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Ten thousand years from now 0

Dear Bradshaw,

I’m back in Rome, sitting in my living room on the beanbag, drinking wine. I’m so tired I don’t know which way is up, down, sideways, inside out, outside in or anything else. I’m delirious. Confused. Not because of the wine. (Not only anyway.) But because I’m jet-lagged. I’d like to lie down in bed and sleep but am waiting for a reasonable hour. Otherwise, I risk suffering the time difference for days, weeks even. After all, it’s nine hours later here, which means 7pm instead of 10am. Clearly, I should be wide-awake but I’m not, and that’s the pith of my problem.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and pretty much it comes down to this: I want to see rocks talk. I want to know what dolphins think. I want to witness the world as it was ten thousand years ago, as it will be ten thousand years from now. I want to watch Monet paint Rue Montargueil with Flags, Bach compose his concerto in D minor for two violins, Michelangelo sculpt Mary’s face on his PietĂ . I want to part the Pacific, to run over a rainbow, to levitate mountains and move them with my mind. I want to see three hundred sixty degrees, as I did in a dream once. I want to float in the air like a soap bubble, pop, and then spray somebody’s skin. I want to be Bob Dylan. I want to write The Beatles of a book.

In addition, I’ve been wondering if vampires bleed or flowers fart. What would a martini taste like on Mars? What would I look like if I were invisible? Why does Fred Flintstone always order the Brontosaurus ribs when he knows it’s going to tip over the car?

My first day back to work was not as tough as I thought it would be. On the contrary, it was as easy as opening my eyes. After all, I’ve taught the present perfect, conditionals, comparatives and superlatives, and every other aspect of English grammar so many times I could do it in my sleep, and have. An orangutan could do my job. George Bush even. But after twelve hours on a plane and little time to get acclimated, I struggled to stay awake.

I just went to the kitchen for some pistachios with Jimi in tow. She’s been following me around since we got back. I wonder if she’d follow me out the door and down the elevator. Would she follow me to work and help me teach my students? I suspect she’d curl up in a corner and sleep. Oh well, whatever, right? I’ll let you know how it goes.

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