet - to be able to express that and help other people to feel it too - and through only singing acapella. She bought my CD and I gave her a copy of my book too, signed with a message for her, thanking her for her support. She made me feel like I was on the right path.

You know what? I know I am on the right path. I couldn’t imagine a better journey to experience.

That night, I got into the car with Joann and Hope, and they dropped me off at my house, and I was giddy with excitement as I walked into my home, feeling like “Yes! I’ve connected so comfortably with these people - and they like my music!” I felt understood.

The week passed. I spent my days filling applications, making phone calls, going in for interviews, filling more applications, making more phone calls. I spent my evenings alone, burning 50 CDs in the basement of the Media Union on North Campus, where they have four computers that allow you to burn CDs. I used two computers simultaneously, to cut down the time it took to burn, and in the meantime I browsed the internet, discovering websites that I needed to find and intuitively found in order to progress as a singer-songwriter and performer. I found myself more inspired and more excited, and feeling more and more that I am going in the right direction. On Thursday, I was inspired to redesign my website in a way that I have to say I’ve never been happier with one of my designs (I’m usually left so unsatisfied with my designs and then I destroy them quickly and cobble together another one, and find myself unsatisfied again.)

The only profound revelation that hit me this week was that I realized how far I’ve come from only a year ago. When I ended starsik.com, I posted this long message about how I couldn’t stand to allow myself to be distracted by the internet any longer, that I couldn’t stand to allow myself to not be more focused on my real goals in life. I made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish by the time I graduated from college, ready to move to New York City, presumably. (Who knows where I will go next, but it may be some time before I move to NYC.) Several of my goals have become realized: I finally have an album that I have made entirely by myself, I finally have a chapbook of poetry that I made entirely by myself (with help from kinkos), I have a website that is stepping into the world, and I have photography portfolios that I am pleased with. I have proof that I have created & worked & realized my visions. It’s helped me see that the only thing I need to do in order to see my visions & dreams become reality is become extremely focused and work very hard in the direction I want to move. As a result, I have a bedroom that is more beautiful than the one I envisioned before I moved in here, and I have a leather bag that far exceeds the beauty that I envisioned when I first dreamt of making my own leather bag. I have good people in my life, and I care about people. I am content, but that does not mean that I’m finished creating and ready to become complacent. No - it means I’m just beginning - that I’m just beginning to learn how to make my visions real.

And anything is possible. And I WILL BE a successful performance artist. I already am. And some day, I won’t be poor, either.

So on Friday evening, after I redesigned my website, I rushed off home, revelling in the revelation I had (the one I wrote about above) - I rushed home to pick up copies of my books and CDs - and I rushed to Arbor Vitae, for the PostModern Art Show - feeling drastically late and apologetic all the way. Josh had asked me to perform poetry - and I was supposed to be there by 8 pm - I arrived there after 8 pm, and things were just getting underway. There were only about 20 people milling around then - all the usual suspects were there: Josh, Sigh, Jeni, Jai, Nisa, Canaan, and others that I didn’t know.

I’d never seen Arbor Vitae as beautiful, and I doubt I will ever see it as beautiful again. Josh and Nisa, the organizers, turned Arbor Vitae (a spacious bachelor pad where 6 young men live in loft spaces) into one of the most beautiful Art shows I’d ever seen. All of the art was locally produced. There was so much talent and imagination running wild there. There were installations set up everywhere. From the ceiling of the bathroom hung a rainstorm of cell phones dangling from fishing wire. On the floor were papers strewn with messages about sexuality. Even the shower became a work of art. Nisa, an installation artist specializing in light and mixed media collagist, illuminated transparent paintings stretched across the depths of the shower basin, with light protuding from beneath. Almost every room had an installation set up in it. Josh’s room, which is usually a messy collage of books and chairs and CDs and junk and computers and everything else, had become this surreal, claustrophobic space, with messages about Heaven and Hell and 50s christmas music playing on an antique turntable. On a table, Jai had installated ‘proof of her existence’ - there were three pieces of evidence - a capsule of a years worth of fingernails, an empty bottle of her prescribed prozac, and a photograph of her as a child.

