I've been trying to decide whether to join the swarm of journalists now in Bolivia or go to Alaska and chill with my friend Tanya from high school. Probably I will do both.
But Alaska first.
I have been promising Tanya for centuries that I will come and visit her and her land in the wilderness.
Tanya and I used to sneak into the bathroom at Sehome High School in Bellingham Washington and smoke cigarettes. Like just about everyone else. Only we went to the boys' bathroom, blowing smoke blithely into the air while these poor males would come in, go 'huh' and leave, figuring they were in the wrong bathroom. Her with her round shy face and her big Alaskan pumpkin-colored jacket and me in some kind of LA coordinated green miniskirt thing that allowed me to freeze my ass off in the snowpacked Bellingham winter.
We spent most of that year staging strange and random events like this, eating bad food in the cafeteria while we spoke in invented languages no one else understood, sitting under the school desks instead of "at" them, leading demonstrations of six of our friends against high school functions that seemed perfectly acceptable to everyone else. I guess we thought these were revolutionary acts.
Later that year I got kicked out of school for spending all my time organizing events and never going to class and Tanya went to a foster home.
A psychic told her she and I would be friends for life, that we would be old ladies together.
Well honey, I said last night on the phone, we have to admit that we're getting there. Maybe I better move my butt up to Alaska to visit you while I can still move it.
We had a lot to talk about last night. Downing Street memos. Torture. Despair. Why isn’t Bush impeached yet. Why are Americans so numb. How can we take all these layers of numbness off.
You eventually got rid of your big pumpkin jacket, I said, maybe there’s a way.
Yeah right, she laughed, but you never learned that you can’t wear miniskirts in the snow.
My cell phone cut off right about then, because I had exhausted the long distance minutes I had paid for. So I put some more money into my account and then when I called back discovered that I had eighteen dollars more than I had put in.
Money appears from nowhere when you really need it. Like rain, old friends, small and spontaneous revolutionary acts.