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2003-04-23 - 3:13 a.m.

greetings from planet whatthefuck.

i walk out onto the street wading through inconsistent wafts of mass hysteria. the ground is like jello as we all pass each other. and now we can only see each other's eyes. there are more masked citizens than unmasked and rumors spread faster than the virus. schools are closing. businesses are closing. and the rumors keep coming...i heard beijing was going to be quarantined...says one...they are moving all of the patients to a clinic in the countryside so the air will be more dangerous today...says another. i periodically call the hospital to cancel fear and get data so i can aptly reject each new urban legend. don't drink the water. ok. i won't anyway. it is surreal. it is like a bad dream i am having where the prophet in me says...THIS IS A BLESSING FOR CHINA. this will deconstruct the values here that are keeping it down. hygene will change. communication will open. the world is paying attention. people here don't have time to remember a war on iraq when they won't even go to a supermarket. except to stock up for the crisis to come. and the numbers infected are not so high. but it is the mystery around the numbers. and the fucking lies. who is dying? who touched the taxi door that i will touch in one hour? who is cooking my food? who spit at my feet? who bought extra rice just in case?

am i the only one who calls reliable resources?

last week i had a fever. and i was short of breath. it sucked. i was up until five in the morning thinking, if i do die here, it's ok. look at all the people i've had the chance to love. do you know what it's like to get those symptoms during a mass hysterical epidemic of those symptoms? it ain't no dirty little bitch party.

tonight i went out for thai food. the evening wind was warm and promising of a better day just around the corner. but it blew through a ghost town and fell upon trees and street signs. it is like a chicago winter, people scurrying into shadows like new york rats after sunrise. i wish someone could hold beijing in it's arms and say...it's ok beijing, everything is going to be just fine.

i will.

i wanted to write about temples and teahouses. taichi and sifu. basketball players and afternoon tennis in the forbidden city. renovated german factories that were built in the 50's with installations of giant eyeballs and stork poo made of ash.

but that will all have to wait.

i love you like a nuclear dawn.

< yeah >