In another room, Jai staged an amazing piece of performance art. An hour before I arrived there, she’d set up a mattress on the floor of Canaan’s bedroom, and covered it with blankets and quilts, she took several sleeping pills, and by the time I’d arrived there, she was completely knocked out, despite the fact that John Coltrane was being blared from the speakers. She was unconscious and looked peaceful. She had essays posted onto the doors that explained her reasons for this art. Her manifesto stated that she has begun taking sleeping pills in order to become a prescribed part of society’s socially-engineered acceptability. Her reasons were many, and her essay was intriguing to read. Meanwhile, I chatted with Jai’s mom, a few feet away from where Jai laid unconscious. Suddenly, she said “I can hear you.” I was confused. I walked over to her and bent down next to her mouth and said: “what did you say?” “I can hear you.” She went on to tell us how she had air-hole skin and she was looking for Mr. Peterson. I crouched next to her and played along with her, telling her that Mr. Peterson was in the toilet. Jeni, Jai’s girlfriend, wasn’t too keen on me talking to her - she wanted me to leave her alone, because the last time Jai took sleeping pills, she began hallucinating, and didn’t remember it the next day, but while she was hallucinating, she really freaked herself out and it took Jeni a long time to calm her down enough to fall asleep.

The evening progressed. People began coming in. There was food available. Sigh had two ecstasy pills. He swallowed one and gave me the other. I stuffed it in my pocket, and decided to wait for the right time to take it.

About ten o’clock or so, things finally began to get underway with the performance art. I was the first to begin, and I had to take the audience by storm. There were about 30 people watching me from below, and I asked them to take a copy of my book if they wanted to read along with me. I began reading poetry, and I did a reasonably okay job with the first few poems. It wasn’t until I performed “Shorn”, folled by “New Syntax” that I became completely primal, and lost every inhibition, and flowed with sweat. I must’ve been a sight to see. I can only imagine what I look like to other people. From my point of view, it was just fun to stomp around and dance in primitive orgiastic claps and slaps, while singing acapella, and clapping and stomping the floor. It was definitely a good cathartic release.

When I finished, sweaty, stinky me, sat down and became a part of the audience. It was that kind of community. I was perfomer and audience - everyone was. There was an equanimity there that was unrivaled in anything I’d ever seen before. Shortly after joining the audience, still sweaty and revelling in the performance I’d just done, I gulped down the ecstasy pill.

Nisa read a long Edward Said essay about Palestine, and later on Joseph Keckel performed a monologue he wrote. It’s amazing how much talent there is in this town. You would not believe how talented the beautiful people in this town are. There are so many people who are going to hit it big - and Joseph is definitely one of them. He tore it up - had the entire audience in the palm of his hand. They laughed hysterically. I can’t get this image out of my head - of Jeni with this ENORMOUS grin plastered across her face, laughing hysterically to Joseph’s playful gyrations.

They showed a series of independantly made short films by local students. Some were okay, some were political, some focused on sexuality and gender roles. But there was one in particular that was so brilliant that I can still see visions of it in my head. I want to watch this video every day. It was so beautiful and so visionary and sooooo profound, it just had me completely captivated, and it blew me away. It was by this man I’ve met several times before. His name is John. He’s a photographer, and a very close friend of Seth Bernard. I first discovered him at one of Seth’s shows where there were photographs of Seth projected onto this screen above the stage, and the photographs were just so fucking beautiful - compositionally, they were brilliant. They reminded me of the way I look at the world. And I turned to the man standing next to me - he was a large, tall hippie with extremely long red dreadlocks, and I said, “God those photographs were so beautiful.” And he said, “Thanks, they were mine.” And I said, “Oh really? You’re the guy who took those pictures?” It was so random. Anyway - this new video of his was completely visionary. It was about being visionary - about seeing visions of light. The video was comprised mostly of all of this light moving in swift motion everywhere all over the screen. There were images of John waking up from his vision and then his decapitated head floating above him, it was as though he were experiencing mystical connection with the Godhead, but it was on video. It was so beautiful. I thanked him immediately afterwards.

