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The Flaming Artist Speaks to the World

The Amsterdam Trip—January, 2005

7:06 a.m. Friday, February 4, 2005

Home at last, jet lagged. I awoke this morning, overcome with fear. What to do first? Next? What to do about the Fascist government of the United States? The “kleptocracy”? Awaiting in my mailbox was an email forwarded from Doreen—a Flash animated piece about the 14 signifiers of a Fascist regime & how U.S.A. under Bush neatly fits all 14 of them.

Oh Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is despair, let me sow hope.

I’ve had difficulty sleeping the last 2 nights. The room was too hot. It was only on the final night that I figured out how to reduce the heat. My sleep on the final night was complicated by my obsession about whether or not I should attempt to smuggle the unsmoked hash I’d purchased in Amsterdam. I asked Higher Power whether or not I should—He was unhelpful—he turned it back on me: is risking my future for €12.50 of hash a “first thing”? I pointed out that it symbolized my willingness to take risks in this coming period of my life. “But is this the hill you want to die on?” H.P. asked. I vacillated—I knew the only way to end the debate would be to flush it down the toilet or throw it out the hotel window right then. Any other way allowed indecision until the last possible instant of truth, when I passed through customs in San Francisco.

Josy picked us up from the Burbank Airport & hung out with us while we plowed through 9 days of junk mail. The flight arrived at 5:05; I crashed at 7:30 p.m., woke at midnight, went through my email, crashed again at about 3:30 a.m. Amy was glad to see me. Josy assured me that Amy was just fine during our absence.

© 2005 Flaming Artist

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