The Possibilities Are Endless
I invite you to join the five and a half million people, including those in Greenland and the Faroe Islands, who speak Danish. It’s not that complicated—you don’t even have to conjugate verbs according to person, let alone gender—but it can be difficult to learn since the ethnic Danish population doesn’t expect foreigners to learn their language.
If you want to be understood, I invite you to convince people that they can understand you.
I invite you to test your speech on the greengrocer, a man so boisterous in Arabic, as he rings up your yams and mangoes and pistachios and avocados with solemn precision while you eye the imported olives and sun-dried tomatoes behind the counter. I don’t need a bag, you try with the gurgles and glottal stops that fill a space in your mouth never touched by English, I brought my own. For the strawberries, he smiles, handing you your change, asking if you don’t work at the drugstore down the street.
I invite you to recall the futon in Berlin, and hug your acquaintance hello when you run into him in CVS, noticing for the first time both the amber of his eyes and what your voices sound like when he says, I’m here for a thing to cover up the socket by where I sleep, cos what if my hair went into it when I was asleep? But they didn’t have one.
I invite you to pull out all the stops as the light changes from red to green and a kid in backwards A’s hat is at your side on a toy bike. Go, he says, I know you’re going faster than me; next thing you know, you’re on the expressway, panicking because you don’t have cash to pay a toll. We like to think we’re going somewhere, wishing freeways had stoplights.
I invite you to take to the emergency lane on two wheels.
I invite you to take the car to the bike shop when you need a new tube.
I invite you to turn up KALX on Claremont, stockpile nostalgia for now.
Someday you’ll get to Kreuzberg, but it might not be today.
I invite you to Madison, Milwaukee, Mankato, Montgomery—it all sounds like America to me.
I’m not usually this indecisive, especially about surfing. Rain check FOR SURE.
I invite you to try a life outside of houses. Watch the election in a bar.
The stuff we own isn’t ours.
I invite you to take a Byzantine church and add minarets.
I invite you to sit still and hope something moves you.
We all want a black hole for our dark feelings.
I invite you to have a look at the weather. -20 degrees in Helsinki.
I invite you to take a break even if you don’t smoke cigarettes.
I invite you to acquire an urban accent.
Historically, migration to Sweden has predominantly come from Finland.
I invite you to refrain from using public parks because the spaces are unsafe.
Two-thirds of American women are afraid to walk alone in their own neighborhoods at night. -Rebecca Solnit
I invite you into an old apartment building where all four floors share one bath in the basement.
I invite you to spend five hours walking around laughing and try not to leave your wide-open mouth behind.
You could just keep going and it wouldn’t be exhausting.
I invite you to deny three requests for haiku from people trying to make your life easier.
I invite you to treat each individual as if they are the center of the universe.
I invite you to up the whimsy factor.
Okay, so, I invite you watch the light creep in around heavy ochre drapes at eight-thirty in the morning swaddled in a goosedown pillow in an unfamiliar bed.
It’s not so much that you don’t mean what you say as that you don’t say what you mean.
I invite you to reject the urban accent in favour of the traditional Jutlandic.
When we change languages, we are altering ourselves, and at the same time giving up parts of ourselves. And here, now, I feel like I am nearly lost.
I am a total mess, but I’m on fire. – Guillermo Gómez–Peña
I invite you to talk around something aside from ourselves. The things we steal: tiny spoons, t-shirts, cash from the garage till.
Blinking becomes buzzing, walking becomes marching. I invite you to coordinate popular insurrections.
I invite you to stop at Chevron to buy a cooler to contain the barn owl you pick up in the emergency lane.
WHO NEEDS DRUGS, I’M JONATHAN RICHMAN
As much as I love dancing I really want someone to share my bed with.
I invite you to add self-heal to the succulent garden. At one time the short spines along the margin of the leaves were used as phonograph needles.
I invite you to zip from intensity to intensity on a ride through the Marin headlands, busting up the hill rabbit-like, charging the Pacific past Kirby Cove.
There is so much space on this earth that is full of whatever you’re looking for.
Western medicine used to blame schizophrenia on upbringing or the patients’ self-indulgence. Now at least we know it has physical aspects.
I would look you up and over, up and over again if not for all this nausea.
I invite you to investigate the suspected new leak in Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s underwater water storage pool at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
I invite you to transfer the contaminated water.
I invite you to elucidate your own personal experience of walls.
I invite you to sit and watch a dozen 6As pass in the opposite direction when you’re waiting at Fredrik Bajers plads.
I invite you to wave to the woman who offered to share her joint yesterday at the picnic table at Månefiskeren as she rolls by on her Crescent.
I invite you to take in just a little bit more than you wanted to hear.
Bus drivers are people too.
For a lack of particular closeness with anyone, I invite you to practice a general intimacy with everyone.
I invite you to replace prepositions with three cheek kisses.
I invite you to call me out on my proactive tendencies on the slippery cobblestones outside of somebody’s apartment in the midnight Marais slush.
rout, n1. 4. An illegal assembly; spec. an assembly of three or more people that has gathered with the intention of committing an unlawful act, and has taken steps towards its execution. Also in later use: the action or fact of assembling in this way. Now chiefly hist.
I invite you to struggle for a few minutes with the air compressor and the foreign valves, then walk your bike two blocks to another shop with a different kind of compressor.
BURN FAT, NOT OIL
If you can’t talk about what you’re talking about maybe you shouldn’t be talking.
I invite you to do things that are good for you and ONLY you.
You have to let people help themselves.
-Is there a history of diabetes in the family? -It’s hard to say because I don’t really know most of my family.
When you’re waking up with puffy eyelids from sleeping on your stomach, I invite you to keep in mind that it’s good to share your insecurities but not with the person you’re insecure about.
I invite you to find your name next to mine on the list at Loppen. Tipsy, laughing, raucous, rain- sprinkled—my plus one if not number one.
I invite you to stomp out a rhythm with lager-sticky feet.
I invite you to borrow an unlocked bike on the curb to get to Vesterbro.
I invite you to try to save sixty crowns by not checking your coat at Lille Vega.
-It was… fun? Not really fun. It was fun. It is fun.
I invite you to dream bigger.
Although it is illegal to import items produced or manufactured in a foreign country by forced labour under Title 19, section 1307 of U.S. Code, it continues to appear that the United States is not interested in stopping slave goods from reaching its shores.
I invite you to shut down the fifth-largest port in the nation.
—from THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS by Maya Weeks