Sometime in the middle of watching the videos projected on the screen, two things happened: 1. Hope walked into the room 2. The ecstasy kicked in and I began buzzing.

When Hope walked into the room, I jumped up from my seat and sat down next to her. She was happy to see me. I was happy to see her. We hugged and talked for a few minutes. “Is anything of yours up here,” she asked. “No - but I did a performance about a half hour ago.” “You did? And I missed it??” “Yeah, you missed it. It’s okay.” “Will you perform for me?” “Of course, I would love to perform just between you and me. You should come over to my room soon and we’ll read poetry to each other, and I’ll sing to you.” “I can’t wait. I’m so sad that I missed you.” “It’s okay, there will be other opportunities.”

With that, we quieted down and watched the videos.

When my body began buzzing, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I stood up, and walked out of the video room, and out to the kitchen, where I found Josh and I told him: “I’m on E and I’m really high right now.” “Oh lucky you!” He went outside to smoke a cigarette. I joined him. As we stood outside, smoking those cigarettes, with my body buzzing and vibrating, standing next to Josh and the guy who was going to later impersonate Elvis, I told them how weird I felt. I felt almost otherworldly. It was such a synthetic high - it felt unnatural - it felt as manmade as plastic. After Friday’s trip, I’ve decided I like shrooms and pot, and that’s it. I met Josh’s mom as Josh and I smoked, and I was wired. I felt like I’d taken twenty shots of espresso and it was everything I could do to hold myself together in one piece, and remain in sane conversations with the people around me. Josh’s mom congratulated me on my performance, she said it seemed so well rehearsed. I told her I live in my poetry and my songs. She said it was obvious.

When Josh went inside, I walked down the rickety metal stairs onto the deck, and talked with Robinette and Kate. I confessed to them that I was on E. Robinette said - yeah, you’re wired. I exhaled the smoke with anxiety ridden breath. They talked about the view, and the sky, and how beautiful this party. It was a good conversation between the three of us, as short as it was - it was nice. But I panicked and I needed water, so I put out the cigarette and walked inside. When I walked inside, I discovered that Jo Boyer was there. I was so happy to see her. When I told her that I’d already performed, she was bummed and wanted to know if I would do a special performance just for her.

I walked through a small hallway and found Sigh. Sigh was tripping, but he was not able to talk with anyone. He just wandered around, like usual, completely antisocial, and just looking at people and feeling disconnected. I said - sigh, are you okay? “I don’t know.” “Are you tripping?” He put his arms around me, our faces were only a few inches away from each other’s. His eyes were large and blurry and just about the only thing in my field of vision. I told him that I loved him. He gave me a very tiny, tender kiss on my lips. It was very beautiful and very quiet and very intimate, and we didn’t say much. At some moment, we broke apart and I found Hope again.

Hope was on her way to get something to drink from the cornershop party store. She asked me if I wanted anything. I asked her if she could get me some water. When she returned, it seemed as if we spent the rest of the evening in close proximity to each other. It felt so natural, so comfortable. At some point in the evening, we sat on the couch next to each other, and I asked her point blank: “are you attracted to me? Because I’m attracted to you.” She said, “I don’t know. Let’s see what happens with time.” But as we danced together, there was this synergetic energy that seemed to connect us. We kept looking into each other’s faces with our enormous eyes eating each other’s gaze, we both had enormous grins on our faces, and I felt like I wanted to pull her in closer to me, to kiss her. There were moments when I wanted to kiss her arm, the nape of her neck, I wanted to hold her so close into me. And I didn’t understand why. I still can’t tell you why. It’s just the way we look at each other when we look into each other, and I feel so connected to her for whatever reason, and I want to look into her indefinitely. I find myself wanting to kiss her deeply. I was getting exhausted. I wanted to go home and crawl into bed. What I couldn’t tell her is that I wanted her to come home with me and crawl into bed with me, and cuddle for a long time, and wake up with her next to me in bed, kissing her gently as we gazed out the third story window next to my bed.

