Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Foreign Land

The night before a journey, with uneasy sleep and the mind already on the way, projecting a generic foreign country:

* I am the only one who walks along the beach in a foreign coastal city; many walk along the road a bit up. I don't mind appearing as the pedagogic madman, so I holler at the children and ask them to notice the strange big pufferfish/crabs/horseshoe crabs living in the very surf zone, and may be mistaken for old plastic bags if one doesn't look carefully, or rather old canvas mail sacks, or fragments of seal mummies.

* At some camp in a foreign country, I am sitting in a cafeteria in a big cottage in an opening in the forest, waiting for all the others to wake up and have breakfast so we can commence today's activities. An asian cook is working in the next room. One by one people drop in, and eventually I wonder if I remembered to eat anything myself; obviously we get freshly made thai food for breakfast here.

* My colleague wakes me up in a hotel room in a foreign country, rather tenderly but not suggesting we would have an affair or so. But she is obsessed with something, jolts around looking for something, half-dressed; her presence is so vivid, rather uncomfortable, somewhat obscene and magnetic, intimate and rather incommunicable; the different smells of her are sharp and unresting.


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