All the stories in India

Telling stories is a lot harder than I (James) ever thought it would be. I mean, you do something, you live through it, you think about the event, you relate to it and then you tell it as a story… Right? How hard can that be?! In the late 1990s I (James) did some stuff that I thought was pretty cool. I traveled a lot, played some music on an illegal radio station (we called it pirate back then) and hung out with some sexy people in a misty rainforest on the other side of the planet from where I am now. One day, I decided to write that story in a format some of us know as fiction. I wrote some stuff, then I wrote some more stuff, then I did some research and somehow I lost all understanding of the story I was telling. As it turns out the above calamity is the factory of failed writers. I got Lost in the Funhouse, the Mobius Strip of creation…The more you research the more you know, the more you know the more you write, the more you write the more research you need, STOP! Then the mirror started to warp and I got further and further away from that little story about the cool thing I did once upon a time. The next thing I knew I had thousands of words, great words, about some very interesting shit that had absolutely nothing to do with being a cool, sexy pirate in the ’90s. I got so frustrated with the sheer volume and boring convolution of the piece that I ultimately closed the file, once and for all, with nary a glance for almost 11 years. Here in India they have a storytelling medium that combines music and body movement.[…]

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A Night at the Opera

We started the day off with a great idly/sambar at Muthoot Homez Akkulam, one of our haunts along the highway. It’s a cool little place across from the big-ass mall construction site and it’s also one of those quintessential Kerala dining experiences, meaning it’s little more than a lean-to with a kitchen…and totally packed. The food is excellent and fresh and the clientele is always in a hurry. Just our kind of place. The whole point was to get to the Lord’s Hospital queue early and get a number before the crowds showed up. Not to worry, friends, we’ve both been wanting to see a dermatologist while we were here to get some things checked out and see if we could get some grooming surgery done. Once one is no longer young, the skin, it changes. Dena had done some research and found this hospital, which was close to us and had a pretty good rep for that kind of thing. Anyway, the dermatologist decided to take the day off so we rode away. Since a broken water main had washed out the road to the left, we went back the way we came, headed west. We came to a crossroads and I (James) barked ahead, “You want to go left to the beach?” I (Dena) smiled and bolted around the auto-rickshaw/Bajaj delivery truck tangle that had held us up. It doesn’t take much convincing to get either one us stoked for a beach adventure. The breeze was nice, the Arabian Sea was calm and kind, and it was a work day so not many people about. We rode north along the coastal route and dipped into a few different photogenic spots… And ultimately ended up behind one of the christian monstrosities before shrugging and pointing our wheels back home.[…]

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