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For a Seattle kid, a son of silver sea and sky,

living in Massachusetts seems like stepping

into one of those children's fantasy stories

where everything's just more. The same nagiri

from the same elitist hipster sushi bar

made by the same theatrical chef shifted

a few thousand miles east costs correspondingly

more, as if traveling east positively correlates

with the price of luxury goods on the connoisseur

of haute-cuisine's market (which I guess a smart

investor could make a fortune on). Speaking of

fortunes, they seem bigger here, and I sometimes

feel like an ant scrambling for crumbs some "Big Name"

(pardonnez-vous s'il vous plaît mon français

for I just failed a test on the subject) left behind.

I mean, even nature seems to have acquired

a flair for the dramatic. Summer seemed a dragon

with breath of steam instead of fire that clogs

your lungs until you drown in your own sweat,

the tides of autumn's great rivers of dead

leaves reminded me of those lahars we would have

been so afraid of back home if not for our single-minded

doomsaying dread of earthquakes, and winter was

supposed to be about as warm as summer

on Mars (although it didn't really deliver

on that promise). Spring was the crazy one,

the one that made me feel like I was living

in that movie Avatar, well, minus the giant

blue cat-elf-ninja people who acted like

they'd been ripped straight out of the Disney

version of Pocahontas. It was the visual effects

(sorry I meant the colors) on the plants that did it.

Well no shit, you might say. But to me, it looked

like the entire world had been worked over

by some bored art student with a copy of

Adobe Photoshop and way too much spare

time who said those trees aren't green enough,

can I work on that? and the trees said sure

why not? you can stick your tattoo needle

into us all night long, and the morning after

they were pregnant with that kind of green

you only see on cartoon pictures of nuclear waste.