written/non-written things by me (from 2005-2008)

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Head on the saw-horse."

I left from the north road north of the resevoir. I passed a dismal resort, if one could call it that. The pool was filled with sludge and 2byfours. But the resevoir was emerald green, and I was inches from swimming myself, but heeded the signal the smell was sending me. In the courtyard of the resort there was a broken porch swing half suspended; a large tattered rainbow umbrella lay on its side, colors dulled from coal dust and metal wires radiating dangerously. A boy wandered around the pool in an oversized white suit jacket, his uniform, he worked there, doing what? Some fat men and skinny boys were standing in soggy underwear on the edge of the resevoir.
I rode by slowly, inching up a steep hill. A truck sped by sending a puff of dust in my face. I put on my sunglasses, despite the overcast skies. I wrapped a scarf around my mouth, despite my aerobic exursion...
Lastnight I watched "Half Nelson" from an internet bar, I was really enjoying it as it was the first movie I have watched in month. But the connection was lagged, and while it buffered, a middle aged man, fumes of alcohol, whispered in my ear "Jianada de, Meigou de ma" are you canandian or american...He asked over and over and eventually I waved him away in repugnance, which maybe wasn't best.
I left before it finished and he followed me home at a sad-puppy distance. I stopped to buy a popsicle. I stopped to pat my pockets. I stopped ducked in a well-lit pharmacy. And he stopped, and stopped, and stopped. I said bad man, bad man there. But maybe he wasn't really bad, but I knew only how to say that he was. And a helpful woman in a turtle neck, lab coat and high heels walked me home to my government hotel, arms linked together elbow to elbow. And I fell asleep under a mosquito net in the glow of government programing...
A truck passes and sure enough the dust clouds again. I go up and down along a river, neighboring countryside, green things, wet shacks, for 36 self-affirming miles on a 2-lane road, under an almost thunder storm.
I wasn't there to witness it, but I could put the pieces together when I saw it: At mile twenty-eight an 18 wheeler barely nicked the sideview mirror of another 18 wheeler and time-space popped, and like chemistry experiment changed their states of being. Both of them jack-kniffed at the point of contact, leaving a human-sized gap between the two now useless machines. For miles trailers (filled with hogs), busses, and cars filed one behind another.
And I pedaled by them, the passengers, wide-eyed, but expressionless watching me like I was a animal eating another animal. As a traveller in their country, sometimes its me that has to smile first, and I find this odd. But the gap was enough for me! While straddling my bicycle I walked between the two and counted my blessings that I was not on a bus that day. I went on my way and the thunder storm broke and I later I arrived to yet another cheap hotel, wet and, today, happy.

Basie to Longlin -- March 17th

My name is Hannah Pierce-Carlson