it must have a lot to do with the conversations. but also the fact that as the evening ends with a quick goodbye, that split second that it takes you to unbuckle the seatbelt and give me a peck on the cheek, the swiftness of that moment is in slow motion: the wall of the squatters area further down sounds brighter, the lights of the korean plaza feel like an intrusion, the darkness of your building a foreboding. of this pending goodbye, the one that stretches to 5, 10, 40 minutes at a time, where the conversation is never about us as it is about the world outside. words suffice for what isn’t ours on that street: the deaf-mute understands what he sees as we are silent on his unsaid; the friend on the phone teases within hearing distance; the policemen behind your building surprised at our temerity/daring/guts to sit at the neighborhood bakery in front of the contained slums. we talk like we’re in front of expensive milkshakes, cups of coffee and pate, cheap banana bread, 15-peso footlong sandwiches, it’s all the same. as we have that same conversation in the car, right before you get off, as i need to get home, and that stretch of time that it takes for us to be uncomfortable, saying goodbye, not for the moment, but for a particular kind of distance, one we do not articulate. we talk like old friends even as this is farthest from the truth: the old, the being friends. here, take a conversation and run away with it. please take a conversation and run.