Chapter 9 of Nomad Life

We arrived in Washington, DC on a Monday afternoon and were excited to see our home for the final month we’d spend in the US before departing for Europe. Shelby parked the car outside of our building as sunlight poured in through the windshield, heating the black leather and plastic interior. When I opened the door, the air was sticky with humidity and the skin of my upper lip and armpits started perspiring. The forecast called for a high in the upper nineties, but it felt hotter.

Shelby fetched the key to our studio from a lockbox on the back of the building, then we ventured inside. She unlocked the door and pushed on it once, but it didn’t budge. 

“Did the lock actually turn?” I asked her.

“It felt like it.”

I pressed my shoulder into the door and it moved a fraction of an inch. The friction between the door and door jam made a loud squeaking noise that echoed through the tile hallway and into the main foyer. I assumed the wood must be swollen from the heat, so I rammed my shoulder into the door and it swung open. 

A sour stench that was strong enough to taste poured from the apartment into the hallway and nearly made me gag. I scurried in and checked the trash cans and fridge for rotting food, then looked under the furniture thinking I might discover a dead mouse, but I couldn’t find the source of the smell. I decided that maybe the last guest left something fragrant that the cleaning crew took care of, but that the smell was still lingering, so I cracked a window and turned up the AC to flush the air.

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Updated Stats

Current location: 📍Ljubljana, Slovenia

Miles traveled: 22,998 (0.92x 🌎)

Days nomadic: 221 (0.61x ☀️)

Words published online: 28,397

Works in Progress

  • Chapter 9 of Nomad Life - Frankfurt, Germany

  • Chapter 10 of Nomad Life - Hallstatt, Austria

  • My first novel - The Great War of Inner Peace

  • Chapter 2 of Tales of Twilight - “Five Fingers, Four”

Inspiration & Research

🧠 Craft your mindset: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott => on how to enjoy the process of writing and set reasonable expectations.

🥊 Boxing history: “Joe Louis.” Wikipedia. => The life of the star boxer who “is widely regarded as the first person of African-American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II because of his historic rematch with German Boxer Max Schmeling in 1938.”

❤️ Sexuality in WWII: “A secret history of sexuality on the front.” The Sydney Morning Herald. Andrew Stephens. => how marines fighting in the Pacific during WWII explored their sexualities and coped with little to no contact with females for years at a time.

According to Skutull

Skutull has eaten many meals on restaurant patios over the years, but it wasn’t until we moved to Europe that he was allowed to eat inside.

Skutull recently enjoyed his first indoor dining experience. It was raining in Salzburg, Austria and he was squinting pathetically at us through the precipitation as we walked around the city, so he was happy to take shelter when Shelby and I were hungry for lunch. Our waitress brought him a bowl of water, which he enjoyed properly while laying down.

Skutull's Instagram

Writer’s thought to ponder

You cannot know your characters, and therefore cannot write well, if you do not know yourself.

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“The most interesting information comes from children because they tell all they know and then stop.”

-Mark Twain

Public Service Announcement

I’ve decided to change the name of my newsletter from “The Storied Scrolls” to “Nomad Life.” I think this title better reflects the content that I want to include in my newsletter. This email is also in the new format I plan to use going forward. There will be fewer paragraphs to read outside of the linked story and more lists, which I hope will make the newsletter easier to skim.

Enjoy the journey,