October 29, 2010 1:23:39 PM CDT

I wonder if you’re having a romantic South American adventure. Or drinking red wine alone on a heap of sentimental artifacts. Or rapping in fourth degree tongues with a shaman in Katmandu.

I wish I knew these things as I swab the decks for spending money. As I agonize over the [REDACTED] in the arb who now [**REDACTED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT**]. That could have been me had I decided to finish my degree instead of exploring nightmares—bringing them to life—showing them off. Had I decided to live instead of looking for easy ways to die.

These are the things I think about when it takes me an hour to change a blow out—with inadequate tools—deep in the heart of enemy territory. When I mow down fire-ant mounds hidden in the tall grass that only reveal themselves when my limbs burn in disbelief. When my sister is on the lamb, hiding from the authorities who would lock her away for being unable to cope with the same pain that I’m familiar with.

Happy Halloween, Kiddo

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