There seemed to be an invisible thread that linked us. Even as we talked to other people, we were still an arm’s reach from each other for a long time. I came so close to falling in love with her. And I don’t even know why. It’s completely unexplainable. I keep thinking about that Ani song, Shameless, in which she says: “I cannot name this, I cannot explain this, and I really don’t want to, just call me shameless - I can’t even slow this down, let alone stop this.”

I have such a bad track record with love. But I am not afraid of these feelings for Hope. They are only feelings and intuitions anyway.

So - Jo Boyer and I were busy talking about the Abandoned project (more about this later) and visions and making them reality. And we decided we would walk home together - even though I really wanted to stay with Hope. On the walk home with Jo, we shared some very intense, intimate things with each other. She told me about her relationship with Golnar, and I told her about these crazy new feelings filling my head for Hope. We both agreed: Hope has a good heart. That’s the main reason I’m attracted to her.

On the walk home, Jo told me flat out that I am a visionary. I took this in stride. It’s not something I’m going to go around telling people. I think I’d rather people not know. But we were talking about the Abandoned Project - which is this idea I got last weekend - and in the last week I have done a lot of networking, and I’m really excited, because so many people are excited about it. Basically, I got the idea for the abandoned project last Friday when Sigh and I went to the parking structure at the corner of Glen and Catherine. We were on the roof of the parking structure, and it was completely empty, except for us. It was this enormous flat, grey concrete field, and it was so empty - it made me want to fill it up with people dancing and partying. I had this idea of people hanging out there on a Friday or Saturday night, a community of people, making music, eating chips, smoking joints, drinking beers, and talking - followed by a featured performance artist. In the last week, I have networked with more than 20 or 30 local performance artists, and they are really excited and interested in performing. The idea is that these events will be weekly, and they will be at various abandoned locations around town - abandoned parking structures, abandoned warehouses, abandoned barns outside of town, abandoned lots and abandoned basketball courts. That sort of thing. I envision it being lots of fun, but more importantly: free.

So I woke up on Saturday morning with one thing on my mind: Hope. For the majority of the day, I didn’t do anything but sit around my bedroom, thinking about her. Besides, it was crummy outside: grey and drizzling. It was better to stay inside and look out the windows and do laundry and clean my bedroom. It felt good just be dreamy and think. But the more I thought about Hope, the more I grew impatient. I couldn’t wait to see her again. I had to see her as soon as possible. I sent her an email with my phone number. Every time the phone rang, I picked up the phone hoping it would be her. The one time the phone was for me, it was Sigh, and he came over with leftover Indian food, and we hung out in my room, talking and not talking, sharing stories about love and old lovers, and elementary days, while I ate a cold, greasy samosa.

After he left, I tidied my room, and being impatient, I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I decided to take a bus to North Campus and try to find where Hope lived. All I vaguely knew is that she lived at the co-ops on North Campus. I didn’t even know where the co-ops were. As I walked to the busstop, I talked to myself into my tape recorder, talking the entire time about Hope, saying things like: “I’m crazy for this woman I want to be with so bad. I know that she lives up on North Campus. I want to spend the next two days straight with her. Maybe the next two weeks. Maybe the next two years. I don’t understand what the fuck is going on. I just don’t understand. It’s irrational and aaaaaaaaaah and uuuuuuaggghhh love that I had with anthony. But maybe I’ve learned enough where I won’t make the same mistakes.”

I boarded the bus and asked the bus driver if he knew where the co-ops were. He didn’t. He called his boss and asked for help. When I got off the bus, he gave me directions, and sure enough, I found the co-ops. But the strange thing about these co-ops is that there were 10 identical buildings, and the co-ops were split into small units, each with 20 possible doors. I had no idea which door to knock on. I thought to myself: “Should I knock on every door and ask them all where Hope is until I find her?” But the first door that I knocked on, a woman told me that Hope lived in one of the buildings on the other side of the complex, and that if I walked along through the basement, as it spiraled around, I would eventually find myself on the other side of the complex, and she would be in one of those four buildings. So I wandered through the basement, empty, except for doorways leading into abandoned kitchens, and photographs of people thumb-tacked onto bulletin boards.

