Now my favorite shoes are really worn, the soles thin and uncomfortable, though I didn’t wear them much until the end of our trip, when we had finished biking and were walking around Athens.

Now I’m back in Seattle, sitting in my apartment, which seems different now after a month of travel and so not the apartment I left but the one I returned to, yet familiar still with greenish northern light and the side of the building next door to look to.

Now I will be continuing what I began before I left, finishing the interview questions for Stacey Levine and Lily Hoang, with new shoes eventually placed where I place them to the right of the door to my apartment, and my boots for rain there too, and rain outside the window.

At Barbara’s Food Company, a restaurant in Athens (63-65 Emmanouil Benaki Street, Exarhia) where I felt like I wasn’t in any particular place but a feeling of comfort, we sat on chairs that were just then being re-seated by a man cutting long strips of grass for weaving seats on the sidewalk. Some of the chairs’ seats were still green and they smelled like dry grass. We ate turkey stew, lentils and feta, and artichoke, broccoli, zucchini and green olive salad, bread with a crumb Adam described as “sharp”, and organic Greek beer.

And then when we were full, we were offered a dessert by the waiter. Afterward I felt pleasant discomfort, pleasant because familiar and temporary.

My story titled “Discomfort” will be published in Harp & Altar in late October or in November.

The photograph below is of work by Wendy Kawabata titled ‘The Dunces.’

the dunces by wendy kawabata

Some books on my list for reading this fall:

American Genius, A Comedy, by Lynne Tillman
Fog & Car, by Eugene Lim
Hunger, by Knut Hamson
Poolsaid, by Shya Scanlon