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  • At the end of every year I rummage through my notebooks in search of random writings and thoughts I've scribbled down here and there during the year.

    There was that New York summer day I sat down wind from a high-rise's air conditioning centrifuge and the parade of dumpsters playing relay with garbage trucks.

    Or, that time when my work assignment was canceled as I checked into my Hong Kong hotel. I wandered around the city, hopped on a ferry and fell asleep on an island rock in the harbor. I woke up under the crush of a wave.

    Or, that holiday weekend when the girl at the movie box office could give me no information beyond film titles and timetables, which I could plainly see listed behind her. She sat directly behind me eating her lunch as I waited for my film to start. I can still hear her brown paper bag crackling in my ear. (I imagined her crumbs falling into my hair.)

    I could have gotten up and moved, but instead, I sat deafened under the drone of heavy machinery or outstretched and soggy atop a Chinese rock. Each time, I journaled in the folds of envelopes, on the backs of fliers and the blank pages of my notebooks.

    My end-of-the-year ritual is to collect these scraps of thoughts, experiences and cursive musings. I decipher patterns in my actions -- the cyclical choices, delusional expectations and recreated memories -- that I wrestled with throughout the year. I try my best to at least acknowledge them, and ultimately, I decide whether or not I want to continue doing the same things and expecting different results.

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