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Sunshine & Scrabble…The X-Pat Files.

To believe I could escape undetected and see out my days wandering the beach wearing a crumpled white linen suit and sneakers would undoubtedly be a massive vanity. There are, after all, fourteen bodies buried up in the mountains. Six, eight, ten… I can’t quite remember. I just know it was very important at the time to have an even tally. That’s why I stopped. I’m not an addict or anything. Addicts can’t stop. It’s just that I have always been unsettled by odd numbers. I like my numbers to be complete. Odd numbers just look unfinished. I was born in 1963 and look at how that year panned out for mankind.

It was a whole different world up there in the mountains. The villages never sold out. There were no water parks or cocktail bars, no bungee cranes or rental cars. Crazy old folk lived in crumbling white cottages with lame dogs and shotguns. Toothless old men drove toothless old machinery to the markets and festivals. The mountain villages were both devout and godless. Ornate shrines for the dead dotted the roadside. Candles in these shrines were constantly kept alive by old women wearing the black of the bereaved. There were bandit laws for bandit souls and those were seldom broken. At night it was so black that you could drive by starlight. Log fires burned in every taverna. Faded photographs hung from every wall. It was a dark and enchanting never-land for the foolish and fearless alike. Only a fool would choose to live in the mountains. Only the fearless survived. A part of me had always wanted to rent a cabin up there for the winter. Just to see what would happen.   Continue reading

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