Courtside, Belize.

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On Friday night, I put on an orange dress and flip-flops, and went to a basketball game between the Dangriga Warriors (away team) and the San Ignacio Western Ballaz (home team). I sat on a picnic table next to a few teenage girls in tiny jean shorts. I tried to remember the last time I’d been at a basketball game. Was it really high school?…and of course basketball games were not attended for the game, per se, but for the extraordinary social opportunities available to those who knew how to act in just the right way. In the brief period 1993-1995 AD, when I was trying to become popular, I went to these games in carefully designed outfits with meticulously applied makeup. It didn’t go well. My shelteredness was a novelty, then an object of scorn, and then of bullying.

On this warm Belize night, I felt like I was ten worlds removed. I am so happy here. I strain to mark every grackle call, every glass of rum punch, every bowl of escabeche. I tell the people I love that I miss them even when they’re right in front of me.

Today I was riding with my friend Francisco out to the hills, out where the jungle covers all vast ruins of cities where millions of Maya once lived, and I told him, I think that they’re all sleeping under their green blanket, and we are the dream they’re having.

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