other and their family
was part of the old charter 77 group. ivan
klima was there. after it broke up
the party continued in a pub nearby.

havel showed up, with two tall bodyguards
one of whom had a long ponytail.

he sat at one of the tables and drank beer
with his old friends. people were arty
and acted nonchalant but there was
an electricity in the air.

i asked someone if they thought i could snap
a few polaroids of the president.
they said, sure, but when i stood up and
took a few flash shots the nearest bodyguard
sprang up and came at me.

my friends told him i didn't speak czech.
they told me i should have asked permission
before taking the pictures.

it turned out the film got double-exposed
and none of those shots came out.

i stayed an extra week in prague too.
you could sense that this was going to be
the paris in the 20s for americans of the '90s

in those days there was a newspaper in s.f.
called calendar magazine
that started off mostly as a list of events
maybe 8 pages
and evolved into the s.f. weekly,
now part of a phoenix-based chain.

back then i thought i had already missed a shot
by not going down and volunteering for calendar
when it was still small and starting up.

after my trip (east berlin, frankfurt, and home)
i thought about quitting my editor job in s.f.
moving back to prague
while you could still get 23 crowns to the dollar

and starting or joining a local english-language
newspaper. what a great idea!

but when i got back i also looked up
this other girl. i had a beard now.
my hair was long.
i was in my jesus/lennon phase.

the road not taken,
i fell in love
opted for an inward adventure
she tamed me some
maybe sooner than ideal for me
maybe later than ideal for her

great ideas are a dime a dozen
it's the doing that counts

when i read matt's blog sometimes
i feel like i'm looking into
a nearby alternate universe

this decision, not that
this branching, not that
no regrets
aside from the bittersweet awareness
the downside to every upside
the reverse to every obverse
instead
a cockeyed optimism
new choices today
everyday

thanks

Posted by: xian at February 19, 2003 01:02 PM
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