I sickened quickly. That's what I came to this country to do: Sicken. Quickly.

I don't speak much of what passes for language around here. Enough to get by if I stick to certain universals: Beer. Skag. Sex. Violence. Obscenity. It's amazing how much you can communicate with little more than a core vocabulary of five poorly pronounced words you'll never hear on television.

You know what else you won't hear on television around here? Ever? Some oily fuck with a grin talking about giving the voting public the change it's clamouring for. Jesus I'd have walked right up to one of those cunts and beaten him unidentifiable if I hadn't been too scared to walk out my front door. That was there though. That was then. Here? Now? The oily fucks don't pretend. No one pretends.

Have a hypothetical:

"Morning! How are you today!"

"My knuckles are sore from punching my whore of a girlfriend, I'm bleeding out both ends, and I have never stopped wanting you to die covered in your own shit and choking on vomit. That's how I am."

It's a good thing the rest of the expats care even less to communicate with the locals than I do. It would all spontaneously combust. Every single one of their precious Make Friends and Manipulate People check lists of do-s and don't-s, one humongous bonfire of the vanities. They'd stand there naked and savage in the firelight before the most beautiful people on Earth. They would scream in shame.

Luckily, that wouldn't be so nearly entertaining as watching what they actually do: set fire to themselves instead, oblivious to the inhuman fucks they're becoming. Restructure, renewal, debt service, privitization, liquidity, progress, promise, potential. It's this secret language of hate, like the way my parents talked about the 'charcoal problem.' It's how they phrase their rape.

The grandma two apartments over lost her whole pension yesterday. All of it. She got a letter in the mail. With typos. She knocked on my door and I opened it still drunk, in my underwear, to a hysterically sobbing old bitch begging to know why my government had stolen her pension. She read between the lines. She knew who was signing the orders. I told her something about Jews, something to soothe her with familiar conspiracies, got her to retreat back to her shithole one-room to contemplate her iminent death under a snowbank so I could contemplate mine under the influence.

Jews. Jesus. In a just world she'd have thrown me over the balcony for condescending to her.

I will never be these people. I still lie, even as I try to let go of the habit. Smooth, sleek, sterile lies. Clean, virginal, godly lies. At night I can't stop crying. It may be withdrawal.

It's a sort of suped-up slumming-it I've got going here. I know the colonial gig too well to spit up such a lie as would allow me to believe I'm different. Even as I suck every last leftover rage to the marrow listening to other expats whine about the food, or the crime, or the air quality, as they check how high their investments ticked today... I know I've saved myself a seat at the table too. The big ol' feast of human flesh. I am here to take my share. Only I'm hoping it will poison me.

If I die here, does that make up for never having been born here?

This is my paradise. Industrial ruins and the burning skyline. Bribes for the sunken-eyed soldiers. The world's most varied selection of venereal disease. The stink of sewage and explosions on holidays. Blood on the landing and teeth embedded in the sole of my boot. Child after vacant-eyed child. Hungry ghosts. This country is dying and I am killing it. Me and my whole extended family of hereditary conquerors.

When I bother to write home, I tell everyone I've never been happier.