Extracts from Backpacker

Also in 3 a.m., an excerpt from what seems a little like a contemporary riff on Sei Shonagan, Hillary Raphael’s Backpacker.

most satisfying sex binges

piazza duomo, firenze, italy/ male nurse ginza business hotel, tokyo, japan/ female nurse kruger national park tent, south africa/ jeep driver rice farming collective, guilin, china/ farmer residential tower, new york, usa/ consul general of denmark ramon crater, negev desert, israel/ rescue helicopter pilot roman coliseum, el jem, tunisia/ dog sledder las pirámides, lake atitlán, guatemala/ vision quest guide desert suites, las vegas, nevada, usa/ mc donald’s cashier hut, tromsø, norway/ interpreter

What can be said to spread ecstasy from one person to another? It’s a lost detail, a subtle movement at the center of a million coarse ones. It’s a vibrating wave connecting seemingly unrelated instants in thematically-linked compartments. It’s stepping onto the metro in a new city and eavesdropping on a conversation about someone you know, and remembering the vague miracle of meeting anyone, ever. Ecstasy is recalling something precious lost and not minding at all.