You remember Emily Callagan, right? She wrote the most popular article on Go Backpacking last month, entitled “The Importance of Hooking Up Abroad.”
Since so many people enjoyed her writing, we thought it was time to share a little more of it. The following excerpts are from her stories on Drexel’s blog, The Smart Set.
I woke up angry on the day before my 21st birthday. I lay in the bed of a Copacabana hostel in Rio de Janeiro, shivering next to Ayal “” my Israeli travel-friend-with-benefits “” as he slept soundly. After the initial 20 minutes of our reconvening in Rio, nothing had been remotely ideal. We argued. I was jealous and paranoid. I wanted all of his attention. I wanted to know his feelings, but I also didn’t want to have to ask. I was afraid of him, and afraid of myself, too, because I was in unfamiliar territory. I had no control. I hated this but also knew that if I had control, things wouldn’t be nearly as intriguing.
And so I was simply angry. Angry I had barely slept, angry my eyes were stinging from tears. I thought about heading back to Buenos Aires again, leaving him and his dreadlocks lying in our hostel bed. But I decided to wait until after my birthday. I had, after all, waited a month for this. Chance had stationed me and Ayal in the same Buenos Aires hostel for a while, and then I followed him to Iguazu Falls. But our time together ended “” or was put on pause, I should say. He headed north to Brazil while I returned to the Paris of South America, where I spent several weeks dreaming of our perfect reunion before passing out each night, despite all the other boys.
Read the rest of Birthday Wish.
I’ve smoked a lot of weed in my day. Blunts with boys on stoops in bad neighborhoods, metal pipes with middle-aged Buddhists, roaches with an old man hooked up to an oxygen tank at a Dead concert, and gravity bongs made out of POM bottles. I would never classify my avocation as an addiction. But perhaps an appetite? Something old Aristotle might say is “the cause of all actions that appear pleasant”? I’d say so.
One would assume that a philosopher would approve of such appetites. Weed does, after all, inspire thinking, pondering, concluding “” all that good stuff. But reading a line from his Rhetoric gave me a twinge of uneasiness, as though an assumed supporter no longer stood by me. He writes, “A ‘criminal act’ … is due to moral badness, for that is the source of all actions inspired by our appetite.”
I never saw this hobby as “bad,” for I wasn’t harming anyone. If anything, I was spreading love and uniting random groups of people like a member of the Peace Corps. Yeah, it’s “illegal,” but I don’t sell and I’d never mugged a person for their pot, so am I still “morally bad?”
And are my actions “criminal” strictly because they’re banned by law? Whereas if I had been born in Amsterdam I wouldn’t be performing an act deemed “criminal” and therefore not filled with moral badness by Aristotle’s standards? If that were the case, would my leisure pursuit still be inspired by appetite?
Not that I am, or ever have been, too concerned about it.
On my third day in Valencia, Spain, where I was studying for the summer, I stood in the booze aisle of the supermarket. Not yet 21 years old, I was as happy as a pig in shit. Liquor. Wine. Liters of beer in plastic containers.
Read the rest of Toked Affection