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I spent some time over the last few days writing a blog post comparing the polygamous Mormon sect down in Texas with the Mauritanian view of marriage, but I couldn’t pull it off. Maybe I’ll keep working on it. Right now, the two things only link in my own mind, and the post feels awkward, swerving between being too bland and “culturally sensitive” and being potentially offensive, or just plain boring. I’ll keep working on it. I need a good ending, and a better beginning too. Not to mention an improved midsection.
It’s been a quiet week; lots of rain, lots of time with friends. Today Ilsa took me to Starbucks, in spite of my supposed boycott of the place. She got a $5 gift card as a birthday present and wanted to treat me and have a “special time.” It was fun. I got a coffee and she had lemonade and a cinnamon roll, and we talked about her plans for Morocco. We’re leaving in about 3 months, and yes, I am beginning to stress, thanks for asking.
Ilsa has a dream garden; we talk about the possibility of it being actualized. She wants to grow strawberries, lemons, and flowers; she wants it to be somehow enclosed so that it’s a bit secret, walled. She has planned an elaborate entrance system, made out of cardboard and yarn I believe, as most of her inventions are. I am allowed to share this garden, she tells me; I can have part of it to plant as I wish. I have no idea if our future home will even have a garden, I tell her, again. I don’t know if it will be a house or an apartment, or how many rooms it will have. Our future is unclear; a fact that, while always true, is most visible at times like these.
In the meantime, Michelle at Scribbit interviewed me today. You can go find out about the job I almost had, at a time when scheduling meant even less to me than it does now, and see a fun picture of a camel in the back of a pickup on the streets of Nouakchott.
I leave you with these thoughts from Elliot. This is a cautionary tale about what happens when you let your feverish son read too much, especially a son who received this very cool book from a favorite aunt.
Elliot: I was insane last night.
Me (smiling): Did you have fever dreams? When you have a fever, you often have really vivid dreams. Do you know what vivid means?
Elliot: Yes. But these weren’t dreams; I was there.
Me: Uh, yeah. You see, vivid means…
Elliot: It was really weird though. I was at the Battle of Stalingrad, and I was a Russian fighter, but I had a German gun instead of a Russian one.

April 2008

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