When I was seven I wanted my name to be Jaromil and to pilot a helicopter above the vineyards of Ostrov. I don’t know why now. I must have read something then, under the covers while the earthquake was raging for those interminable minutes, that attracted me to that name and to that profession. We lost our Siamese in the aftermath of the quake. He came back a few days later and took residency in our badly-damaged wardrobe and we found him still sitting in there patiently, starving, parched, all limbs tucked under his belly like a bucolic cow, a few weeks later when the building was deemed safe to occupy. Four years later there he is in all his prophetic, timeless, feline glory, in a photo sent from Detroit, resting on the soft, leather seat of a Harley. Have you ever felt it? In the summers it’s the best. The drops drive into the flesh like dull-pointed needles and massage the muscles in a weird, savage fashion. (¿ǝsɐǝןǝɹ sʇı ʇןǝɟ ɹǝʌǝ noʎ ǝʌɐɥ-pıɔɐ ɔıʇɔɐן) It reminds me of my father’s belt. It reminds me of flying bits of sheet rock in the middle of an earthquake. It reminds me of Planet of the Apes, strangely. I hope the feeling gets passed onto the new generation. Mine is finished. All we do now is sit on benches by the river and wait for our enemies to float by, eviscerated by time or hammers or sickles. We hope for that. We are finished when we hope for that.