I was walking with a man — could be my brother, could be my husband — in a dystopian setting. […]
She looks up to the sky.
“Sometimes I see long stripes in the air. Is that how you came here?”
“Yes I did. Those are airplanes…”
“Airplanes, I know.”
I think she has heard the word before, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.
“They’re just like the bus, only they fly,” I explain.
At knee height there is a 15cm hole in the fence. She squats down by it and says, “Stick your arm through the fence” as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Tentatively but excited I do as she says. She calls, and out of the thick jungle, emerges a massive bulk of muscle and teeth and fir and claws, and it is coming straight at me. My eyes meet his eyes and I feel locked in its stare, his head never moves as he keenly approaches.
Memory of Date Rape
I lay flat on my back, trying not to move. Like a gazelle that just noticed an approaching lion. I want to bury my face in a pillow or say “no” but am frozen in mute fear of facing abuse. He is fifteen years older and I feel vulnerable.
Moose, Dirt and Robbing a Train
This is when I saw the moose. He was a big moose, with a solid pair of antlers. He stepped back, hesitating, as I kept still, hoping he would not see me. But he did, and he charged. I pulled myself up on the roof rack, but he bruised my legs and stepped back again. I decided to climb on top of the roof until the moose left.
When it did, I looked behind me, where there was a cave opening with a chair in it. My older brother was sitting in that chair, quietly waiting until I was done doing what I did.
Ten Years of Travel
I’ve never been so filthy, wet, thirsty, hungry, lonely, happy or inspired. I was scared at times, but not too bad. I found out where all the cool people were hanging out; the ones I was always looking for at home. I lost all my shoes and lived barefoot for a long time. I cut my own hair, using my pocketknife. I bought a machete to compliment the 4-battery Maglite that I carried in my pack. I indulged in my ferocious appetite for books, deep conversation and exploring my boundaries.