We should be in Taiwan today

Neither here, nor there. For the time being, we wait.

The house is rented. Our furniture sold, bags packed. The remainder of our worldly possessions stowed away in boxes, half of which sit in self-storage collecting dust, the other half on a pallet in my father’s garage awaiting shipment. I’m awaiting shipment too.

Ilha Formosa! Taiwan. Kaohsiung. It’ll have to wait a little longer.

Patience, they say, is a virtue. Indeed. I’m sure they (whoever they are) are right, but I’ve never suffered from an overabundance of this virtue.

I’m pacing, back and forth, quite literally. I suffer from a form of mental pacing as well, a profound restlessness, a malaise, a fog, and there’s this lingering uncertainty about our immediate future. It consumes my remaining goodwill. When it comes to goodwill, I’m already burning the strategic reserves living in the land of What The Fuck. “What the fuck?” has been my default disposition, hardly mitigated by a diet of daily news, which has only served to confirm the conviction that we are all headed over the falls in a barrel. What happens after this singular, monumental act of dare-devil stupidity is beyond anyone’s guess. I fear the worst. I don’t think I’m the only one.

And then there’s the latent insomnia, flaring like an arthritic knee. I toss and turn in the night. In the daylight hours the world is out of focus—colors and sounds muted, anything resembling a thought fuzzy and disjointed. Which isn’t good if you claim to be a writer, and seek to back it up with admissible evidence.

My mind wanders as my fingers scuttle and scamper over the keys and pause. I do a lot of pausing–it’s mostly pausing if I’m honest—followed by short bursts of frenetic desperation, a kind of unfocused energy, like heat. And then it all dissipates and leaves no trace of any lasting accomplishment. What is left behind: a bramble of words and half finished thoughts, empty and unaccomplished and without direction. A completed draft of my first novel, which was always a distant shore, seems further and further away, to say nothing of this blog.

Living out of a suitcase. Eight days of clothes or so. A stack of books. A laptop. A toothbrush. A place to lay my head at night. You’d think I’d be used to it. Years and years of travel, 30+ countries. This nomadic life. But the intervals and the in-betweens, the waiting, the delays—I’ve never been good at that kind of thing. Time slows. It trickles from a faucet, and I pace and mutter and stew. Shamelessly, I yearn for the passage of time, callously wishing away the precious seconds of this fleeting life.

But there’s an end to it, I tell myself. Of course there is. A few short weeks, a matter of days. We’ll soon be on our way. God-willing. Inshallah. Knock on wood.

In the meantime, I’ll attempt to channel this restless energy into something productive, like writing a novel for instance. Maybe even write a blog post or two.

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