tevan alexander
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August 25, 2005
The Truth About Roaches
The roaches are large in Bangkok. I was taking close-ups of a roach when a woman passing by asked me if I hadn't seen a roach in America. I said I had but not that big. The topic quickly shifted from roaches to an offer of alcohol at an outdoor street bar with her and her friends. Sure, why not. It was 1am and Soi Cowboy had closed; my camera couldn't capture anything telling.

At the street bar, the company included two Japanese men and the prostitute whose time they bought for the night. The men went off to find cannabis and I drank rum and coke with the woman I met and two of her prostitute friends.

Sitting nearby on the sidewalk was a young girl, maybe 12, dressed like Barbie and a midget, her pimp, standing in front of her and looking around. I was anxious to ask a woman at my table if that little girl was really a prostitute. Call me naive but I must know: did the rum hit me that quickly?

I used to think truth was an objective, self-sufficient, and separate existence from our own. But it can only exist with the subjective interaction of its participants. It's impressionable and can be molded by your opinions, decisions, and actions. The question is less how to find truth -- it's everywhere -- and more how to see it. And no matter how you see it, you can always improve it.

Asking whether I choose to see the positive or negative, the humorous or tragic, the midget pimp or young prostitute is irrelevant. I see roaches. All my roach pictures came out blurry and there's just something too gross to ignore about them. I have to go out and take another shot.

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I got your postcard from Italy. At least I think it was from Italy. They've been going to 22B-- a place where apparently both you and I know the people who live there. Seth Col...something is my friend from high school's friend's boyfriend. They threw away the obscene alligator postcard, but my friend's friend had a moment of clarity and asked my friend what my last name was. So I got a postcard. Rock. Out.

Don't let the roaches get you down. Don't let them steal your stuff either. Roaches are bugs of opportunity. I know. One lives in the food closet. I'm sure the bastard steals my bottled water.

My cat has fleas. Well, not quite. My apartment gave my cat fleas. She doesn't go outside.

meredilalink to this comment
August 27, 2005 11:46 AM


I sent seth and michelle a postcard to #28B a couple of weeks ago; I wonder who lives there. it's satisfying to know that some of my postcards eventually arrive at their intended destinations.

roaches get my camera down. to ground level. and then back at eye level after the shutter shutters.

it's time to take your apartment to the vet.


tevanlink to this comment
August 28, 2005 8:34 AM

seeing truth in roaches and prostitutes...kafka related to these ubiquitous vermin of society in his musings on human connection. but how we metamorphose into such creatures of desperation and isolation is a difficult question. and how/if we can transform ourselves from chasing survival to chasing our dreams is even more perplexing. laughing at life's absurdity is certainly a way to deal with it...let me know what you see in your other shots. -sc

Anonymouslink to this comment
August 28, 2005 9:35 PM


that's an excellent way of putting it: "how/if we can transform ourselves from chasing survival to chasing our dreams..." having a vocabulary for that concept makes it easier to grasp.

kafka's presence was all over prague; perhaps I should read why.

tevanlink to this comment
August 30, 2005 6:20 AM