There are very few, but a few, occasions in which The Moment trumps The Author, and so it is that, while e.g. invoking ghosts in graveyards, or engaged in youth-work, it would be a cosmically dreadful faux pas to pull pen and paper out of pocket and scribble down a particularly witty or thoughtful comment. Certain places are like that too: long-forgotten, I remember now the ghats in Varanasi, no I couldn’t write that down as it was happening, couldn’t record immediately those walls, truly great walls and the shadows on them at night and cult-bustle-sell fun all day, boatride sunrise, that seven/eight-year-old who knew some English and liked to practice it and every time I asked her a question above her ability she said “Ohhhhhhhhhhhkay,” haunted Varanasi, holy tough unsexy Varanasi, naked-ranter-in-the-road Varanasi, labyrinthine druggy V. the houses are faces! the houses are faces! sitar V. krishna krishna V. krishna V. dove V. walk V. holyman V. holyman, watch me kiss the filthy sacred Ganges because King Mob does it in “The Invisibles,” watch the ketamine bottles wobbly watch uh watch Varanasi its cows its aggro its forty-six degrees in the shade its walks and walks and beatnik-like like chemists its burningdead pyres down on those ghats at night the locals really didn’t want me there, they treated me like a tourist just because I was a tourist.


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