I leaned back in my chair and looked outside. Who am I but a cyclops, whose sun-scorched lens refracts the brown-leafed misery — the way it gathers into mush — inwards?
It’s been a funny year, really. The last six months plagued by sunscreened bodies of Copacabana, the breathiness of Nairobi, even the deceiving familiarity of Uganda (how things are known, yet different: a shift in focus, perhaps), unyielding of Dar (how Dune-esque it sounds!) — and Mom in Minsk. My icy hand in yours — in anticipation of Yerevan — it stretches out – so long I’ve been away – almost five months, I counted – but it seems less and less. Time protruding out of one’s navel.
I sashayed – no better way of putting it – into the Hamburg Rathaus. Down the stone steps in a spiral, the synthetic red carpet damping the click of my heels — into the damp air buzzing with voices in pre-holiday bliss. A nod here, a hand meaningfully extended to the CEO –thank you for having me- a glass of Sekt vielleicht? with pleasure – and a bout of panic before seeing a familiar face. How goodhearted it all seemed, no doubt, German friendliness unleashed by the unstinted flow of alcohol.
Rewind some weeks back, and you’d find me in the taxi – by your side – I’d imagine – shades of oak in passing as we head towards The Yearly Retreat. We’d hold a presentation deemed excellent (like a well-herbed steak) and I’d draw stick figures of my colleagues in various stages of repose, bored out of my mind those last few hours. We’d walk to the vista, you and I, observe the dwarfed lake flat under the low unintelligent sky.
North Germany, though, a tease, will, on occasion, offer itself up in some unexpected unequivocal visions of startling beauty. Those early dusk hours, a rich purple if not for its fleeting nature, — one can almost breathe in the color, the asphalt and the walls steeped in it.
Observe the tear on my ear – from the way the head slants.