Lora L. Abe

Red panda enthusiast with mermaid aspirations

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Life as a standby passenger

I woke up at one in the morning to a lengthy text message, informing me that my flights getting home had changed drastically over the last 12 hours and my planned itinerary from Austin to Las Vegas this afternoon was no longer an option– I would be stranded in Houston, my connecting city, if I even managed to get there. My heart sank, but only a little, only before I reflexively started cataloguing all the other connecting cities for Austin, and five minutes later, I was on my computer with multiple tabs open, comparing alternative flights and dates and destinations as I sorted out my last-minute re-booking. All standard procedure.

Last-minute flight bookings, standard procedure? It sounds luxurious, as though I have the disposable income (or inane, as though I have the financial irresponsibility) to fritter away funds on plane tickets that have been jacked up in price for those who

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Why a code camp saved my life

In the days leading up to graduation, I found myself battling a heart-wrenching sadness over the prospect of having to say good-bye to my cohort. Final projects had been a kind of sampling of what that was going to feel like as we initially split ourselves into tiny groups and, for the most part of the next nine days, only interacted with our designated group, despite the fact that we were all within each other’s periphery. It honestly felt like a punishment, being cut off from our usual full intra-cohort camaraderie. And post-graduation would only herald the undertaking of interviews which would lead to offers which would lead to jobs which would lead to our gradual division and departure. I, who have never dealt even remotely well with good-byes, was not coping with this looming change in status quo.

Compounding this was an overwhelming emotional pride for my cohort. After we

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This contentious storm invades us to the skin [7]

For Josh,

who trusted that I wouldn’t refuse to leave the darkness

but who would have let me stay down there alone,

if I’d pitched a big enough fit about it.


I think.

It was the second time I had ever met Joshua Ellis [1]. We were standing outside a coworking space downtown and inbetween endless cigarettes, he was humbly telling me bits and pieces of his history– his life as a musician, his life as a writer, his life as a developer. By the time he’d recounted his success at raising crowdfunding for a trip to New Mexico in the name of investigative journalism [2], a year before Kickstarter ever came onto the scene, I was completely hooked and suddenly felt an absurd urge to throw myself at his feet. If he had been preaching gospel, I would have converted to the faith in half a heartbeat.

Without fully comprehending why, I wanted to say to him: “Take me with you. Whatever you end up

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I Will Come Back - Pablo Neruda

I Will Come Back

(Pablo Neruda)

Some time, man or woman, traveler,

afterwards, when I am not alive,

look here, look for me here

between the stones and the ocean,

in the light storming

in the foam.

Look here, look for me here,

for here is where I shall come, saying nothing,

no voice, no mouth, pure,

here I shall be again the movement

of the water, of

its wild heart,

here I shall be both lost and found—

here I shall be perhaps both stone and silence.

[Translation: Alastair Reid]


Yo Volveré

(Pablo Neruda)

Alguna vez, hombre o mujer, viajero,

después, cuando no viva,

aquí buscad, buscadme

entre piedra y océano,

a la luz procelaria

de la espuma.

Aquí buscad, buscadme,

porque aquí volveré sin decir nada,

sin voz, sin boca, puro,

aquí volveré a ser el movimiento

del agua, de

su corazon salvaje,

aquí estaré perdido y encontrado:

aquí seré tal vez piedra y silencio.


Je Reviendrai

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With apologies to David Ives

JILL: Words words words, it’s always words.

JACK: You are the most wonderful word at this party.

JILL: And then words words.

JACK: You have a word that surrounds you.

JILL: Every time I hear the word “words” it’s like a magic incantation. An open sesame.

JACK: Words, I say to her.

JILL: Abracadabra.

JACK: My word is Words.

JILL: And I expect a whole new word to open up in front of me, full of words.

JACK: Hello words.

JILL: And then words goodbye.

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