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a dose of self reliance 

Standing on my own two feet takes me decades. Arriving. In form proof positive. In my dotage. While I'm still breathing. October 31, 2017. Inside the Madrid Airport. At 6:30 in the morning. The second person on the Value Added Tax line. Waiting for my 26-dollar refund. From purchasing one orange and one green sweater. When a mix of twelve Chinese men and women. All carrying Gucci, Prada and Chanel shopping bags. Cut in front of me. Without saying a word. Put down their packages. Take out their receipts. Chat in their native tongue. To the woman whose back is in front of me.

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transmitting hope(part four; el fin)

I consider myself a three- dimensional character. I’ve the attributes. Height. Width. Depth. And being of a certain age, I’ve a personal story. A history with failings, contradictions, ambivalence, values, flaws. Yet in Spain. I'm two-dimensional. Exhibiting simplicity. As a beginner. Learning Spanish. I show frustration. As the extent of my emotional life. I’m a bore. And it’s Saturday. Following the Friday. That ends the first week of school. Forty of us. All Spanish language students. From all over the world. Are boarding a motor coach. On our way to Segovia and Avila. It’s 8 AM.

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transmitting hope (part three)

I’m not a small talker. I discover this by listening to other people conversing about best selling books. Children’s shenanigans. The dropping temperature. Uncontroversial subjects. A perfectly fine form of social bonding. Which I'm not good at. Flirting with reality's surface. I want to excavate emotions. Get out of artifice. Into the root. Figure out what makes us do what we do. I'm thinking. That first Monday. 7 AM. As Miranda smears jelly on a dry slice of white bread. Hands it to me. Saying, “Tengo nauseas. No como nada.” I’m nauseous. I eat nothing.

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Transmitting Hope (part two)

When you see the universe as capable of sending messages via couriers, like I do, Mitchell assumes the role of an Earth Angel, here to impart a directive aimed at me. Which I distill to mean the following. Cogitation’s fine. Gets your ideas flowing. But when inertia sets in. Give it up. It’s a moribund activity leading to self-loathing. Living’s a participatory sport. Dealing with hands on activities. Moving our bag of bones from place to place. It's the human dance. Until individuation sets in. Separating some from the pack.

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Transmitting Hope (part one)

My youth peaks somewhere in the 20th century. It’s obvious, though the date be imprecise. It’s measurable in height. When I’m 5’9”. I’m now 5’ 7 1/2,” called by gerontologists as early elderly and I’m sitting in a chair listening to my endocrinologist say, “You’ve attention deficit hyper disorder, undiagnosed in your childhood, since it was first classified in the 1990’s. It’s clear from how you speak, with velocity, as if you’re meeting a deadline, which inhibits any listener from completely understanding you. Nor does it afford any opportunity to interrupt. Then you intermingle hard-to-follow tangents. It’s your enunciation that saves you from being totally misunderstood. All the while, you also appear as if you're not breathing, which could mean an underlying bi-polar condition.”

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