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Monthly Archives: March 2009

2:30am, siem reap, cambodia. 

walking down the street that runs along the old market–the market that hours earlier was teeming with people, emitting the scent of fish and lotus flowers and stinky, pungent durian fruits and nailpolish remover and amok stirred up in an electric crockpot and now is empty, ghostly, throwing menacing shadows onto the sidewalk–i caught my silhouette stretched out before me, a longer and leaner me, holding a guava tree.

i am carrying a guava tree down a shadowy lane in siem reap, cambodia, on my birthday.

stumbling on 5″ prada heels and slightly tangled in a long dress, shoulder bag creating a giant marshmallow-ish appendage in this shadow, as it’s stuffed with various trinkets, thoughts, mementos, cards, i am struck immediately by the change, the difference, the newness that i’ve just encountered on this day, my birthday. 

jason and shannon gave me a guava tree. roots, soil, leaves, foreverness planted into a”shannon chose this because they’re your colors” ceramic pot; a token of the future, a significant symbol of the foundation we’ve all laid here, the meaning of “we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.” even if we leave, we are here. we’re keeping a piece of ourselves here in this dusty, hot, ridiculously humid town. this plant, this gesture, the hugeness of the gift..its value. it’s value. the message is its value.

i received a red glossy painted lacquered bike helmet, hand painted and painstakingly obsessed over by serguei. my insane, custom designed typographical letters strategically placed across the back, perfectly symmetrical, evenly spaced, beautifully art directed and lovingly done by hand, by finger, by eye, reads: I AM WANDERLUST. beautiful, magnificent, i am left without words. this is for me. this helmet, this thought, this gift, this gesture. for me.

a journal from romain, a tiny sterling silver charm of a book from elodie. a bottle of red wine that is surely expensive and impressive and well beyond my elementary knowledge from mr magoo/kevin. a handmade black jersey, minimalist, so-chic-it’s-painful-and-i’m-going-to-rock-it-in-new-york-every-single-day dress from don. a silkscreen from loven of a vodka bottle filled with NYC airport luggage tags which underneath says ABSOLUT ELIZ. all bestowed upon me at a rooftop party organized by my beloved sheree, the person who is the soulmate of my world here, the ying to my yang, the sister/friend/confidant whom i can sit with in my hot steamy room and cry with, chain smoke cheap terrible cambodian cigarettes with, roll on the floor screaming with laughter with. and say anything to. anything. unconditional. the person who will come with me anywhere, go the distance with me, who has become a part of my self. this person who’s biggest gift to me is her self. and she organized this event for me. on the rooftop of my beloved soria moria, my summer 08 home away from home, with my dear kristen in cahoots.

i am carrying these things home. i see my shadow carrying these things home. carrying these people. carrying the tree, the books, the wine, the laughter, the sharing. the everything. they’re all in this bag, this exploding, oversized, enormous faux leather tote from a supermarket sweepstakes style swing through topshop with ruth one rainy day in london so many, many years ago. this bag is filled with them, the people who have cemented me here. the people and the experiences and the journeys that have made this place, this strange intoxicating town in the middle of nowhere, feel like a mirror to myself. each of them  reflect the person i want to be, the person i strive to be, the better me, the stronger me, the independent and fun and it-is-what-you-make-it me. the people they are, the people i love. they are mirrors, they remind me. they show me the way. they illuminate the dark shadowy road on the journey home, they light the torches. they are the torches. they are the lights.

they are with me. they are in my bag. my pocket. my wallet. my world, my life, my today, my future, my forever. 

i carry them with me wherever i go.

i. carry. them. with. me. wherever. i. go.

13 march, 2009. birthday gifts. people.