When I made it to the other side of the complex, I found a listing of car owners, and there I found her name and her room number. But I didn’t know what it meant. So, the first person I ran into was a skinny, blonde guy, and I asked him if he knew where Hope lived. He directed me to her room. At last, I thought, I’ve found her. I knocked on her door. There was no response. I knocked again. No response. So I wrote a message on her board: “I want to be near you. I want to gaze into your eyes.”

Not knowing where to go next, I decided I would try and find Joann, knowing that she lived nearby, in the ‘Karma’ complex. As I ascended the stairs, I heard the laughter of people congregated in a small living room, around chips and dip and cake and board games and INXS playing on the boombox. As suddenly as I ascended the stairs, Joann appeared around the corner with a beer in her hand, and we hugged and she whisked me into her room and gave me a beer.

We sat down in the messy room she shares with her boyfriend of six years, Colin. She sat on the floor, I sat on a chair, and we ended up talking for a few hours about music, mostly. She gave me a copy of her self-produced album, complete with handmade packaging. It was beautiful. But then we listened to her Awry CD - with handmade packaging, hand penned and uniquely made by Shara herself. We talked and listened to Awry for some time, until suddenly there was a knock on the door. It was after 11pm, and when the door opened, there stood Hope. She came in and wanted to know if we wanted to go the party at Debs (another co-op.)

We got our stuff together, Hope threw on her coat and we headed out to her coat. Joann had already drank five beers. When we arrived at the party, it was quiet, and people were standing around a keg of Labatts. I ran into Chip and talked to him for a bit. I asked if anyone knew where Sigh was. Someone told me he was asleep in his room. I asked where his room was. Someone directed me to his bedroom and I opened the door quietly. I could see him asleep on the top bunk of his bed. I turned on the lights. He was unmoved by the light, and I walked up to him and saw him peaceful, beautiful, his eyes closed and his mouth drawn slack. He looked beautiful. I walked out of the room and turned off the light.

So I woke up on Saturday morning with one thing on my mind: Hope. For the majority of the day, I didn’t do anything but sit around my bedroom, thinking about her. Besides, it was crummy outside: grey and drizzling. It was better to stay inside and look out the windows and do laundry and clean my bedroom. It felt good just be dreamy and think. But the more I thought about Hope, the more I grew impatient. I couldn’t wait to see her again. I had to see her as soon as possible. I sent her an email with my phone number. Every time the phone rang, I picked up the phone hoping it would be her. The one time the phone was for me, it was Sigh, and he came over with leftover Indian food, and we hung out in my room, talking and not talking, sharing stories about love and old lovers, and elementary days, while I ate a cold, greasy samosa.

After he left, I tidied my room, and being impatient, I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I decided to take a bus to North Campus and try to find where Hope lived. All I vaguely knew is that she lived at the co-ops on North Campus. I didn’t even know where the co-ops were. As I walked to the busstop, I talked to myself into my tape recorder, talking the entire time about Hope, saying things like: “I’m crazy for this woman I want to be with so bad. I know that she lives up on North Campus. I want to spend the next two days straight with her. Maybe the next two weeks. Maybe the next two years. I don’t understand what the fuck is going on. I just don’t understand. It’s irrational and aaaaaaaaaah and uuuuuuaggghhh love that I had with anthony. But maybe I’ve learned enough where I won’t make the same mistakes.”

I boarded the bus and asked the bus driver if he knew where the co-ops were. He didn’t. He called his boss and asked for help. When I got off the bus, he gave me directions, and sure enough, I found the co-ops. But the strange thing about these co-ops is that there were 10 identical buildings, and the co-ops were split into small units, each with 20 possible doors. I had no idea which door to knock on. I thought to myself: “Should I knock on every door and ask them all where Hope is until I find her?” But the first door that I knocked on, a woman told me that Hope lived in one of the buildings on the other side of the complex, and that if I walked along through the basement, as it spiraled around, I would eventually find myself on the other side of the complex, and she would be in one of those four buildings. So I wandered through the basement, empty, except for doorways leading into abandoned kitchens, and photographs of people thumb-tacked onto bulletin boards.

( to be continued.)

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