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Monthly Archives: May 2013


Last night, Christine and I were standing out on a pier in Ostia. “Can you believe,” she asked, “that God wanted to send us to Italy for the summer?” That’s incredible; that’s unbelievable, I said. It’s crazy. It was the most surreal thing: standing on the Mediterranean Sea in the dark, watching the waves hit the concrete and the sand, making peaks out of our gelato, and looking at eight more weeks ahead of us.

I’m sitting in the apartment now. We had last night and this morning off to go explore Ostia, befriend a cashier at the pizzeria down the block, find a gelateria, and stand on the sea. Christopher and Kylee are working on a song, while we read and eat and think.

Much, much more to come for you, I promise.

categorized under christianity, photographs, summer. tags: | Comments Off on Piacere.


The Frankfurt airport is all gray and glass; so modern. The exit signs (I realized) show a figure running, almost prone. He’s about to tip over from his own momentum.

There are whole areas of the airport that are like a mall, all in English. It’s strange and unsettling to realize English is the second language here. There are aisles of perfume and of alcohol, and Gucci and Mulberry and Herm├ęs boutiques. Kiosks in the center aisle between gates sell wursts and pretzels. I feel like I’m in an Ikea. All the cafe interiors are far more styled — or more stylishly styled, really — than in an American airport, but they somehow still feel corporate. The newspapers are very wide, but rather short. They look cleaner and nicer, somehow, than American newspapers. General design sensibilities seem to be simpler and less hokey here. Every once in a while, somebody rides by on a bicycle, sitting straight upright and pedaling docily atop tiny wheels. Everything is like a cartoon of German life: a sort of corporate-Ikea feel.

The two strangest parts were emerging into the jetway, with its big glass-green gray-rimmed walls of windows that were decidedly not part of an American airport, and the matching modern gate, and turning the corner to see a policeman dressed in the same blue of American policeman but, large on his back, the word I learned in second-grade German: Polizei. He was young and blonde with close-cut hair, and when he looked at me I looked away uncomfortably, and found that I was thinking of the photographs I’d seen of walls of Nazi men. Jolt. I was ashamed of and shocked by myself; certain he could see in me what I thought.

It’s raining out and the glassy green goes well with the gray inside. I’ve been looking over at the Lufthansa desk at the gate, with sleek machines that look like subway ticket-scanners. I’m eager to investigate them. In fifteen minutes, we board for Rome.

categorized under summer. tags: | Comments Off on ORD –> FRA.


Last night while the family was at pre-prom, I drove to Trader Joe’s for apples, kale, soba noodles, and almonds. I made a wrong turn and wandered through Philadelphia, drove by the house to look up liqueurs, and left again to find the noodles.

I found Molly’s Pimm’s Cup, too: you know my first alcohol purchase would be a researched one. I bought Pimm’s and the noodles and Reed’s Premium Ginger Brew. Come home, I sliced a lemon and a cucumber and a strawberry, made drinks for my parents and me, and sat outside and sipped and talked on the phone. It got cold cold cold and windy and when I came back in, the house was cozy and I kept sipping and I boiled the pasta and found the last things to put away.

categorized under photographs, summer. tags: , | Comments Off on Boarding.