Travel notesIssue 02 | December 2008

Two Short Travelogues

by Mira Martin-Parker

Them, and Them
They ride the bus. They are crippled-looking and sick. They watch daytime television. They live on fixed incomes. They get checks in the mail. They eat packaged food. They are pudgy. They wear taped-together glasses. They have holes in their clothes. They have badly dyed hair, with dark roots coming in. They scratch themselves. They get in fights with themselves. They smell like bedtime. They crunch on things loudly. Corn nuts? Sunflower seeds? They spit out the husks. They carry an old vinyl purse, an old backpack, a military bag. They are an old man, an old woman, a transvestite with lots of hairspray and a stuffed top. They sit itching their sores while the baby next to them cries. As soon as the back door opens, they smile, and toss out an empty beer can.

They smell of department store cologne. They wear Italian shoes that are too big for their feet. They wear suits in shades of grey, olive, and navy. On weekends they wear sweaters in shades of beige, white, and pale blue. They have a certain air of cleanliness about them, the sort revealed in a shiny forehead. They have the kind of good health that comes from jogging in the morning, drinking milk, and eating scones from Starbucks. Their various skill-sets involve mathematics, computers, and marketing. They buy their Audis in Freemont. Their women are blonde. Their psyches have been sufficiently saturated with evening television and Newsweek. Sometimes, when having lunch at the Ferry Building, they stare blankly out the window, wishing they were someone else. But only for a moment, before flipping open their cell phone and making a call.

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About the author

Mira Martin-Parker writes, “Me. Me me me. Me me me me me me. Me. I I I me. My. My my my mine. All mine. Yes, it’s all very much mine.” We believe her. Further research reveals that Mira has earned a Master’s in Philosophy and recently, a Master’s in English at San Francisco State University.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok